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South Salt Lake Journal

Colts girls basketball squad captures first win of season 

Jan 29, 2019 02:24PM ● By Brian Shaw

Cottonwood girls basketball earned its first win of the season against Orem in December. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected] 

The old saying goes that if you don't succeed, try, try again. For the Cottonwood Colts girls basketball team that saying couldn't be more fitting, because after suffering several tough losses, they would get their first win on the year. 

To open the month of December though, the Colts would first have to experience a series of setbacks, starting with a Dec. 4 contest against Class 5A power Olympus. The Titans would take a 30-19 halftime lead before handing Cottonwood a 72-29 loss. 

The Colts were led by freshman sensation Olivia Tassainer, who had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the loss. Cottonwood jumped right back on the saddle the next day Dec. 5 against Hillcrest as the holiday tournament continued. 

In this game the Colts showed marked improvement, holding a 20-17 lead as the halftime whistle sounded. But, the Huskies would take a four-point lead into the fourth quarter and gallop away in the fourth, handing the Colts their second loss in as many nights. 

Cottonwood was led by senior guard Katie Haglund, who was held in check the night before, struggling with a 2-for-10 shooting night. But, on this night Haglund poured in 19 points and shot 54 percent from the field. Sophomore Meghan Nelson tacked on 11. 

The Colts would continue their improvement as a group Dec. 11 at home against Granger. Cottonwood trailed 27-20 at the break but would storm back before succumbing to the Lancers, 44-39. 

Despite having yet another bad shooting night, Haglund would be the high point person for the Colts, scoring 15 while fellow senior Lily Malafu chipped in 10. 

But, these three setbacks would set the stage for what would be Cottonwood's stingiest and possibly, best performance of the year, Dec. 13 at Orem. The Colts trotted out to a 20-13 halftime advantage and held on for a 40-39 victory — their first on the season. 

Nobody would ever say it was a pretty game, and Orem wouldn't relinquish until its last-second shot clanked off the rim. But for Cottonwood, its defense was critical in a game in which the Colts shot just 31 percent from the floor. 

Nelson led all Colts with 16 points while Haglund had 13 for Cottonwood, who has shown vast improvement as December rolled on. To go from losing by nearly 50 to Olympus and seeing those loss totals dwindle as the games went on, well, it signals that these Colts are not only battling, they're becoming battle-tested. 

The Colts nearly made it two wins in a row on Dec. 18, falling to West Jordan 36-32 behind 12 and 10 points from Nelson and Haglund, Cottonwood's dynamic guard duo. Though they combined to take 30 shots in the loss, Nelson and Haglund could be dangerous to deal with if they can get their shots to fall. 

The Colts then wrapped up December with a 54-32 loss to South Summit at home on Dec. 20. No Colt scored in double figures in the first double-digit loss for Cottonwood in several weeks. Part of that could be the fact that the Colts shot just 21 percent from the floor. And part could be that South Summit was just more steady. 

But one thing for sure is that even though Cottonwood is 1-9 overall you can already see the difference between last year and this year in the team.