The Tooele girls basketball team played in four games last week and lost all four, making its record 0-6 in the preseason schedule.
The Lady Buffs started the four-game stretch in West Valley City on Thursday against Hunter High School. The Wolverines defeated the Lady Buffs 48-23. Junior forward Courtney Schiwal led Tooele in scoring with 10 points, followed by junior guard Taylor Thomas with 5 points.
Hunter scorched Tooele with a 22-4 run in the third quarter to extend the lead and eventually win the game.
Tooele scored the first basket of the game on a pass from Schiwal to junior forward Baylee Hansen, but then Hunter went on a 7-0 run. Thomas grabbed a rebound on a miss by Hunter and went coast-to-coast on a fast break for a layup that made the score 7-4. Hunter scored two more buckets for an 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Tooele kept the deficit manageable through the second quarter, trailing 18-12 going into halftime. Schiwal scored on a jump shot to make it 14-6 in favor of Hunter, and Thomas dished a pass to sophomore guard Aubrey Vanderwerken for a baseline jumper for 14-8. Junior forward Whitney Leakehe tossed it over to Schiwal for another baseline jump shot, and junior guard Amber Haskell found senior center Hannah Webber to make the score 16-12.
That’s when Hunter took over to finish with the 25-point victory.
“We’ve got a tough region game coming up, so that’s what these preseason games do is get us ready for that,” said THS head coach Kris Ashby. “I liked that we battled. That’s one thing you wouldn’t notice from the score. It was a physical game, and I thought that we battled the best we could. It was nice to see a few shots go down by a few players. Courtney struggled shooting the first couple of games, and she was able to hit a few shots.”
Ashby said the overall problem in the early season has been the team’s shooting. He said the focus will be for the players to get out of that over the remainder of the preseason games. Execution of the game plan has also been a struggle.
“We’ve got different girls playing in different spots this year,” Ashby said. “We’re trying to run a few things and try different things. We’re still kind of learning some things, so I think each game we’ll get a little bit better at execution.”
The Lady Buffs also played three games at the Shanon Johnson Uintah Classic in Vernal where they lost to Logan, Uintah and Moffat, Colo.
Logan defeated Tooele 68-48 in the first game of the classic. Hansen and Schiwal both scored in double figures; Hansen scored 13 and Schiwal scored 10.
Uintah then beat Tooele 56-38 even with another 10 points scored by Hansen. Finally, Moffat County, out of Craig, Colo., defeated Tooele 62-51.
Tooele next plays at home Tuesday night against Granger. After that it’ll hit the road to battle Box Elder, a rematch of the season opener from a year ago when Box Elder defeated Tooele 45-31.