Friday , January 12, 2018 - 5:54 PM
Roy's Sarah Schulz (5) and Box Elder's Rebecca Johnson (11) battle for possession of the ball late in the second half of play Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at Roy High School.
ROY — Josie Williams scored her first basket five seconds after the opening tip. Then the Box Elder defense did all it could to make sure the Utah Valley-bound center stayed off the glass as much as possible.
Teams all season have tried and failed to do that. Williams played the part of unstoppable again, scoring 29 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to lead Roy (10-3, 1-0 Region 5) in a 47-34 win over the Bees (8-7, 0-1) in a region opener for both teams.
“I just knew if we’d settle in that we’d get back to the gameplan, and we did that defensively and just went on a string of consecutive stops that produced some points for us on the other end,” Royals head coach Carolyn DeHoff said.
A 16-4 third quarter where Roy, as DeHoff alluded to, had several defensive stops in a row turned the game into a double-digit affair.
Williams was quiet early in the game, but it was a matter of timing.
“She needed to find out when she was going to be able to get the post-ups, we can’t tell her that. As an experienced post player at that level we trust that she’s going to find them,” DeHoff said.
Eventually, Williams started scoring in droves, no matter how many double teams came her way.
Williams ended the first half on a personal 8-0 run, then started the second half on a personal 6-0 run. In between that, Brittney Hatch’s block at the end of the first half kept Box Elder from increasing its 23-22 lead.
Brittney Hatch's block ends the first half. Box Elder 23-22 Roy pic.twitter.com/dfrQcM1Lxz— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) January 13, 2018
In the third quarter, Williams scored 10 of her points. Perhaps the most important basket came from Laura Hadley, who drained a 3-pointer to put Roy ahead 31-27.
“Third quarter starts, we kind of get everything going alright and then, Josie Williams, she’s tough for us to guard,” Bees coach Aaron Dooley said. “When you’ve got three girls around her and they toss it up, that’s a hard thing for any team to be able to beat.”
Coaches will preach how every win is important. In Region 5, each win fills out a bigger piece of the puzzle since five teams means there are only eight region games for each club.
So far, it appears as if the Nos. 1-4 playoff seeds will have little separation between them. Viewmont, Woods Cross and Roy had above .700 records heading into region play, while Box Elder wasn’t far behind at 8-6 (.571).
A young Bountiful team is the only team under .500 at this point, but the Braves have one of three known college-bound players in the region: Dixie State signee Jaimee Stahle.
Williams is headed for Utah Valley while Viewmont’s Mercedes Staples committed to Clemson last year.