Leading 26-24 at the half, the American Fork girls put the clamps down on defense and outscored Syracuse 37-18 over the final 18 minutes en route to a convincing 63-42 home win.
Cassidy Fraughton finished with 14 points, but the Cavemen received a significant contribution from backup center Maile Richardson, who led all scorers with 19 points.
“She’s amazing, she’s only a sophomore and her ability to finish really gave us a lift tonight,” Fraughton said.
Syracuse started well, as five players hit jumpers in the first quarter. The Titans led 12-6 at the quarter break but soon ran into foul trouble as starters Paige Trimble and Jayda Bovero both picked up their third fouls midway through the second stanza.
With Caveman starters Fraughton and Ashley Baugh struggling from the field, Richardson — a transfer from Layton — came off the bench and delivered 10 big points that helped American Fork to their halftime advantage.
“I was happy that we didn’t hang our heads after missing some shots in the first half,” said American Fork coach Corey Clayton. “In the third quarter we started to hit some shots and things snowballed from there.”
That third quarter broke the contest open as the Cavemen pumped in 24 points while Syracuse, still battling foul trouble, and with a heavy load of substitutes playing, managed only 10.
Seven Caveman players scored, but 11 played significant minutes, as American Fork’s pressure bothered Syracuse all night.
“We put kind of two halves of intense pressure on a team that likes to pressure, and I thought we gave them a taste of their own medicine,” Clayton said.
For Syracuse, Bovero finally got hot in the final quarter and finished with 13 points, while Trimble also reached double figures for the 0-2 Titans.
American Fork 63, Syracuse 42
• American Fork improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 63-42 win over visiting Syracuse.
• American Fork sophomore center Maile Richardson could be a big addition to an already deep and talented roster. Richardson came off
the bench and led all scorers with 19 points.
• Syracuse starting guard Jayda Bovero finished with 13 points, but battled foul trouble all night.