Girls' basketball: Unbeaten Syracuse isn't letting foot off gas pedal
The seniors on the Syracuse girls basketball team still think about Alta. Not necessarily because the team lost to the Hawks in the 5A championship game last year, and not at the risk of forgetting the next game in front of them.
The Alta game remains in their minds because it's the only match the Titans senior class has lost in their entire high school careers. This group's regular season winning streak now stands at 56 straight games with their 57-41 rout of Layton on Friday.
The loss proved that the Titans aren't invincible that they still have to step on the court ready for anything. It is motivation that has led to a 13-0 start to the season and an average win of 28 points.
"The way the season ended last year, especially for the older kids, has been a real driving force," coach Rob Reisbeck said. "They make sure that every game they go into they respect their opponent and there is no day off. We have to bring out best every game."
The game against Layton was as hyped as a regular season game could be, but Syracuse never thought of it that way. Both teams entered the game undefeated and vying for sole possession of the top spot in Region 1. Still, senior Abby Call reiterated Reisbeck's philosophy.
"It was business as usual," Call said. "It wasn't anything too different from how we approach any game we play. We did what we had to do."
A lot has been written about seniors Brittney Martin and Makenlee Williams, the tandem that have already signed to play at the next level. The two stars are averaging nearly 38 points a game between them. What's left in the shadows is just how good the underclassmen are. Junior Courtney Starks is a relentless rebounder, while sophomore Jayda Bovero is ranked 18 in the nation by ESPN as a guard.
"Our team is solid because of our depth," Call said. "We don't lose anything when we go to our bench. Every girl is talented and contributes."
The young star power at Syracuse points to a continuation of a winning legacy, but this year's senior class has a goal to go out on top like they did two years before. To reach that ultimate goal, though, neither the coaches nor the players are willing to look ahead. There are still games left in the regular season and Reisbeck knows how hard the final stretch will be.
"I think our region top to bottom is one of the toughest," Reisbeck said. "There isn't a night off in this region no matter how good you are. If you don't come to play, you're going to get beat. I think it's going to be a huge advantage to prepare us for the level of competition we'll face at state."
About the Syracuse Titans
Rob Reisbeck was previously an assistant coach to Van Price at Layton before taking over at Syracuse
Brittney Martin has committed to play at Oklahoma State, while Makenlee Williams has committed to Utah State.
In 2009-2010, Syracuse went a perfect 25-0 on its way to a state championship over Pleasant Grove. The loss against Alta in the championship the following year ended a 48-game winning streak.