Taylorsville • Skyline might have won the Class 4A girls’ basketball state title a year ago, but coach Lynette Schroeder doesn’t view the Eagles as the defending champion in the realigned Class 5A this year.
“We don’t see ourselves as the same team,” Schroeder said after her team destroyed Alta 59-38 in Monday’s first round of the Class 5A tournament at SLCC. “We’ve kind of had that focus that we did not win state. It alleviates any pressure.”
Skyline didn’t look as if it felt much pressure at all. The Eagles never trailed in this one. With Madison Grange, Cameron Mooney and Barrett Jessop doing most of the damage, Skyline broke it wide open with a 24-8 second quarter that included an 18-1 run.
“We had that mentality to come in and match anything they had,” said Grange, who led the Eagles with 23 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists. “We worked as a team in the second half and moved the ball around. We matched the physicality they brought.”
Mooney added 16 points and 10 rebounds and dominated inside on defense.
Skyline, which came in as co-champion in Region 6 with East, was more than aware that league winners Skyridge and Roy were upset in the previous two games.
“I definitely mentioned that to my players before we played,” Schroeder said. “In the last three games, two ended up in upsets. I thought we were able to dictate the tempo defensively and offensively, which is what we wanted to do.”
Alta, which actually outscored Skyline by one point in the second half, never recovered from its slow start and cold shooting. The Hawks, which got 13 points from Mattea Sete and 11 from Marlee Albrecht, shot just 25 percent from the field.
Skyline might not consider itself the defending champion, but the Eagles showed that it will take a good team to beat them again this year.
SKYLINE 59, ALTA 38
• Madison Grange scores 23 points, hauls down 18 rebounds and grabs four steals to pace defending Class 4A champion Skyline.
• Skyline uses an 18-1 run in the second quarter to put Alta away early.
• Alta shoots just 25 percent from the field as the Hawks struggle with the taller Eagles.