Riverton girls narrowly miss playoff semis
Apr 10, 2018 03:44PM
● By Greg James
Senior Jayde Burgess helped lead the Silverwolves to another state tournament appearance. (dsandersonpics.com)
The Silverwolves girls basketball team keeps on rolling.
“We had 18 great wins to enjoy, and a majority of teams do not even come close to accomplishing that,” girls head coach Ron Ence said. “It is a disappointment to lose the last game, but the girls will look back on this season as being fun and successful.”
Riverton advanced in the girls 6A state tournament to the second round and faced Fremont in the battle of the Silverwolves (although Fremont spells its mascot as two words).
Riverton had maintained a firm grasp on the lead throughout the game. It led by as many as 11 in the first quarter, but Fremont scratched its way back and took its first lead with 4:52 remaining in the game.
The game seesawed back and forth, and Riverton’s Kaitlin Burgess hit a three-pointer from the corner to tie the game with less than 10 seconds remaining. The team exploded in jubilation during the ensuing timeout, and Burgess covered her face in excitement, but Fremont would not give up.
“Fremont is so good that we could not afford mistakes,” Ence said. “We lost a good lead due to some mistakes, yet we played well enough to still almost pull out the victory.”
Fremont inbounded the ball and drove the length of the court for the final layup and a two-point victory 48-46.
“I am very proud of this team in overcoming so many players who missed games due to injuries, sickness and eligibility issues,” Ence said. “Our winning tradition continues. We have played in the quarter finals or better in 10 of the last 13 years.”
Senior Morgan Kane led the team in scoring and averaged 19.2 points per game. She finished with 22 points and 14 in rebounds in the Fremont playoff game.
Kane has committed to play at Iowa State after she graduates. The 6-foot-2-inch senior was a three-year captain for the Silverwolves. She scored in double figures in all but one of the games she played in this season. She missed several games with a sprained ankle.
“Every year we are successful, our teams show similar qualities,” Ence said. “We had excellent post play by Morgan and some excellent outside shooting from Jayde and Kaitlin Burgess. We had several other players who did not score as much but played a vital role on defense and teamwork.”
The Burgess cousins combined to average 15 points per game. Jayde is a senior, and Kaitlin is a junior.
Riverton competed in the newly aligned Region 3. Copper Hills won the region championship, Riverton was second, Herriman finished third, Taylorsville fourth and an improved West Jordan team placed fifth.
“We were very familiar with all of our region opponents from all of the previous years,” Ence said.
The region finished 3-4 in the state tournament. Riverton won one game, and Copper Hills won two.