Lady Warriors make great strides

Uintah River has to be the most improved girls basketball team in the Utah School Sports Association.
The Lady Warriors have put together a 4-2 record to get noticed across the league.
“It’s a new season for us after getting pummeled most of the time,” Uintah River coach Art Silva said. “We were getting beat by 30 or more points.”
Silva said his players put in plenty of time during the summer to get things on the right track.
“I’m not surprised at how we are doing,” he added. “When we started practice the kids were able to get better. We have a good, talented team.”
Uintah River lost to Vanguard early in the season, but the Lady Warriors were able to get into the win column the second time around.
“Vanguard has some tall girls that could play around the basket,” Silva said. “That is where we are having some trouble with boxing out and getting some rebounds.”
Silva’s assistant coach is Charles Denny.
“He does a real good job with them at the start of practice,” Silva said. “He does a lot of conditioning drills. That is helping them start to come together.”
The Uintah River coach likes how much the teams have improved in the USAA.
“They are starting to compete, which is good. We have a lot more teams this year compared to last year, which is a big plus. It’s a good league. We have a lot of small schools. I like the fact that we have this opportunity to even play at a high level.”
The Lady Warriors dropped a hard-fought 51-39 decision to Terra Academy Jan. 17 in Vernal.
Terra Academy is the defending USSA champions.
“We came out pretty good in the first half,” Silva said. “We stuck with them. We played good defense. We moved the ball like we wanted to.”
The game was deadlocked at 31-31 before the Lady Tigers broke open the game in the fourth quarter.
“Terra is tough,” Silva said. “They are going to pressure you the whole time. They did a good job of getting in our face. They were able to get the best of us in the fourth quarter.”
Terra coach Matt Massey was impressed with what he saw from Uintah River.
“Uintah River has improved 100% from last year,” Massey said. “They will be a tough team to beat the second time that we play them.”
Uintah River can’t wait to host Terra Academy next month when they play for the second time this season.
The Warriors fell to Terra Academy 64-32 Jan. 17 in Vernal.
“It’s a fun atmosphere anytime we play Uintah River,” Terra Academy coach Mark Peterson said. “There wasn’t any empty seat in the gym.’”
Uintah River came out and played even with the Tigers in the first part of the game.
Terra Academy was up 13-10 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Tigers had a 25-14 cushion.
Terra Academy went into the break with a 36-19 cushion and cruised to the win.