Box Elder girls basketball teams claims first region title in 36 years
Addi Peacock gets punished for a shot in the paint in a physical game against East High School last week. The Bees lost, 55-68, but were still able to retain possession of their first region title since 1981.
By Jeremy Jones
While it wasn’t the way the Bees wanted to end their regular season, the Box Elder High School girls still had plenty to celebrate following a loss to East on Thursday, 55-68.
With the result against the Leopards, the Bees ended their regular season at 10-2 and with their first region title since 1981.
Box Elder head coach Aaron Dooley said that despite the loss, “We’re still happy and we’re still celebrating. Thirty-six years is a long time [between region championships] and we can’t lose sight of what these girls and this team has been able to accomplish this year.”
In Thursday’s game, the Bees started strong and built a five-point lead after the first quarter. But the Leopards weren’t about to back down from the top team in the region and cut the lead down to one at the halftime break.
After the break, the Leopards came out firing on all cylinders, lead by Lani Taliauli, who finished with a game-high 22 points. Taliauli proved too much to handle inside and out as she converted on several low post attempts, scored from the free throw line, and connected on three shots from downtown.
Taliauli also got some help as all five Leopards starters hit double figures in scoring as Precious Faamausili and Liana Kaitu each added 13 points while Margarita Satini and Elina Tausinga knocked in 10 points apiece.
The Bees tried to battle back in the second half with some full court pressure defense and their own scoring tandem of Keslee Stevenson, who lead the way with 18 points, and sophomore standout Emily Isaacson, who added 17.
But the comeback wasn’t meant to be despite another 10 points from forward Addi Peacock as the Leopards were able to convert from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the win.
“[The Leopards] came in and were a super-motivated team tonight. They hit a lot of shots and some shots that they don’t normally hit,” Dooley said. “But you have to take your hat off to them. They played great.”
The victory moves the Leopards to 7-5 and ensures them the fourth seed from the region entering the state tournament.
As the top seed from Region 5, the Bees matched up yesterday afternoon in the first round of the state tournament against the fourth seed from Region 7, Corner Canyon (results not available by press time).
The Chargers finished region play at 8-6 and entered the game against the Bees on a see-saw streak, winning every other game during their last six contests.
In order to have success, the Chargers needed a big game from 6-foot 2-inch sophomore forward, Jaeden Vaifanua, who leads the team in scoring at just over 15 points per game.
The winner of the game between the Chargers and the Bees will face the winner of Maple Mountain and Hillcrest tomorrow afternoon at 12:50 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
See next week’s edition for full coverage and results from the girl’s state basketball tournament.
Bees’ season ends with loss to Leopards
By Jeremy Jones
With both teams needing a win to keep their respective post-season hopes alive, the Box Elder High School boys’ basketball team came up with the short end of the stick last Friday night when they hosted East.
In a low-scoring contest that remained tight until the visiting team blew open the game in the fourth quarter, the Leopards got 19 points from big man Mikey Frazier and 10 points from Taylor Zwick in the win.
Neither team could get any separation from the other during the first three quarters, but the Bees did manage to generate a two-point advantage at halftime. The Bees were able to build their lead to four heading into the final period behind leading scorer, Max Watson, who lead the way again with 16 points.
But the Bees couldn’t find much else on the offensive end and went ice-cold in the final quarter, only managing four points as a team during the last period.
Turning defense into offense, the Leopards broke open the game, netting 20 points during the final frame that turned a close game into a 52-40 win.
The win keeps the Leopards in the postseason hunt and moves them to 5-7 on the year.
The loss is the Bees’ sixth in their last seven outings and drops the Bees to 3-8. With only one region game left this season, this loss also proves to be the death blow as it officially knocks the Bees from state playoff contention.
The Bees wrapped up their season last night on the road against Highland (results not available by press time).
While the Bees were only playing for pride, the Rams have motivation to win and keep their own playoff hopes alive by staying ahead of the Leopards for the final playoff spot from Region 5.
With the playoffs slated to start next week, Woods Cross has already locked up the top spot from the region at 11-0. Ogden and Bountiful each sit at 7-4 and have secured the second and third seeds while Highland and East will battle it out for the final spot in the tournament from Region 5.