West Valley High School Girls Basketball Preview
Dec 09, 2015 11:56AM
● By Bryan Scott
By Greg James
West Valley - The high school sports scene has turned its focus inside now for winter sports.
The girls basketball teams at Hunter, Granger and Cyprus high schools have begun the trek towards possible playoff appearances and region championships.
Last year, the Granger Lancers and Hunter Wolverines finished within one game of each other. The two West Valley schools split their regular season contests. Each team managed a victory on their home court; Hunter beat Granger 46-44 and Granger won 49-33. They are scheduled to play each other twice this season: Jan. 26 and Feb. 16. Those games could hold major implications into a Region 2 championship.
A key to this season for the Lancers will be the return of senior Melisa Kadic. She averaged 15.4 points and 2 assists per game last season. She opened this year with 24 points in the Lancers’ 54-29 victory over Ogden.
Senior Lizzy Peterson hit three 3-point shots in their first victory. She is averaging nine points per game for the Lancers.
The Granger defense clamped down against Cyprus Dec. 1. They held the Pirates to two points in the third quarter. The Lancers were able to rebound from a 20-13 halftime deficit to pull out the victory 38-29.
The Lancers are scheduled to begin region play Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Layton.
Cyprus hopes to turn things around this season. They closed out last year with only two victories. Defense proved to be an issue. They allowed nearly 51 points per game, while they never scored more than 47 all season.
The Pirates’ leading scorer this season has been junior Elyse Smith. She has averaged 7.6 points per game. Junior forward Akosita Tuitupou and senior Lomi Aiolupotea have both averaged over six points per game.
The Pirates are scheduled to participate in the Tooele County Classic Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18 and 19. In the three-game tournament, the Pirates are scheduled to play Pine View, Desert Hills and Ben Lomond.
Hunter lost only one region game last season en-route to their championship. In their second consecutive playoff appearance, they lost to Davis 44-36 in the first round.
The Wolverines return their two leading scorers from last season: seniors Jennifer Burnham and Kimauri Toia. They averaged 25.5 points between them last season. Burnham scored 20 against Copper Hills Dec. 4 and 21 in their loss to Timpview.
Toia recently signed a letter of intent to continue playing basketball at UNLV after she graduates.
The Utah High School Activities Association realigned its regions this season. Granger and Hunter will face Davis, Layton, Syracuse, Viewmont and West. Cyprus will compete against Hillcrest, Kearns, Murray, Olympus and Skyline.