BEAR RIVER HIGH - by Jessica Tanner - Jan. 9, 2020 -
The Lady Bears basketball team has been busy the past couple months taking on tough teams in preparation for the competition they will face in Region 11, which kicks off on January 9. They will host Sky View at 7 p.m.
Six seniors and one junior lead the way for the Bears, including McKenzie Bywater, Rheagen Hartfiel, Kati Gibbs, Ashley Roberts, Abbie Fuhriman, Makenzie Lorimer and Olivia Taylor.
Bywater is the Bears’ top rebounder and because of that scores a lot of points off second chance shots. Although she plays insides she knows how to rain down threes.
Harfiel commands the offense and breaks the press. Coach Tyrell Neal said, “Her leadership, defensive play and rebounding skills are crucial on the court.”
According to Coach Neal, Gibbs is one of the Bears’ toughest players, both mentally and physically. She battles on the backside of the press for rebounds, long passes and help-side defense.
“Roberts is a huge force for our inside game, offensively and defensively, and has quick feet,” said Coach Neal. “Her mental attitude keeps the team focused and working hard.”
“Fuhriman comes off the bench with power. She has a talent for picking off passes and works hard to change momentum,” stated Coach Neal. “Lorimer has been an upcoming force offensively. She is a good set shooter, but works hard and can drive to the basket quickly.”
Junior Olivia Taylor rejoins the team after suffering a hand injury earlier this season. Although she still sports a cast, it doesn’t slow her down. Coach Neal said, “She has helped us increase our scoring averages immensely. She is one of the best all around players I have seen on the court.”
Just before the Thanksgiving break, the Lady Bears kicked off their season on the road. They started off strong against Stansbury with a 13-5 lead at halftime.
“I felt like our defense was superb during the first half,” said Coach Neal. “However, we struggled to convert all of Stansbury’s turnovers into points. We should have been up by 20 going into halftime.”
Unfortunately for the Bears, the Stallions come out on fire in the second half. They pressed and forced several turnovers, holding the Bears to only one basket the entire third quarter.
Coach Neal said, “The third quarter was the determining factor of the game. We came out sluggish, did not play defense and allowed Stansbury to press us.”
The Bears battled in the fourth, but it was too little to late as they fell 34-21.
In December the Bears traveled to Orem and lost 55-44. The Bears bounced back during their home opener with a huge win over Merit College Prep Academy, 56-8. The next week the Bears started off slow on the road against West Jordan, but the Bears battled back to pull off a 31-27 victory.
The following week Bear River clenched a three-point victory over Kearns 51-48. The game was close throughout, but in the fourth quarter the Bears outscored their opponent 20 to nine.
Before Christmas break Bear River traveled into Bees’ territory to take on their County rivals. They fell 53-47 to Box Elder, but finished off the week on a high note with a win over Filer 49-42.
The Bears hit the road over the holiday break, first traveling to the Star Valley Tournament in Wyoming. They faced Star Valley and had a slow start, falling 47-30. The Bears battled against Thunder Ridge, but were unable to pull off the win, 49-39. Against Ririe the Bears took a quick lead in the first quarter and never looked back. They claimed victory 48-44.
To finish off 2019, the Bears traveled to Morgan for an old rivalry match. The Bears jumped ahead of the Trojans and clung to a one-point lead at halftime. Morgan came alive in the third and outscored the Bears 27-16. The Trojans claimed the 72-61 win.
Coach Neal said, “A strong press and run brought the Bears to within four points with two minutes remaining, but Morgan made free-throws down the line to win. Bear River played their hearts out. They brought a lot of intensity, excitement and determination to the game. They worked very hard to end their four games in a row on a high note.”