Sandy • Alta forward Landon Albrecht jogged off the court, a trail of Hawks players following behind him, as the band finally played a victory anthem that had been earned early in the game.
Albrecht stopped in the hallway to explain what had just happened. Alta’s frenetic wall of man defense had scrambled West Jordan’s offense. Its length caused turnovers and bad passes, jumbling West Jordan’s rhythm. Alta held the Jaguars to 39 points, 13 fewer than their previous season low.
“Defense has always been a big part of Alta,” Albrecht said of how the Hawks’ man defense led to a 64-39 victory on Friday. “It’s like a tradition to play man. We work hard to play defense. That’s, like, our main thing. ... I think our defense is one of the top in the state. It’s how we win most of our games.”
Alta’s defense started off strong, but as the game wore on, it appeared to become more energized. The Hawks held the Jaguars to 10 points in the first quarter, then 15 combined in the next two to turn a tight game into another blowout.
“I’ve got some good length on the perimeter,” Hawks coach Jim Barker said. “It makes it tough for smaller guards and that’s why they had a little more trouble. We had length on them out there.”
As unselfish as the Hawks were on the defensive end, they matched it on offense. Six Hawks contributed significant points, led by Elijah Glissmeyer’s 14. Sharing the ball is a trait Albrecht said is natural to the Hawks, whose point distribution often is spread wide.
“None of us want to be selfish,” Albrecht said. “We want to play team ball because we want to have good chemistry. No one really cares about stats — it’s about winning, no matter who’s doing good that night.”
The win was another step in what is shaping up to be a dream season for the Hawks, who still haven’t lost to an in-state team. Barker said his team is not looking past the present, however, no matter what opportunities may await.
“These guys last year were about 6-8, and then we made a good run in the second half of the season,” Barker said. “So they know all it takes is a couple losses and people don’t talk about you. We’re not worried about that now.”
O Alta’s defense holds West Jordan to a season-low 39 points.
• Four Hawks finish in double digits, led by Elijah Glassmeyer’s 14.