American Fork • Up 14 points on the road against a team many consider one of the best in Class 5A, Savannah Park weaved through a sea of defenders, just like she had done all night, and tossed up an off-balanced left-handed layup.
It kissed off the glass and skipped through the net.
It was that kind of night for Park and her Springville Red Devils, who improved to 4-0 on the road Thursday night, defeating previously unbeaten American Fork 63-56.
“I feel like we play better when we’re on the road because we play like we have something to prove,” said Park, Springville’s junior point guard.
Coming into the showdown with a team as talented as American Fork, the Class 4A Red Devils set out to prove they had as much depth and talent as the Cavemen.
They did that, and then some.
Senior forward Malia Nawahine scored a game-high 19 points, while Park finished with 17 and junior center Brooke Wheeler had 13.
The Red Devils showed they were capable of being multifaceted on offense, but it was their defense that led the way. They put handcuffs on American Fork star Cassidy Fraughton for the first three quarters — Fraughton would lead a fourth-quarter comeback with 11 in the final period — and kept a deep Cavemen team at bay for most of the night.
“We always take pride in our defense, and I think that’s just what we always remember,” said Springville coach Nancy Warner.
Springville’s defense led to a number of runs in the game, including a 15-3 run in the first half as well as outscoring American Fork 20-8 in the third quarter, which led to a 50-30 advantage at the start of the fourth.
The Red Devils had nine steals in the game and kept the game moving at a quick pace behind Nawahine, Park and guards Hannah Packard and Ashli Averett, who hit key shots whenever American Fork was threatening to inch its way back into the game.
“Our defense picked up,” Nawahine said. “Our team’s in shape, and we can run the floor really well.”
The Red Devils remain unblemished thus far this season at 4-0, while the Cavemen now have a mark in the loss column at 4-1.
“Our coaches just told us, ‘Forget about their name,’ and to come in and play our game,” Park said.
R Springville senior Malia Nawahine scores a game-high 19 points to help the Red Devils stay undefeated.
• Down 20 after the third quarter, American Fork attempts a comeback, led by Cassidy Fraughton’s 11 points, but the rally falls short.