Herriman • Defense didn’t win the Herriman Mustangs a championship Tuesday, but it won them the game.
The Mustangs girls’ basketball team forced four Lone Peak turnovers in the first two minutes, jumping out to an 8-0 and going on to win 63-50 thanks to 22 turnovers in total.
“We’ve been working really hard to put in our new presses,” Herriman coach Keisha Jones said. “It worked well today. The girls were playing more together, and the defense is a big part of that.”
A key cog in Herriman’s defense is senior guard Milee Enger, who played a vital role in organizing the press.
“We’ve been working a lot on these presses for a few weeks,” Enger said. “To come out and see them work and for us to execute them for good results was really good for our confidence.”
Enger scored 12 points for Herriman, but it was her younger sister, Ainzlee, who led the team with 15 points.
“Little sis,” Milee Engler said. “We have this little joke where we shake our hands when one of us scores or gets an assist. She just kept scoring, so we were shaking our hands a lot tonight.”
Ainzlee Engler, who entered Tuesday averaging 3.4 points per game this season, had no idea she scored 15 until after the game. Seven of her points were scored off Lone Peak turnovers.
“I just felt good,” she said. “My shots were falling early, so I just kept putting them up. Then I grabbed a couple steals and just put the ball up.”
After scoring two points in Herriman’s first three games, Ainzlee Enger’s role began to grow. Jones said she could see the freshman’s growth each game, and a performance like Tuesday’s was imminent.
“She was huge for us,” Jones said. “You could see in practice that she’s been getting more confident in her shot, and it’s showing in the games. The upperclassmen have done such a nice job of encouraging her and the rest of the team, and that’s just making everybody play better.”
HERRIMAN 63, LONE PEAK 50
• Herriman forces 22 turnovers in its fifth straight victory.
• Freshman guard Ainzlee Enger leads all scores with 15 points, while Jayln Vandyke (13) and Milee Enger (12) also finish in double figures for the Mustangs.
• Abby Conlee leads Lone Peak with 11 points.