Six seniors lead Alta girls basketballFeb 04, 2019 11:39AM ● By Ron Bevan
Senior center Ally Braithwaite drives the basket during a recent Alta basketball game. (Ron Bevan/City Journals)
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
They might not have the height of other teams, but one thing Alta can bank on is experience in its girls basketball program.
“There are a lot of seniors, more than most programs would keep,” Alta coach Elizabeth Gustafson said. “But they have been through the program and every year they have gotten better and better and better.”
Alta starts three seniors along with two juniors. It’s by no accident the three starting seniors have been with the program since they were freshmen. They are Ally Braithwaite, Eden Broederlow and Sydney Williams.
Broederlow established herself as a scorer last season. As a junior, Broederlow was the third-leading scorer behind two seniors, knocking in 152 points. She was also the second highest rebounder with 115 boards.
But while she only put in one three-pointer as a junior, Broederlow improved her range and has knocked down nine from beyond the arc midway through her senior year. She is second in scoring this season.
“Broederlow is a quiet leader on the court,” Gustafson said. But she exemplifies what everyone needs from a leader. She brings the hard work, the hustle and the tenacity that we need.”
Braithwaite plays the inside game for Alta as the center. Although she might not be the tallest Hawk on the team, she brings strength and agility that is needed in the position.
“The strengths she brings is her abilities on both the high and low post,” Gustafson said. “She is one of our top rebounders and is third on the team in scoring. She also sets very strong screens to get other players open.”
Williams has the ability to play from the guard position to the power forward slot. She is devastating from distance, and barely trails Broederlow in three-pointers.
But it may be away from the stats that Williams contributes the most to the team.
“She plans all of our social stuff for the players,” Gustafson said. “She plans all the team dinners and activities and things we do to keep a cohesive unit as a team. She makes sure the secret sister stuff goes on.”
In fact, when the team was recently planning the night the seniors would be honored before the game, it was Williams who suggested bringing flowers for the seniors on the opposing team.
Kyla Anderson also began her career at Alta as a freshman. Although she isn’t part of the starting rotation, she does provide important minutes in every game.
“Anderson has a huge amount of hustle. She gives us everything she has no matter how long she is on the floor, even if it is just 30 seconds or a minute,” Gustafson said. “There is a presence known when Anderson is on the floor.”
Danny Bryson, a senior who comes off the bench, came into the program as a sophomore with no experience on the basketball court. But her hustle and attitude earned her a varsity position this season.
“She had to learn the game while playing for us as a sophomore and junior,” Gustafson said. “But she did well enough as a junior that we decided to keep her. And sure enough against Cottonwood she knocks down a three and gets a layup and was just killing it. Bryson is also the comic relief on our team. When people are tense, she is the one that breaks the ice.”
Rounding out the senior class is Lauren Knight, who is the newest member of the team, having moved into the Alta area and joined the team this season. She brings the height the team lacks this season.
“Knight is certainly the tallest player we have had in years,” Gustafson said. “She has a great hook shot.”