If Viewmont has its way, the whole state a week from now will have continuing visions of junior Caitlyn Larsen and sophomore Katie Toole racing down the court on baseline-to-baseline fast breaks.
Certainly, Kearns saw plenty of that on Tuesday night.
The visiting Vikings, one year removed from a campaign that had no postseason, will go into the girls’ basketball state tournament as the Region 2 champ after cruising past the host Cougars 64-35.
Toole had 23 points and Larsen added 19, and the pair totalled 14 rebounds between them.
“This is what we should be doing, but I don’t think people expected it because we didn’t make the postseason last year,” Toole said. “I think people are starting to realize that we’re really good.”
Viewmont (19-2, 10-0 in 2-5A) was held fairly in check through the first half of the first quarter as the Vikings struggled connecting against the zone defense from Kearns (7-14, 6-4).
In a 9-9 tie, a Cougars’ turnover kicked off a fast break that ended with a Toole layup. That was with 2:40 remaining in the opening period. Before the quarter ended, Viewmont had doubled up the home team as buckets from Susi Teisina, Collette West and Larsen made the score 18-9.
“That’s our game. That’s not really news to anyone that we like to uptempo it,” Viewmont coach Clint Straatman said. “We like to trap or press to force the tempo. We’ll make some mistakes along the way, but we do like to push it.”
Kearns got eight points from both Ayana Solovi and McKalie Tanner in the loss. The Cougars will go in as the second place team from Region 2 and will either play Layton, Fremont and Syracuse — depending on which of those teams finish third in Region 1.
Of course, Kearns hasn’t played any of those squads this season.
“We haven’t played anybody but Davis [the Region 1 champ],” Cougars coach Emily Williams said. “We definitely had to find ourselves this year and we’re really young. We’ve got a lot of young players that have to pick it up a little bit. This is an eye-opener for them as far as this is what we have to do and this is what we have to get done.”
For the Vikings, the regular season ends with a 12-game winning streak.
“There’s a lot of great teams out there and whoever gets on a roll will win it,” Straatman said. “We’re playing well as a team and that’s what it takes to do well at state.”