Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 1, 2012
Top players showed prowess on the court

In 2011-12, girls basketball teams in the county had varying degrees of success. Stansbury made the playoffs, Tooele was in the playoff fight until the final week of the season and Grantsville struggled and ended up with a winless season.

Each local team had a player named on the all-county girls team and even Dugway’s Nadaja Bullock made the list. The sports department at the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin selected a starting five girls for the all-county team while naming a handful of reserves for their performance in the 2011-12 season. Players are not listed by position, just by pure performance throughout the season.

Stansbury had the top two leading scorers in the county and both Erika Alvey and Kendal Levine made the starting five.

As a junior, Alvey is a girl that opponents can’t leave open near the 3-point line. The Stansbury guard nailed 35 shots from behind the arc and averaged 13.1 points a game in the season.

Similar to her team, Alvey got better as the season went on as she had a pair of 20-point games in the final four games of the season. Stansbury as a team lost eight of its first 10 games but got better and ended up earning the third seed out of Region 11.

In one of her better games of the season, Alvey came up big when the Stallions needed a win. She scored 20 points against Ben Lomond in early February in the must-win game for Stansbury that catapulted them to a playoff position.

Alvey’s shooting went along well with the speed and ball-handling of Levine, who also made the starting five of the all-county team. Levine has a innate ability to get to the basket and around a defender and the senior also had a solid jump shot that allowed her to average 11 points a game on the year.

Levine hit the 20-point barrier twice in the season but one came against rival Tooele late in the season. Levine scored 20 points against the Buffaloes in a three-point victory in late January that helped propel the Stallions to the playoffs.

Tooele rounds out the remaining three girls in the starting five of the all-county team as the Buffaloes narrowly missed out on the playoffs this season. Becca Smaellie, Lizzie Stewart and Marina Jaramillo all made the starting five for Tooele County.

As a senior, Smaellie was a dominant post presence for the Buffaloes that averaged 9.6 points a game. If Smaellie found the ball in the paint, chances were good that Tooele would be putting points on the board.

In one of the best games of the year for Tooele, Smaellie came up big. In an important game for Tooele’s playoff chances, Smaellie not only scored 18 points in the game but also hit the game-winning shot in the final seconds to beat the Tigers in late January. Tooele missed out on the playoffs but it wasn’t due to the effort of Smaellie.

While Smaellie was a strong player on the inside for Tooele, Stewart was the ball handling play-maker for the Buffaloes. Stewart served as point guard for Tooele but was also called upon to score on occasion.

Stewart averaged 9.1 points a game on the season but her ability to get around defenses proved invaluable for Tooele. Stewart had a 20-point, five-rebound game against Grantsville early in the region season but also came up with 12 points in a must-win game over Ben Lomond in early February to help Tooele pick up the win in both games.

Tooele also had another option down low in Jaramillo who not only put up a lot of points but also had a propensity for grabbing rebounds. Jaramillo averaged 7.4 points a game but also reached double figures in rebounds in three games.

Her one double-double in Region 11 came against Bear River in mid-January where Jaramillo put up 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. In a big game for Tooele, Jaramillo narrowly missed out on a double-double against Ogden in late January. The senior grabbed 12 rebounds and dropped in nine points in the victory over the Tigers, just one point away from the double-double.

Even though Grantsville didn’t have a girl in the starting five, Whitney Turner did make the reserves for the all-county team. Turner was a gritty player that wasn’t afraid of roaming through the paint to get points as she averaged six points a game.

The junior for Grantsville scored in double-figures in three region games but her best game came against Stansbury in mid-January where she scored 16 points.

Bullock for Dugway was technically the highest-scoring girl in the county as she averaged 15.8 points a game in 1A basketball. Bullock scored 20-plus points in seven games for the Mustangs as she has the ability to get out in front of opponents with her speed.

In her best region game, Bullock dropped in 26 points in a victory over Rockwell in late January as Dugway went undefeated in Region 18 with a 8-0 record.

The final girl listed in the reserves is sophomore Bailey Wilson from Stansbury. Wilson was a solid presence in the post for Stansbury that also helped to gather rebounds.

In her best region game, Wilson dropped in 13 points in an early region victory over Ogden in January. With two more years left of basketball, Wilson will have plenty of time to continue to improve.

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