Lady Rams in the thick of Region 6 raceFeb 11, 2020 13h32 ● By Josh McFadden
Freshman Sosefina Langi shoots a free throw in a gritty victory over Olympus. Langi has been a major addition to the Ram lineup leading the team in scoring and steals. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
Fueled by a stifling defense and a team-first attitude, the Highland girls basketball squad has made life miserable for opponents.
The Rams won six of their seven non-region games, with its only loss coming by just four points to Woods Cross. In those outings, Highland gave up more than 46 points just once and held two opponents under 40 points.
Head coach Kurt Schneider likes what he’s seen on the other end of the court as well. The Rams eclipsed 56 points four times in non-region action. The players also play for one another and have bought in to Schneider’s goals and system.
“We are unselfish and talented,” he said. “I have been most impressed by how the girls compete on offense and defense. Our biggest strengths are our athleticism and our team defense.”
Region play has been equally as successful for the team. Highland won its first three region games, including a 66-33 blowout of Murray on Jan. 10. After a 49-34 setback to Hillcrest on Jan. 14, the Rams blew past Cottonwood, 46-31 on Jan. 15, and East, 60-43 on Jan. 21. The Rams then pounded out a victory over Olympus 41-39 on Jan. 24.
Senior forward Kaija Glasker is the team’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. She puts up 14 points and more than seven rebounds a game. Schneider has also used a youth movement to direct the offense. Freshman point guard Sosefina Langi paces the squad with 15 points a game and contributes more than five rebounds a game.
“[Glasker] is extremely knowledgeable, is a team leader and controls games with her rebounding, defense and scoring,” Schneider said. “[Langi] is extremely tough and just seems to be in the right spot all of the time. She’s a great scorer and rebounder.”
Schneider is pleased with the way his team has performed so far, but he knows there are plenty of challenges ahead. Like every other team, the Rams want to advance in the state tournament toward a championship.
To achieve these goals, Schneider is looking for the girls to improve each day and continue playing as a team.
“In order for this season to be a success, the girls need to understand hard work and dedication to each other,” he said. “This in turns brings out a sense of team basketball and selflessness. I preach daily to make each other better, and I truly believe this helps build each another.”
Schneider also believes in not overlooking any opponent or losing perspective on the moment.
“In order for us to continue playing at a high level, we need to stay focused and take one game at a time,” he said. “Defense is the key to staying in games, and hopefully the offense will become more consistent.”
Highland finishes the regular season Feb. 14 at East.