Earned, Not Given
By Greg James firstname.lastname@example.org
West Jordan - The top-ranked Copper Hills girls basketball team in the state does not take anything for granted. The backs of their warm-ups remind them of their goal: meruit non datur, Latin for earned, not given.
“Every team has a slogan. We wanted ours to mean something. We certainly know that we need to work for everything we get. This has been a magical season. I have enjoyed the chemistry and camaraderie. I do not think we have had that in the past. The wins are great and everyone wants to win, but more importantly I love to see the individual growth,” head coach Ben Morley said.
The Grizzlies have dominated their opponents this season; they won 20 games in a row and clinched a Region 3 title.
Senior Shirsten Wissinger leads class 5A in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game. She has become a dangerous shooter from the perimeter. In January she received a nomination as a McDonalds All-American.
“We are proud when our girls get recognized. I am most proud of her for being academic all-state. The basketball success is good, but academic all-state is four years of hard work. Having her as a part of our team has really helped us,” Morley said.
Wissinger gets plenty of help from Ashley Larsen and Mikelle Magalogo. Larsen averages 6.4 rebounds per game and Magalogo impacts both ends of the court.
“Mikelle’s progress is impossible to overstate. She was tiny as a freshman, but she has grown and is getting better. She is our lock- down defender. I think she gets overlooked sometimes,” Morley said.
The Grizzlies’ quest for an undefeated regular season will depend on its final game at home against Brighton, the defending champions, Feb. 16 (after press deadline).
The success the Grizzlies have seen this season was not foreseen. Many of the Region 3 coaches had them picked to finish second in the region.
“There are some tough teams. Like Birghton, and Bingham is always one of the top teams. I hope that we can be right there. It will be an interesting year. There is not one dominant team. It is wide open,” Morley said.
The success the Grizzlies have had this season is building the school’s reputation as a basketball mecca. Morley said they are building a program that girls can get involved in at a young age, develop and have a great experience.
The class 5A state tournament is scheduled for Feb. 23-27 at Salt Lake Community College (after press deadline).