Final Year for First Charger Girls Basketball PlayersJan 26, 2016 08:51AM ● By Ron Bevan
By Ron Bevan | r[email protected]
Draper - Coach Jeramy Acker has been with the girls basketball program from the beginning two years ago, when this year’s senior class was adjusting to a new school and some even a new sport.
Now the first girls to wear the blue uniforms of Corner Canyon are in their final season, and Acker, who was an assistant for two seasons is now the head coach.
“It’s going to be tough to see these seniors go,” Acker said. “We grew this program together. It has been tough at times, but that is expected at a new school.”
When Corner Canyon opened its doors in 2013, it opened with a larger studentbody than previously expected. Although the school enrollment was big, some of the athletic programs suffered due to athletes choosing to stay at the schools they had already represented.
Corner Canyon’s first basketball team was one affected in the 2013-2014 season. Some players on that squad had never played competitive basketball. Others were athletes in different sports that wanted to try a new thing. And the first year ended with no victories.
“We have been progressing a lot since that first season,” Acker said. “Back then the focus was to teach the girls how to play basketball together and how to mix the beginning players with those who had experience.”
Acker said the main focus the last two years was to run sets and hope they worked.
“We would call play after play,” he said. “If it didn’t work, the girls would reset and look to the bench for another play to be called.”
But now the team has matured and Acker is seeing a change in the game.
“Now the focus is on playing basketball,” he said. “We have been teaching them how to read the game and react. They are picking it up and getting better everyday.”
Of the four seniors on the team this season, two have been with the program from day one. Brittany Tanner and Madison Alder has helped grow the program.
“I am proud of those two because they have never complained, even when things were tough,” Acker said. “They have bought into our program from the beginning. They have accepted the team collectively growing so we can reach our goals.”
Eden Withers is another senior with experience, but didn’t began with the first season. Now on her second year with the team, Withers also represented Corner Canyon as the starting goalkeeper on the girls soccer team. Withers talked soccer teammate Becca Turner-Drown into coming out for the team this season.
But Corner Canyon still relies on a mixture of experience and youth to fuel this year’s squad. The Chargers start three sophomores and two juniors most games, with 5’6” sophomore guard Annie Bowen leading the way.
Bowen is the leading Charger scorer with 108 points. Her next closest teammates are sophomore Nicole Critchfield with 61 points, and junior Grace Sunderland with 59.
“Bowen is a superstar in the making,” Acker said. “She is instrumental in our game plan, but also to get other players more confident. People feed off her energy.”