The Bountiful High 2021-22 girls basketball team.
Photo provided, Joel Burton
Bountifuls Lizzy McConckie tries a shot against Springville in the 5A state semifinals on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at the University of Utah.
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald
BOUNTIFUL – Some people inside and outside Bountiful High’s girls basketball team were insecure before the 2021-22 season began.
Roster turnover happened before rehearsals, and the burden would fall on underclassmen, including a freshman, to lead the team.
So the expectations were uncertain. In preseason polls, the Region 5 coaches still thought of Bountiful as a team in the top half of the region.
Four months later, Bountiful himself exceeded his head coach’s own expectations. The Redhawks went 21-4 overall, 10-0 in Region 5, won 17 games in a row at one point and advanced to the state semifinals.
Bountiful is the 2022 Standard-Examiner All-Area Girls Basketball Team of the Year.
“I honestly thought we would be a good team (at the beginning of the year). Being where we sit was not realistic for me at the time,” said BHS coach Joel Burton after the team’s playoff victory. in the first round over Provo in February. ”When the season is over and the more I have seen these kids play for each other, it has not surprised me that they have done what they have because they play so hard for each other, and I loved watching it. ”
It all happened in an uncertain setting in October and early November.
Bountiful had two starters and a bench player from the 2020-21 team decided not to play at the start of the year, even though one of them (Emrie Satuala) graduated high school early.
So a young team took the floor and won 8-3 in non-regional play. The real challenge, Region 5, awaited.
Region 5 is typically hard to win for any team, although the last three champions have now made it unbeaten – Bountiful this year, Farmington the previous two years.
For the three Southern Davis County teams, it can sometimes be harder because they face two close rivals twice per game. season.
The only thing the Redhawks did was win 10-0 in regional games, beating title challenger and rival Viewmont twice in the same week by single digits each time.
They beat rival Woods Cross twice and also had comebacks in the fourth quarter to beat Box Elder (57-49 behind 43-38) and Northridge (42-35 behind 26-22).
“We have three fights in my mind that we could have lost easily through the region. Viewmont, Box Elder the first time, and even Northridge here… was a little bit skewed. We swept the region, which I did not think anyone could do because I thought our region was really equal, ”Burton said.
At the end of the season, one of the starters from the 2020-21 team, Jordyn Harvey, joined (or joined) the team as a kind of insurance to cover a potential season-ending injury from one of the starters who luckily for BHS, did not happen.
In the six-match stretch with Harvey on the team, BHS went 5-1 with four double-digit wins. The victory over Provo, a 44-25 decision, was the start of the Redhawks’ playoffs.
Next, they were to beat two Region 5 teams for the third time in the same season: Box Elder and Viewmont.
They did just that and jumped into the state semifinals for the first time since 2016. Their season ended in the semifinals against final champion Springville with a 41-21 loss.
After that match, Burton said it was disappointing for the team to only score 21 points and shoot 7 of 34 from the field; however, he was happy with how it went all year, with BHS winning 21 matches.
“The pressure of the moment and Springville combined, these kids have never been here, they have not experienced this,” he said afterwards. “Playing two games here at (University of Utah), I’m extremely proud of them for what they have accomplished.
All in all, a rookie, Taylor Harvey, led the team in scoring and rebounding: 15 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the field.
Two juniors, Lizzy McConkie and Claire Cook, were next in terms of scoring averages with 9.8 and 8.3 points per game, respectively.
The team stuck to its methods all season and shot three times as many 2-pointers (48% shooting) as it did 3-pointers (24% shooting) – the team’s skills were better at getting to the edge – allowing only 36.4 points per game in defense.
“I just think our kids love to play together and they work really, really hard to go out and just try to shut a team down and they’re very proud of that,” Burton said of the defense after the Provo victory. “For myself and my coaching staff, it has been a huge focus for us.”