There have been no weaklings on the Tooele girls basketball preseason schedule this year, and coach Kris Ashby hopes the brutal competition will pay dividends when region games roll around on Jan. 24.
The opening Region 11 encounter for the Lady Buffs is at region favorite Bear River.
“When we put together this schedule we thought we would be able to compete a little better,” Ashby said. “The main focus of the preseason schedule is to make sure we are ready for region. We’re not too far off; we’re just trying to piece things together.”
A goal for the Lady Buffs is to finish in the top two in region, which would give them a home game in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.
Tooele is 2-9 on the season with a pair of wins over relatively good basketball teams in Box Elder and Carbon. They’ve been drilled in five games, were competitive in three and lost a game to Orem by one point.
Tooele faced another strong foe on Thursday when it traveled to Juan Diego.
Ashby said 11-1 Morgan was the best team his squad has faced all season. Tooele joins the list of several other teams that have been thrashed by the Lady Trojans by huge margins. Morgan’s only loss on the season is a three-point setback against 9-1 Timpview. The Lady Trojans defeated Tooele 74-30 Tuesday night.
Morgan pressured Tooele into several early turnovers and led the Lady Buffs 14-0 by the time Courtney Schiwal connected on two foul shots for Tooele’s first points with 4:07 left in the first quarter.
Tooele cut Morgan’s lead to 10 on an inside shot by Paris Stewart 30 seconds later, but the Lady Buffs remained stuck on 4 for the rest of the first quarter and Morgan led 17-4.
Tooele shuffled several players into the game in an attempt to find a good combination of players, Ashby said.
Amber Haskell came in and sank a jumper to push the point total to six points, but Morgan continued to control the offensive boards, swipe the ball and score to lead 39-13 at intermission.
Tooele came out strong in the third with a baseline jumper from Schiwal and a pair of inside baskets by Hannah Weber. Sydney Simmons and Stewart also scored baskets while Taylor Thomas provided strong rebounding.
But the Lady Buffaloes could not cut into the lead and Morgan led 58-25 after three quarters.
The Trojans continued to pour it on in the fourth with several main players still in the game. They outscored the Lady Buffs 16-5 in the final stanza.
Schiwal scored 8, Haskell 5, Webber 4, Stewart 4, Thomas 3, Aubrey Vanderwerken 2 and Baylee Hansen 2.