By Cara Southwick
There is something extra special about firsts. We’ll always revere George Washington as being our FIRST president; Amelia Earhart as the FIRST woman to make a solo transatlantic flight; and Neil Armstrong as being the FIRST man to walk on the moon. And so it was, as I sat on the bleachers at Midvale High School, November 18, 2019, that I realized I was a witness to a host of FIRSTS as the Tri-Valley Lady Titans stepped onto the court for their first game of the season under the direction of their first-time varsity girls’ coach, Jeff Springer, assisted by Kristin Nolte and Dennis Holmes.
Taking the center ring for the first tip-off against the Liberty Charter Patriots was Zoe Ertel. Joining the starting line-up was Emma Hollon, Josey Jones, Lauryn Mitchell, and Morgan Wood. Also gracing the varsity roster this year are Hadley Atnip, Manon Tyler, Brielle Cisco, Anna DeVries, Abigale Atnip, Maren Hansen, Lauren DeVries, and Larissa Hansen.
Firsts of the game came quickly with Emma getting the first defensive turnover and rebound, Josey getting the first points for the team off a stunning 3-pointer along with the first jump ball, Lauryn getting the first foul for the team, and Anna being the first off the bench.
The first quarter turned out to be a pretty even match with the Patriots leading the Titans 9 to 8 as the buzzer sounded. The tug-o-war battle continued throughout the second quarter, ending the first half with the Titans leading the Pirates 18 to 15.
Tri-Valley worked hard to increase their lead in the third quarter, but the Pirates drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer, making the score 29 to 25 in favor of the Titans. It was at this point of the game that the Titans put their already tight defense into overdrive and took control of the game, outscoring the Pirates 20 to 6 and settling the final score of their first game 49 to 30.
Scoring accolades go to Josey Jones with 14 points, Zoe Ertel with 12 points, and Emma Hollon with 11 points.
After the game, Coach Springer summed up the win in one word, “Defense.” “Defense,” he emphasized, “made the difference in the game. The girls did some really good things tonight.”
As I gathered my purse and camera and headed for the car, I felt especially satisfied to be a witness of so many firsts in the girls’ opening debut that ended with the first win of the season.
The Lady Titans will take the court again November 26, 2019 in Rimrock with the JV at 6:00 p.m. and the Varsity at 7:30 p.m. It will be interesting to see what a study in seconds will bring.