Girls take the courts as basketball season beginsDec 11, 2020 04:40PM ● By Catherine Garrett
After a delayed start to the girls basketball season, Davis, Bountiful, Viewmont, Woods Cross and Farmington were finally able to get on the court this week with games. Here’s a look at each of these five high school programs as play begins.
Davis returns just one starter and two others with varsity experience in senior guard Callie Tolman, senior forward Phoebe Arnold and junior guard Kylee Mabry.
“They are our leaders this year and all have a great deal of varsity experience,” head coach Anne Jones said. “We are excited for them to have a fantastic year.”
Jones said that other than those three players, she has a young team with little experience who has been taking advantage of the offseason to get ready to play. “We need to find that chemistry between our few returning varsity players and a lot of really young talented players who will need to contribute immediately,” Jones said. “It’s just great to be back playing basketball with so many disruptions since last season.”
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Also on the Davis squad this year are juniors Grace Arrington, Morgan Burnett, Isabel Coleman, Brianne Griffiths, Cheyenne Hansen, Taylor Leavitt, Sierra Passey, Makayla Patterson, Siena Tippetts and Bridgette Volk; sophomores Aryanna Bull, Teagan Dagley, Alyvia Hall and Maggie Pitcher; and freshmen Maya China, Siri Fauske, Emi Gray, Kaitlin Griffiths, Savannah Grimm, Kendra Kitchen, Olivia Lifferth, Katie Richards and Max Vanbrocklin.
“Our goals are to get better every day, every week and take steps forward,” Jones said. “As usual, we want to finish as high as possible in region and then get wins in the state tournament.”
Jones is being assisted on the coaching staff this year by Dani Stahle, Rebecca Packer and Bekah Wall.
Davis began the year with a 43-40 win over Pleasant Grove Dec. 3, turning a 13-12 deficit after the first quarter into a 23-16 edge by halftime. The Vikings mounted a comeback but the Darts held them off in a three-point win. Mabry led the Darts with 14 points while Tolman added 11.
“It was a fun win for us against a very balanced and well coached Pleasant Grove team,” Jones said. “With only four full practices since tryouts, it was a little chaotic at times but we played with a lot of energy and made some things happen on defense early to contribute to some easy baskets. We took care of the ball offensively and made some good strides.”
Against Jordan Dec. 4, the Darts lost 39-38. The team started strong with a 10-5 lead after one and were still up at half by two. Jordan’s third quarter was three points better than Davis with the teams playing pretty equally to end the game. Kitchen had 12 points to lead offensively while Leavitt (eight points) and Arnold (seven) also contributed significantly.
Despite the suspended start, Bountiful is fueled by the team’s finish last season as they reached the second round of the 5A state playoffs where they lost a one-point heartbreaker to eventual 2nd-place finisher Springville.
“These girls know they can go further this year,” said head coach Joel Burton, who is in his 13th year at Bountiful. “We were pretty young, starting three freshman, a sophomore and a senior for much of the season so with the majority of our team being back we feel we can be one of the elite teams in the state.”
Senior Hailey Fouts, a 6’3” center, returns to lead the Braves along with junior forward/center Emrie Satuala – “a real force for us,” according to Burton, “super athlete” Jordyn Harvey and fellow sophomore Lizzie McConkie, who Burton relies on as his “amazing point guard who sees the floor so well.” Others expected to contribute heavily are junior forward Riley Johnson, sophomore guard Evi Chism and Bountiful’s other senior Esther Broom who has been a soccer player before deciding to try basketball this season. “She’s never played, but we’ve been very impressed with her so far,” Burton said.
Also on the Braves squad this year are juniors Eliza Collins, Emily Kessler, Asia Grant, Emily Pulsipher, Emily Stewart and Amelia Urie; sophomores Claire Cook, Cassandra Espino, Calliahny Nelson and Hayley Smith; and freshmen Alyssa Boucha, Elli Buys, Macie Johnson Danica Lunceford, Abrie Mitchell and Katherine Willis.
“We want to be a lot better defensively and that year of maturity will really help,” Burton said. “We’re hoping we can play and keep on playing. It’s what keeps us all going.”
Burton will be joined by two new assistants on the coaching staff this year – Mitch Stevens and Jaden Chism.
After six practices, Bountiful faced Maple Mountain Dec. 4 and won 56-41, outscoring the Golden Eagles in three of the game’s four quarters for the 15-point win.
“It went well considering everything,” Burton said. “We played much more calm in the second half.”
Satuala led the way with 19 points while McConkie (14 points) and Harvey (11) also had double figures. Burton also noted the defensive contributions of Broom and Johnson in the win.
In its first game of the year, Viewmont lost 42-34 to Skyline Dec. 4. The Vikings were down three points early after the first quarter and then four points at the break. Viewmont scored 18 points in the second half, but came up short in the loss.
Junior guard Grace Mackay put in 11 points while senior center Kaisley Larsen (six points), junior forward Lauren Weir (six), junior forward Kaylee Smith (five) and sophomore forward Emma Mulitalo (four) also scored for the Vikings.
Also on the Viewmont squad this year are seniors Emma Lindsey; juniors Kalli Cannon, Sophie Mangum and Kate Pitt; sophomores Sammy Carr, Savannah Harting, Allison Higginson, Marissa Horlacher, Anika Johnston, Isabelle Lowe, Rachel Roberts and Mia Willey; and freshmen Karissa Goff, Kristina Gunnell, Lissia Silva, Natalia Titensor and Annabella Uffens.
Woods Cross lost all of its returning starters from last year’s team, but do return seniors Macy Richards and Annie Michaelis along with junior Sofia Mokofisi who played significant minutes last season, and who will be looked to for leadership on and off the court.
“We are also really excited about some of our younger girls and think that they might be able to come in and contribute in a varsity game,” head coach David Simon said. “We’re focusing on playing as a team and staying positive.”
Also on the Wildcats’ team this season are seniors Kelly King and Emily Muhlestein; juniors Lauran Bodily, Bella Garcia, Eliza Hoggan, Katelyn Hull and Julianna Stanger; sophomores Jaycie Bott, Kenna Cowley, Kaii Crockett, Brielle Gefrom, Georgia Hatton, Kaelia Jensen, Elenoa Latu, Lucy Phillips and Alisi Tauataina; and freshmen Dani Brey and Katie King.
“We are just excited that we get to play,” Simon said. “I think there was a time a few weeks ago that there was a chance that winter sports were not going to happen. There is a plan in place now that will allow us to play. We hope to continue to get better and grow as a team. I think we have a team that can play really well together and gets excited for the success of others.”
Simon is being assisted on the coaching staff by Katie Harker, Bob Hawkes and Casey Plowman.
Against Murray Dec. 3, Woods Cross began the year with a 45-40 loss. The Wildcats came out strong with an 11-3 lead after one, but found themselves down 18-17 at halftime. The second half was close with the Spartans winning by five.
“I was pleased with our effort,” Simon said. “The girls played well together. I’m excited to see where we go from here.”
Annie Michaelis scored 14 points to lead Woods Cross.
Farmington head coach Van Price returns an experienced group, but feels that the chemistry has been affected by the delayed start.
“We aren’t playing that great together yet,” he said. “I think we have so much potential to be a great team but only time will tell.”
Senior guards Valerie Kunzler and Abigail Ferrell and junior center Delaney Baker were Farmington’s leading scorers on the Region 5 title team last year. Price also noted he expects significant contributions from seniors Amber Beddes, Hailey McFarland, Brooklyn Marchant and Carley Warenski, juniors Abby Crane and Talin Stimpson and sophomore Courtney Christiansen.
Also on the Phoenix squad hoping to defend their region title and win state this year are juniors Kaitlyn Clark, Claire Crump, Carley Olson and Jayden Shields; sophomores Whitney Avie, Katelyn Brenchley, Victoria Clinger, Kate Geddes, Madison Hauck and Marissa Marchant; and freshmen Macy Brinkerhoff, Ella Demille, Ruth Dunn, Kate Garff, Ava Goff, Jacey Peterson, Brynn Ryan, Jazzie Spence and Olivia Tobler.
“We feel like we have the depth and talent to be a very good state contender,” Price said. “The season will go fast and hopefully we can stay healthy.”
Price’s assistant coaches this season are Sunnie Higgins, Sarah Beecher and Chris Brower.
In its first game against Layton Dec. 4, Farmington won 61-48 against Price’s former program. “It’s always fun going back and seeing old players and familiar faces,” Price said. “The game went well. We had a good game. They didn’t have an answer for our 6’3” post.”
That 6’3” post was Baker and she had a monster game with 26 points while Beddes added 11 points and Ferrell had 10.
The Phoenix team came out strong with an 18-point first quarter, going up nine and then held a 32-27 halftime advantage. A 29-point second half sealed the deal for Farmington in the 13-point win. Marchant, Warenski and Kunzler each added four points to help offensively.