Prep girls' basketball: Riverton subdues American Fork
Riverton • Only one player reached double digits in scoring for the Riverton girls' basketball team during Tuesday's game against American Fork.
Funny thing is, that's exactly the way the Silverwolves like it.
Riverton avenged one of its region losses and pulled even with American Fork for second place in the standings with a 48-34 victory. Jamie Smith scored 11 points to lead the Silverwolves, while four others scored at least six points.
"We play as a team and feed off each other," Smith said. "We all score evenly. We'll be looking for one person and pass it off, then someone else will get hot. We all build off each other. It's an awesome feeling to play that way."
At the start, however, both teams were ice cold. American Fork (6-2, 16-4) was scoreless through the first four minutes of the game, while Riverton (6-2, 17-2) didn't get its first points until Gerika Ballard's basket five minutes into the contest.
While the points began flowing for Riverton late in the first quarter, American Fork struggled to keep up. The Silverwolves had put together a 26-10 run to end the half and led by 10 points (28-18) at the break.
"Both teams started slow," Riverton coach Ron Ence said. "Any team that gets down needs to take a deep breath, not panic and chip away. We kept our composure playing one of the top teams in the state."
Riverton maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half, but Erin Bergeson's basket at the third-quarter buzzer pulled American Fork within 36-26. The Silverwolves answered with a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter, with several players getting their opportunity to contribute.
"We're certainly one of those teams that count on a contribution from eight to nine players," Ence said. "I don't have an iron five. It's a good win because American Fork is so fast and talented. I think they're one of the best shooting teams in all of 5A. Their coach knows where to put them on the floor."
Riverton's defense had a lot to do with American Fork's inability to score. After combining for 28 points in their first region meeting, Cavemen post players Amy Bergeson and Maile Richardson totaled just two points in the rematch. Ballard and Whitney Saunders helped control the paint for Riverton.
"They're a good team, but we stepped up and played good trap defense," Smith said. "We had nothing to lose. We're hoping to get a higher seed for playoffs."
Ballard had six points and 12 rebounds for Riverton, while Mallory Bostic scored nine points, Saunders eight and Elyssa Marchant six. Cassidy Fraughton had nine points and eight rebounds to lead American Fork. Bergeson and Richardson combined for 13 rebounds, although their points were limited.