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South Valley Journal

Silverwolves Hoopsters Bonding Like Glue

Jan 16, 2015 09:00AM ● By Greg James

Basketball and soccer star Kirsten Spencer leads the Silverwolves in scoring this season. Photos courtesy of

The Riverton High School girls basketball team suffered only one loss last season. Now, they have their finger firmly placed on the repeat button this season, but they are focused on bonding together as a team and improving every day they take the court.

“We feel good about our season so far, and I know we will experience success as a program. We are not interested in last year. We are completely focused on this group’s development and reaching our potential. We have been playing excellent as a team, and our players have a great attitude,” head coach Ron Ence said.

The Silverwolves opened this season right where they left off. They defeated Viewmont 67-40, Roy 60-37 and Timpanogos 57-41 in their first three games.
Silverwolves senior Tia Yazzie had a season high 15 points against Hunter Dec. 9.

 Senior Kirsten Spencer has been the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13 points per game. Four Silverwolves (Tia Yazzie, Tiena Afu, Tess Campbell and Rebecca McDougal) have combined to average 30 points per game.

“Coach wants us to play together, shoot together and work on our team relationships. He teaches us to hustle constantly and be intense players. We all get along so well and hang out together,” Campbell, a senior guard, said.

The Silverwolves have a 7-2 preseason record. Their two losses came by a combined two points. They lost to Bingham 52-51 in overtime Dec. 18 and Fremont 43-42 Dec. 6. 

“We are having a good season. We know how it feels to prepare well and succeed. We really are working on becoming better defensively and bonding together as a team,” Yazzie said.

Against Copper Hills Dec. 10, Afu was sidelined with an ankle injury, but junior Olivia Neilson came off the bench to score 14 points and senior Sarah Ralphs added 11 in the team’s 62-37 victory. Ence said his team competed with intensity and he can count on all the players to contribute.

Ence is coaching in his 11th season at Riverton. He coached the Silverwolves to the school’s only state girls basketball title in 2013.

“Wins are not guaranteed year in and year out because of the turnover in talent. We coach and emphasize the same things each season and hope to provide the kids a successful experience,” Ence said.

They began Region 4 play Friday, Jan. 9 against Westlake and were scheduled to face their arch rival, Herriman, at the Mustangs Tuesday Jan. 13 (after press deadline).