This is Sydney Bott’s world and we’re all living in it.
Bott scored 18 points off the bench for the Snow Canyon Warriors on Thursday, and all 18 came from 3-pointers. She’s the exact trump card that makes SC a fascinating team to watch in girls basketball this season.
Because while Canyon View hung tough for two and a half quarters, SC unleashed Bott and senior point guard Madison Mooring in the second half to show off what Region 9 might get to see on a nightly basis in January and February.
The Warriors are 5-0 to start the 2015-16 season, including wins over Pleasant Grove, Granger and Juan Diego. Two of those are 5A schools, and the other one won the 3A state championship last season.
It’s a vastly different start for a SC team that started 2-9 last year. After winning eight of their final 12 games, it seems the Warriors found the formula needed to keep winning.
“This season has been fun so far,” senior forward Shaylee Reed said. “We have confidence in each other, and we have great coaches, too.”
It’s all about defense for the Warriors. They admit that the shooting can be inconsistent so it’s important for them to bear down defensively.
“It’s our defense,” Mooring said. “The coaches harp on us about defense, and if we’re not doing well in a quarter, coach (Dan Roden) reminds us that the defense will carry us through the game.”
Mooring said SC still has the little things to worry about, such as starting games with intensity rather than finding it halfway through.
But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the sharpshooting Bott come off the bench as the premier sixth woman.
“She comes off the bench for us,” assistant coach Ryan Rarick said, “and on any other team she would not only be a starter, but probably one of the top scoring starters. Having a player like that come off the bench for us makes a world of difference.”
In a game against Canyon View where the Warriors won by 13, Bott’s bench points essentially made the difference. She shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range.
“Every time I shot, it just felt so good,” Bott said. “After I made a couple and they kept scoring, I thought, oh man that’s just luck.”
Of course, Bott’s teammates don’t think it’s luck.
“Bott was money tonight,” said Reed following Snow Canyon’s win Thursday.
“That’s why we have Sydney out there,” Mooring said. “Every time she shot, I knew it would go in.”
If Snow Canyon was the San Antonio Spurs, senior guard Nikenna Durante would be Danny Green, and Bott would be Manu Ginobli. Durante plays the role of defensive brick wall, and Bott provides the offensive spark off the bench.
An area that has Rarick excited is the depth that allows Mooring to come off the floor and stay fresh, a luxury SC didn’t really have last year.
“We have Natalie Coulam this year, and she’s someone who doesn’t get a lot of recognition, but is still getting things done without the stats,” Rarick said. “She tore her ACL and had to work hard to get back. She does the non-glamour work for us, and she’s also our backup point guard when Mada comes out for breaks.”
Rarick said that while the offensive numbers aren’t there for Coulam, a senior guard, they will be once she gets more playing time under her belt and more confidence playing on her previously-injured knee.
It’s a long season with seven more non-region games before Region 9 play starts Jan. 12. The Warriors have areas they want to improve, including better play in the first half of games. But they like where they’re at, so far.
“These seniors are starting to believe how good they could be,” Rarick said. “The players like each other and hang out together outside of basketball, and that transfers to team chemistry.”
Snow Canyon’s next game is a road contest at Richfield on Dec. 17. The Warriors then play two in Tooele County against the Tooele Lady Buffs and Stansbury Stallions.
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich. Call him at 435-674-6233.