Basketball team

Routt’s girls’ basketball team plays the game the right way in the playoffs

BUNKER HILL – It’s a fundamental rule of basketball: the more assists a team has, the more games it has a chance of winning.

Think about it. The object of the game is to score points. And unsupervised players shoot higher percentage shots. Finding the best shot every time on the court is the key to success.

Routt’s women’s basketball team had at least 15 assists (and likely more than that) in a 55-37 win over second seed Carlyle in the Bunker Hill Sectional semifinals on Tuesday night .

Routt will face Okwville for the division title on Thursday. Tipping is at 7 p.m.

“I think it was a great all-around effort from all the girls that came off our bench – everyone was focused and knew what we needed to do,” Routt’s coach said. , Val Creviston. “Again, I think we did the little things. We boxed, we rebounded, we pushed the ball to the ground. Offensively, we knew they were playing good zone press, and they went back to pretty aggressive zone defense – and the key to that, and their man, is just attacking. Attack, penetrate and dive, and that’s what we did.

Routt found teammates for open shots all season, but passing got crisper and more accurate in the playoffs.

“It’s worked for us recently,” Routt’s Audrey Huffman said. “I feel like that’s been an important part of our post-season games.”

Routt made a lot of great passes Tuesday night. Addie Dobson hit Cami Hurt with a nice rebound pass as Hurt clipped the basket in the second quarter. But Dobson outdid herself in the fourth quarter, throwing under the basket as Jaymee Vollmer came out of nowhere to grab the ball and sink a layup to give the Rockets a 44-31 lead.

“We bounced back tonight, and we definitely needed that,” Dobson said. “We were getting offensive rebounds and shooting a lot, for sure. We were pretty on fire in three-point range, and we started going in, and we got some easy looks, and then it just rolled from there.

Another key to success: the team that plays the hardest is the one that usually wins.

Routt played exceptional defense in all three playoff games. The Rockets look a step faster than they were earlier in the season. A solid defense was key against Carlyle, a team loaded with good shooters who weren’t able to get many open looks on Tuesday night. “We had a good support team, but we also did a great job of getting our players back,” Routt’s Caitlyn Horney said.

Recently, Routt has piled into ballhandlers, using quick hands to push the ball away or force balls to hold.

“We really focused on being aggressive and putting 100% into every possession,” Horney said. “And our coaches told us to search for every lost ball and make every ball yours. I don’t know – it just worked for us.

Routt has plenty of weapons, with three senior guards – Huffman, Horney and Dobson – who can shoot from outside or penetrate. And the Rockets have four forwards/centers that rotate in the lineup and can all score.

“Every time a team shuts down a player, the others step in and bring points to the table from all positions,” Horney said.

Routt had three layups and two 3-pointers against Carlyle in a 17-7 first-quarter getaway. After Dobson stole a pass and drove for a layup for the game’s first field goal, Routt led the rest of the way. After the first quarter, Carlyle never came within five points.

“I don’t think we really changed anything because everything was working for us,” Huffman said. “It was just a good day.”

A third principle of basketball: It’s fun when you win.

The players said they fed on the energy of the crowd. “I would say the crowd tonight was a big part of it,” Huffman said. “They were very loud. I think that really helped us, motivated us.

“The other team, even their fan section, kind of helped us with their volume,” she said.

Does this team have something to prove or are they just having fun?

“A bit of both,” Horney said. “We definitely have something to prove to everyone. We are the fourth seed, so few people expect us to go very far, but we continue to prove everyone wrong. But also we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves. I think we play better when we’re just having fun together. We just play every game as if it were the last and enjoy the moment.

“I didn’t want practice last night to be our last practice, and I didn’t feel like it was time yet,” Dobson said.

Creviston wrote “100% heart” on the board ahead of Tuesday night’s game.

“We just wanted it,” Dobson said. “It was not our time to end it.”

Okawville is a solid team with a long playoff resume. Calhoun was outclassed in Tuesday’s second semifinal. But the Rockets are going to do their best.

“Anyone can win any day,” Creviston said. “I guarantee you no one thought we would get this far – no one but us.”