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Bonneville Bees En Route to 13 Straight
First-year head coach Ryan Erikson leads a treasure trove of senior talent as Bonneville hunts down a state championship
Published: 1/8/2020 3:34:23 PM
Robert Reeve
Staff Writer

Coming into this season, Ryan Erikson had a problem most coaches would envy. 

As a first-year head coach, Erikson, after analyzing the Bonneville Bees’ varsity girls basketball roster, realized he simply had too much talent. 

With nine seniors at his disposal, along with two juniors, the amount of experienced leadership at Erikson’s disposal gave the new coach plenty of optimism heading into the 2019-2020 season. 

"They know what is expected of them and they show up to work hard every day at practice he said," said Erikson, who came to the Bees after three seasons at the helm of South Fremont.  

That senior leadership proved its worth early down the stretch, as Bonneville remains undefeated through 12 of its 21 games this season. The clean record is a rarity at the 4A, strongly Eastern Idaho dominated, classification, with the Bees being the only team to possess a 0 in the “L” column at that level. 

Erikson credited the continuation of success to an overall injury-free season, with his senior leadership ready to take the floor at any given moment, giving the Bees and an incredibly deep bench.

"Last year, we had a great start to the season but struggled to stay healthy,” Erikson said. “And this year, we have been able to avoid that. Plus, we have had two girls come back and play this year that didn’t last year, so that helps add to our depth and allows us to go into our bench more.”

Erikson said even with more than half the season complete, picking an undisputed floor general leader among the group proves nearly impossible, with every player bringing something different to the table.

"I think Sadie Lott is the vocal leader in timeouts and on the court. She will point and get people where they need to be,” Erikson said. “Mckayla Sorenson is more of the quiet leader, she does what needs to be done and expects everyone else to do their jobs. And Brooklyn Cunningham, who tore her ACL last year, has had a long recovery process but she has been a great example to the other girls."

Despite beating teams by an average of nearly 21 points, Erikson said he’d like to see more efficient offensive production from the Bees.

 "We are still working on some things, but our defense is where we are really good. The girls play hard every time down the court on that end,” he said. “In man-to-man, I think we can match up with anyone in every position.”

Erikson admitted staying healthy through a grueling 21-game stretch can’t be easy for his high school athletes, and offered some insights as to how he keeps his players in the right headspace for tipoff.

"We are reading a book by Jay Bilas called ‘Toughness.’ It really emphasizes what I’m trying to get across to the girls,” Erikson said. "We talk about beating teams every four minutes. That’s how we run practices and games. Focus on winning the next four minutes. We don’t talk about the end goal, we do what we should and we will get the end result that we want."  

Bonneville looks to extend its winning streak to 13 Wednesday night against the Madison Bobcats.


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