Girls basketball teams ready for the courtDec 01, 2022 11:31AM ● By Catherine Garrett
Junior Kendra Kitchen, who was an Honorable Mention All-State and First Team All-Region player last season returns for a young squad who will look to fill the void left by seven graduated seniors.
Head coach Anne Jones, who is in her 12th season at Davis, said Aryanna Bull and Kate Richards, who got some varsity time last year, “will also be heavily relied on” as play gets underway for the Darts in the next couple of weeks.
In the off-season, Jones said her squad put in work on strength and conditioning as well as overall basketball fundamentals. “We also played a lot in the spring and fall to provide fun experiences and worked to develop team chemistry with so many new faces this season,” she said.
Davis is scheduled to play Mountain Crest Nov. 29 and then Bonneville, Mountain Ridge and Viewmont in further pre-season action before Region 1 home-and-away games against Layton, Farmington, Weber, Syracuse, Clearfield and Fremont.
“We want to work hard every single day in practice on our fundamentals and team game play and to push each other to be the best we can be,” Jones said. “We want to be competitive in every game we play in and improve daily.”
Farmington brings back several returning players from a team that reached the second round of the 6A state tournament a year ago. Senior guards Courtney Christiansen and Whitney Avei will join senior forward Maddie Hauck, who is coming off an ACL tear in last year’s game against Davis, to captain the squad this year.
Head coach Van Price, in his fifth year with the Phoenix program, said his other five seniors – guards Victoria Clinger, Eagan Dagley, Mele Fiefia and Kate Geddes and forward Marissa Marchant – will “give us a lot of returning experience and leadership.”
“We have a senior-oriented team and although we don’t have any stars, we have eight girls who are able to do very well on any given night,” Price said. “That should make us very difficult to defend.”
Several players completed a challenge during the off-season to make 10,000 shots and Price is hoping that will translate on the court for his girls during the year.
Farmington will play at Olympus to begin the season Nov. 22 and face Northridge, Spanish Fork, Box Elder, Pleasant Grove, Taylorsville, Brighton, Granger and Cyprus in pre-season action before Region 1 home-and-away matchups against Fremont, Davis, Layton, Syracuse, Weber and Clearfield.
Also on the squad this season are juniors Ella Demille, Kate Garff, Ava Goff, Brynn Ryan and Jazzie Spence; sophomores Breklyn Archibald and Macy Fox; and freshman Morgan Rogers.
Price will be assisted on the coaching staff by Sarah Beecher, Steve Spendlove and Derek Nyman along with team managers Josh Hilbig, Belle Jones, Raegan McFarland, Drezden Perez and Macee Tingey.
“I think we will be very competitive,” Price said. “We are athletic and hope to challenge for a region championship.”
Bountiful returns nearly its entire squad from the 2022 team that lost in the 5A state semifinals last winter.
“I’m really excited about this season,” said head coach Joel Burton. “We have a really talented group with a lot of depth and a couple of newcomers. It will be fun to see what this group can do.”
Sophomore Taylor Harvey, a Second Team All-State player from a year ago, is back to lead the team. “Sometimes she is our point guard and sometimes she plays center, it’s really whatever we need at the moment because she is just a basketball player,” Burton said.
Her sister Jordyn Harvey, who will play volleyball at Stanford next year, will provide leadership on the court as Burton said the senior can just play loose and have fun with basketball this season. Seniors Claire Cook, Lizzy McConkie and Hayley Smith are also “good solid players” that will contribute to the team’s success, according to Burton.
The Redhawks have been working on continuing a team culture of “playing hard team basketball, playing our tails off on defense to make our opponent miserable and to have fun while we do it.”
Bountiful begins the season at Roy Nov. 22 and then will play Murray, Maple Mountain, Springville, Riverton, Olympus, Skyline, Layton, Sky View and Ridgeline until Region 5 home-and-away games with Box Elder, Bonneville, Viewmont, Woods Cross and Northridge.
Also on the 2022-23 squad are senior Morgan Terry; juniors Elsie Burton, Eli Buys, Ellyse Kessler, Savannah Stewart, Melissa Turpin, Daisy Williams, Summer Willis and Megan Youngberg; sophomores Ellen Davis, Isabeau Hoff, Mae Johnson, Anna Larson, Eliza Naegle, Abby Orme and Sayu Yamashita; and freshmen Charlotte Johnson, Milika Satuala and Adelaide Stevenson.
Burton will be joined by Tony Harvey, Kendal Ludwig and Sheridan Graham on the coaching staff this year.
“I want to let our girls do their speaking on the court,” Burton said. “We want to win and will do our best to give us a chance at the end.”
Viewmont senior and Emma Mulitalo and junior Kristina Gunnell led the team in scoring last season and are back for the program being run by new head coach Cameron Gardner.
Gradner said that three other seniors – Rachel Roberts, Lissia Silva and Addie Welsh – will also “bring valuable assets to this team” this season while he expects that several juniors and sophomores will emerge from their competitive practices to compete for varsity playing time and improve as a group.
With a new coaching staff, the Vikings focused in the off-season on establishing relationships and learning new schemes and philosophies within the gym. “We want to develop a culture of great athletes and even better people while having a deep love for basketball,” Gardner said. “We’re trying to help the girls truly appreciate the game and what it can teach us in many facets of life. As their love for the game and a passion to play it as a team grows, this program will get better and better.”
Also on the 2022-23 squad are juniors Karissa Goff, Annika Stout, Breklyn Stout, Cayla Stout, Lily Hawker and Natalia Titensor; sophomores Savoy Ashworth, Mary Carr, Sophie Gold, Kelsey Lindsey, Mara Mickelson, Aubrey Mulitalo, Diandra Partey and Callie Peterson; and freshman Lyvia Jones.
Gardner will be assisted this season by Lindsay Familiar, Natalie Blaylock, Todd Dent and Dylan Cahoon on the coaching staff.
“We are excited to be on this journey with this awesome group of girls,” Gardner said. “We have loved getting to know them better and helping them learn more about the game. They are great students in the classroom, they have put a lot of work in this off-season and they are eager to get the season underway.”
Viewmont tips off the season against Lehi Nov. 22 and will face Riverton, Skyline, Davis and Mountain Crest while also competing in the Uintah and Beetdigger Tournaments before Region 5 play with Woods Cross, Northridge, Bountiful, Bonneville and Box Elder.
Woods Cross returns seniors Georgia Hatton, Kenna Cowley and Alisi Tauataina along with junior Katie King to a squad hoping to compete for the Region 5 title and a deeper run in the 5A state tournament.
Head coach David Simon, in his eighth year, will also rely on seniors Brielle Gefrom, Kaela Jensen and Callie Nelson this season. “I’m excited for this senior class that has worked really hard and has great leadership,” he said.
Simon also noted newcomers Kita Holmes, Mari Nichols, Grace MacArthur and Avery Poulton as expected contributors on the court for the Wildcats.
In the off-season, Simon said skill development was a focus as well as “getting as many girls playing games” as possible.
Also on the team this season are Elsie Roberts, Audrey West, Bailee Cardenas, Izzy Lee, Kiyomi Tauataina, Faith Jacobs, Mary Gilbert, Kaylee Abell, Adia Cook, Sophia Burden, Aspen Lewis, Mersadie Carroll, Ili Crockett and Lucy Thompson.
Woods Cross begins the year at Layton Nov. 22 and will play Clearfield, Syracuse, Stansbury, Hillcrest, Weber, Tooele, Hunter, Copper Hills, Logan and Judge before region home-and-away matchups against Viewmont, Box Elder, Northridge, Bountiful and Bonneville.