(Malvern) -- East Mills’ youthful basketball team passed their first tournament trail test on Thursday, advancing in Class 1A regional play with a 43-29 win over Southwest Valley.
While star freshman Emily Williams found herself in game-long foul trouble, a different freshman star shined on this evening. Miah Urban scored 14 points, grabbed six steals, passed out five assists and shook off a bloody nose in leading the Wolverines to the win.
“I knew I had to be confident,” Urban told KMA Sport. “I had to be confident and willing to drive to the basket.”
Urban broke her team out of an early slog with their first five points before she suffered a bloody nose. She spent the next several minutes on the bench, and it proved to be the only thing able to slow her down on this night.
“She’s a floor general and an extremely smart basketball player,” Coach Blair Holman said. “Defensively, she seems to get out of position at times, but she’s doing that for a reason because she sees plays developing. She just runs the show and played extremely well.”
Senior Alex Knop topped East Mills with 16 points and pulled in five rebounds in her final appearance in the East Mills gymnasium. While Urban and Knop spearheaded the offense, they also played large roles in holding Southwest Valley to just 29 points.
The Timberwolves topped out at eight points in both the second and fourth periods and managed only six in the third and seven in the first. Leading scorer Jentry Schafer — dealing with an illness this week — failed to scratch against the swarming East Mills D.
“It’s the most we’ve ever talked in our 1-2-2,” Urban said. “We went in tonight knowing we would have to talk because they are a lot taller than us.”
East Mills (14-6) advances to a 1A regional quarterfinal at St. Albert on Tuesday evening. The Saintes trounced through Essex, 92-27.
“We’re going to have to play our very best game we’ve played this year to even give us a shot,” Holman said. “We’ve had a good year so far, and you don’t get a chance to win games like that unless you show up. We have to have a good mindset and a good attitude. We know we have our hands full, but that’s why you play.”
Southwest Valley’s Marah Larsen and Kayley Myers scored a team-high six points each. Myers and Schafer are joined in a seven-person senior class by Jordyn Figgins, Rylee Jacobs, Allison Marshall, Jillian Simmons and Abbie Wetzel. The Timberwolves finish the season 9-13.
View complete video interviews with Coach Holman and Urban below.