Champions are Made of Sugar, Spice, and Defense!

Written by Sarah Sullivan

On Thursday, February 6, Payson Junior High’s Freshman Girls Basketball Team had a special net-cutting ceremony to celebrate their place as District Champions.

The night before, the girls played Mapleton in the championship game, and ended up victorious with an overall score of 30-17. The high scorers were Lucy Hales with 9 points and Allison Pray with 8. But Coach Corbett, Assistant coach to the Lady Grizzlies, credited their success mostly to their defense. He said, “We had a team goal to hold each opponent to under 20 points- and we did it! They all worked so hard and they met that goal.”

In the pre-season they scored 0-3.  In the team won over Spanish Fork, and rival Mount Nebo, but lost to Mapleton.  “This game provided a new desire in the team to stay focused and close out opponents when they have the chance.” said Mr.Corbett the assistant coach.  The scored 529 total points this season, and had an 11 game winning streak,with an overall record of 13 wins, and 4 losses.  They are the new district champions, and to celebrate ‘cut the net’ on February sixth.  Every member of the team even signed a ball to keep in our trophy case, that can remind us of their dedication.  

At the net-cutting ceremony, Principal Swenson talked about how nervous he was at the game. He explained, “I was shaking, and I wasn’t even playing! But we are so proud… This came from a lot of work and a lot of time...You worked as a team and did it together! And you became friends off the court. These girls are all great examples to PJHS.”

Over the season there were injuries to key players Lucy Hale, and Alison Pray.  Inspite of the injuries the team was strong.  Mr. Corbett, and Mrs.Fox really enjoyed teaching these wonderful, dedicated girls.  They came to practice determined to improve themselves individually, and as a whole.  

The team members are Alexis Taylor, Larian Rosser, Amanda Rowley, Allison Pray, Kimberly Martin, Ashlyn Bollar, Jessalyn Etheridge, Lucy Hales, Abbie Smith, Sierra Bolton, Terissa Hamilton (who plays for Payson High’s team), and team managers Natalia Godinez, and Madison Bean.

The team’s love for the game, for their coaches, and for each other was apparent as spectators watched this wonderful celebration. They have worked incredibly hard all season and that work paid off! Congratulations ladies- you are champions!