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West Valley City Journal

Local girls basketball teams struggle for wins

Jan 31, 2017 02:47PM ● By Greg James

Granger girls basketball team huddles around their new coach Shawnee Smith. (Greg James/ City Journals)

By Greg James | [email protected]

The high school girls teams in West Valley lack wins, but they do not give up. They all lack varsity experience and it shows in the team’s results.


“We lack experience, but we are a team with a ton of potential. They are just young and learning how to play the game at this level,” said Granger head coach Shawnee Smith.


Smith is in her first year as head coach for the Lancers. She takes over for Aaron Cousins. She has coached for seven years in the program. Cousins stepped down after last season.


“Our system is different this year. It has been hard to teach fundamentals and new offenses and defenses to them. We have crammed a lot into their minds. We also are working to build confidence in their game,” Smith said.


The Lancers replace their all-time leading scorer with the graduation of Melisa Kadic. She is playing at Western Nebraska Community College. She is averaging 7.5 points per game for the Cougars.


“I think we are feisty and aggressive. I think we have strong post play too. The leaders are still finding their way on the team. It takes time. It is frustrating to lose, but we understand where we are going. These girls have so much heart,” Smith said.


Granger is 0-13 so far this season. Hunter has one victory this season. They defeated Tooele 38-34.


Cameron Gardner is the Wolverines new head coach. He takes over for Chelsea Robinson. Gardner comes to Hunter from Pinnacle High School near Price, Utah.


“I am excited and optimistic. It will be a challenge to build a program at Hunter,” said Gardner before the season began.


Hunter sophomore Angel Lui is the team’s leading scorer. She is averaging 7.1 points per game.


The Wolverines have missed the inside presence of Kimauri Toia. She graduated last spring and is now playing at Salt Lake Community College. She is averaging four points and two rebounds per game for the Bruins.


Cyprus had five preseason wins including wins over Granger (40-32) and Hunter (34-21). Against the Lancers they trailed at halftime by eight points, but were able to claw their way back for the victory. In the Hunter game they built an 11-point lead to cruise to the victory.


The Pirates leading scorer is junior Ashley Flatter. She is averaging nearly 10 points per game.


The 5A and 4A state basketball tournaments are scheduled to begin Feb. 20 at Salt Lake Community College.