Grizzly defense key to victoriesFeb 07, 2022 03:35PM ● By Greg James
Copper Hills sophomore Ellie Taylor is averaging nearly 13 points per game this season. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Copper Hills took the first of two crosstown region games against West Jordan. Its game plan nearly mirrors its season so far.
“We played intense at the start and then let up a little,” Grizzly head coach Jake Timpson said.
They jumped out to a 9-0 lead before the Jaguars clawed their way back into the game.
“We were able to put pressure on them in the beginning and that got us into a groove,” Timpson said.
They led 17-8 after the first period and never trailed. West Jordan cut the lead to four at one point, but the Grizzlies held on for a 53-48 victory.
“When we put pressure on defensively, good things happen,” Timpson said.
Sophomore Ellie Taylor leads the team in scoring averaging 12.2 points per game. She scored a season-high 22 in a win over Provo in early December.
In his second season as the head coach, Timpson finds himself with a team similar to last season. It is young in places with several underclassmen but has a group of talented seniors.
“We have a mix of young girls and veterans,” he said. “If we decide to play the right way, good things usually happen. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out the way we want to play and how to approach each game.”
At 6-foot-3, Amelia Brady has provided the senior leadership Timpson has hoped for. She is second in scoring with just over nine points per game but has grabbed over eight rebounds per contest.
“I think our young girls are doing a great job,” Timpson said. “They are coming to practice every day, working their butts off and trying to learn. The seniors have been leading them into good positions. My hope is they can learn to compete once these leaders are gone. They have got to make plays in crunch time.”
Freshmen Ayla Martson and Skylie Barker have contributed off the bench. Junior Jada Vick handles the ball well in transition and is putting the team into winning positions.
The Grizzlies started the season by losing three of their first four games. They were then able to reel off wins in seven of their next nine games.
“[Taylor] has been good for us,” Timpson said. “[Barker] and [ Martson] both are a young talent that needs to develop and get experience on the court. I think we will compete for a few years. We have a good mix.”
The Grizzlies are scheduled to have three straight homes games beginning Feb. 1, against Bingham, West Jordan and Herriman. The state tournament is scheduled to begin on Feb. 22 at the top seed's home sites.
The Grizzlies are now in Region 3 with Bingham, West Jordan, Herriman, Riverton and Mountain Ridge high schools. The season has not been interrupted yet even as schools are reinstating virtual learning due to COVID-19..
“This year has been easier [than last season]; we have been having consistent practices,” Timpson said.
“Overall, it is starting to feel like normal. I really think you should keep an eye on our team.”