OREM — A glance at the scoreboard will show that North Summit beat Manti 58-44 Friday in the first round of the 2A girls tournament, but the game was more of a battle than the score suggests.
Junior Elise Richins was the key to the Braves' offense. She racked up 12 points and had a hand in most of North Summit’s baskets. Her effect was felt so much that The Templars had to switch to a man-to-man defense just to keep a defender on her at all times.
“She does great and sets the offense up,” North Summit coach Jerre Holmes said. “But she is also good at taking the ball to the hole, especially on the break. We have to have her do that five or six times a game to get those gimmies.”
Just before half Richins went out of the game with an apparent injury after she hit her head on the floor. Luckily for Holmes, Richins was able to start the second half and continued to impact the game.
Manti started the second half out down 11, but it began to have some success by scoring inside. The Templars also went to a full-court press that gave North Summit some problems.
“We just were trying to get our full-court press breaker,” Richins said.
Despite struggling to get past the full-court press, the Braves held onto their lead throughout and secure the win. Holmes was worried before the game that the pressure to win would have a negative effect on his team. He also contributes the struggle with the full-court pressure in his team’s urgency to get the game over with.
“I was pleased hat we didn’t let that pressure get to us, but we will have to take better care of the ball,” Holmes said.
North Summit’s offense was successful because of its shot selection. The Braves would push the ball when the opportunities came, but they would also slow down play and moved the ball well. The ball movement allowed North Summit to pick out its shots instead of rushing them.
In the end, Holmes was just pleased to get the win. He was not too concerned with how his team played, as long as they got the win. If Holmes can keep his team playing this well then the Braves could be looking at a deep run in the playoffs. Next up for North Summit is South Sevier next Thursday in Richfield.