Draper •Â Monique Mills sauntered off the court while the fans began streaming for the exits, and she narrowed her eyes as she made the statement.
MillsÂ had just led the Juan Diego Soaring Eagle over Snow Canyon, 75-45, and the adrenaline still was flowing. The words were sharp.
"It's important to me to let other teams know that we're not here to lose,"Â she said.
The junior just had poured in a game-high 22 points when she said it. Her words, in this case, were backing up her actions.
Snow Canyon had no answer for Mills throughout the game. She got to the hoop with ease, often ending up on the free throw line, and the only thing that stopped her was coming out of the game in the fourth quarter.
"I decided to drive it when my shot wasn't falling in the second quarter,"Â Mills said.
Mills'Â twin, Dominique, also plagued the Warriors all game, finishing with 16. Together the Mills sisters have caused problems for many opposing teams since they burst onto the high school scene two years ago as freshmen.
"They're great players and they work really hard,"Â Soaring Eagle coach Natalie Williams said. "Tonight we were able to get them to the free-throw line. But they're going to continue to improve."
The win eased the sting the Soaring Eagle felt after Monday's loss to rival Judge Memorial. Monique Mills said the team knew Thursday's game would be an opportunity to show resiliency, a trait she hopes carries on throughout the season. Â
"In practice Tuesday and Wednesday we worked hard,"Â she said. "We knew what we needed to fix Â our defense."
For Williams, the win was in important step in the maturation of a young team. Learning from and fixing mistakes from one game to the next, as Juan Diego did this week, will be a necessity if the Soaring Eagle are to end the season where they want to be.
"We know we're a good team, but we still have a lot to work on,"Â Williams said. "I was subbing in three freshmen and some young sophomores. Being a young team, we definitely want to make our mistakes early so we can be at our peak when we need to towards the end of region and state."
Storylines Juan Diego 75, Snow Canyon 45
R The Soaring Eagle improve to 3-1 with the win.
• The Soaring Eagle outscore the Warriors by 20 points in the second half to pull away.