In the four-year history of Herriman High School, its girls’ basketball team has played in one state tournament game (2013). The Mustangs fell two wins short of returning there last season. Now head coach Jill Ames hopes her team can gain needed varsity experience to attain their goals this season.
“We will need to practice, practice and practice to get our defense to where it needs to be. I know we will figure out our positioning and get some of these girls the experience they need. I know these girls want to do it. Our goals include playing good defense by holding the other team to 40 points or less,” Ames said.
Defense has been important in the Mustangs four year history. They have 18 wins and three losses when they hold their opponents to 40 points or less, including their first victory this season, a 49-25 victory over Hillcrest Nov. 21.
The scrappy freshman duo of Milee Enger and Macy Markus could see time together in the back court for the Mustangs. Enger scored eight points and Markus added two in the win over Hillcrest. Together, they scored 10 in a 55-37 loss to Kearns Nov. 20.
“Our freshmen [Enger and Markus] play together on some AAU teams [competitive league]. They will make mistakes and grow into our system. I have faith that they are going to be a big part of our success. Milee is a pit bull, not afraid of anyone. Macy has been thrown into the fire, but she is a competitor,” Ames said.
The Mustangs will rely on returning senior Lexi Smith, a varsity player since her freshman year, to lead the team. She has scored 334 points in her career at Herriman. Her career high, 18 points, came against Pleasant Grove at the end of last season.
“Lexi brings our team her leadership and a calm personality. She does not get too high in our wins or too low when we lose. This off season she has gotten better defensively and better as a guard,” Ames said.
Kaylie King, Kaylie Heninger, Morgan Littlewood, Amanda Mitchell and junior Sarah Duncan will all play important roles on the team.
“We are a true team. These kids love to compete. Top to bottom, these girls want to win. They are good students and athletes. I am proud of them for what they do. We love to find ways for them to bond as a team on and off the court. Our relationships with each other help us become a better team,” Ames said.
The Mustangs participate in team service projects every month. In November, they served in their homes. They plan to work at the food bank, serve at The Kauri Sue School and help with Hearts of Gold this season.