High school girls basketball: Kanab dominates 2A tournament, secures its third straight state title

Rylee Little cuts down the net following Kanab’s 2A championship win

Most teams that win the 2A state tournament have to clutch out close games, but for No. 2 Kanab, that wasn’t the case as it won by double digits over every team in its path.

In fact, the Cowboys won their last nine games by double digits, including their 59-47 championship game win over No. 1 North Summit on Saturday.

The offense flowed early for Kanab, which had 18 points in the opening quarter while hitting 4 of 7 from beyond the arc for a 18-7 lead.

Once the Cowboys gained the lead they never lost it.

North Summit generated more offense as the game continued, but Kanab stayed a step ahead of the Braves.

“It was going to be a battle no matter what,” said Kanab head coach Klint Glover. “The girls just kept battling. We didn’t do everything perfect but we have great kids that have quite a bit of experience and they just kept playing.”

Savannah Bateman was red hot from beyond the arc with five 3s in the championship game for 15 points.

“I think that we play well as a team,” Bateman said. “We all come together and we all hype each other up.

“It doesn’t matter who’s scoring, we all have each other’s backs. Win or lose we’re together as a team, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other team.”

Bateman struggled early in the tournament, scoring only one 3-pointer in Kanab’s second round and quarterfinal games against Millard and Enterprise, but she bounced back when it mattered most in the semifinal game against Draper APA with four 3s.

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Glover said a key part of Bateman’s return to form was seniors Anna Cutler and Ashlyn Houston getting her good looks.

“Early in the season teams learned that they had to run (Bateman) off the 3-point line or she’d kill them, and she’s been figuring out how to deal with that,” he said. “Anna and Ashlyn did a good job of getting her shots that she hasn’t been getting, and she paid it off for them.

“Anna’s started every game for me since she was a freshman and I’ve never seen a kid do that. Ashlyn came up huge and Savannah came up big in these last two games hitting some 3s.”

Kanab sophomore Rylee Little has also been a bright spot for the Cowboys all year. Kanab out rebounded North Summit 46-24 in the championship game and nobody had more rebounds than Little, as she finished with 12 (eight offensive) to go along with 14 points and four blocks.

“It’s my goal every game to get every rebound,” Little said. “I know that’s unachievable but that’s what I tell myself and it gives myself a lot of motivation.”

Despite winning three state championships in a row, Kanab will graduate only three seniors and will return a majority of its championship squad.

“At this point it’s all about the kids,” Glover said. “We’ve got some parents and kids that love basketball in Kanab so they put hours and hours into shooting the basketball and it shows.”

Little said that the team’s closeness is what makes the Cowboys so great and it’s what makes their future so bright.

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“We’re so close and we all have such close relationships,” she said. “We feed off each other’s energies but also calm each other down. We have the perfect relationship as a team.

“I’m definitely sad our seniors are graduating but we’ll have a lot of opportunities in the future and that’s really exciting for me and the rest of the team.”

Deseret News 2A All-Tournament Team

MVP: Rylee Little, Kanab

Savannah Bateman, Kanab

Aaliyah Baldwin, Draper APA

Hartlynn Richins, North Summit

Danzee Bradshaw, Beaver

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