OREM — Maggie Plothow proved yet again that she's gone from minor bench player last season for the Orem Tigers to the No. 1 leader on the team this season.
The junior scored a season-high 21 points in the Tigers' 54-27 win over Salem Hills as Orem doubled up the first-year Skyhawks for their second victory of the season. The Tigers moved to 2-5 this season, and the Skyhawks fell to 0-7 with the loss.
The Tigers meanwhile are trying to use the preseason to prepare for what promises to be a tough run in the regular season against the rest of the Region 7 teams, a bunch that should prove real competitors at the state tournament in February.
"We have no starters back, so we're just trying to hang in there with teams. Our preseason goal is to get better. We don't necessarily care about wins and losses," said Orem coach Ross Reed.
But his competition didn't have any returning starters on the court either as the Salem Hills girls are a young bunch plucked from other high schools and thrown together on a basketball court. They're obviously young and inexperienced with a lot of work to do to improve, but they did have a few bright spots, including a 8-0 run midway through the third quarter.
"We had a little lapse there in the third quarter. But we came out of a time out and got a couple of steals and got our heads back into it," said Reed.
The Tigers' sported a 22-point lead at that stage of the contest, and the Skyhawks were able to chop it to 14 points before the Tigers righted the ship.
Reed lamented the lapse his team suffered, but was happy about the good all-around effort. Though his team only has one preseason game remaining before having to take on the tough Region 7 competition, the group is developing more experience and grit for a tough run through league.
He lauded the efforts not only of Plothow and her 21 points, but of the solid team effort his squad put forward. Angie Helsten added 10 for Orem, Lauren Chung-Hoon scored six, and Lisa Love put in five as the Tigers put eight players into the scoring column.
Alyssa Hanks led the Skyhawks in the middle with eight points, and her teammates Erika Adams and Morgan Hales each scored three. Racheal Simons put in the Skyhawks only three pointer of the contest. The Skyhawks also had eight players on the scoreboard, but Adams went down with an injury midway through the fourth and was out the rest of the game. Her future status is unknown.