It's not the 25-0 record or the Class 4A state championship that coach Nancy Warner will remember about the 2012-13 season. How the Springville Red Devils executed under pressure will be Warner's takeaway from her team's amazing season.
Warner, The Tribune's girls' basketball coach of the year, reflected on an undefeated but not unchallenged season.
Warner threw out the game plan when trailing Mountain Crest in the state tournament. She took a timeout and asked her team to start pressing to try to close the gap. Other teams wouldn't have been able to make on-the-fly adjustments, but that is why Warner believes this was a special team.
Lead by Malia Nawahine and Savannah Park, the Red Devils edged out the victory.
"They are an amazing group of girls," Warner said. "They were awesome on and off the court. They worked so hard to execute and excel at every level."
The closeness of her team made the difference throughout the year. Warner saw a rare group of players who treated one another as best friends. The foundation of trust was instrumental in the team's on-court success.
"It made the difference in what they were able to accomplish," Warner said. "By buying into each other and the system, they were able to improve every single day."
Daily improvement was the goal, and Warner's squad responded at every practice and every game.
"They really listened and trusted us as coaches to make the right decision," Warner said. "Their ability to execute proved that they wanted to be the best and never settle for anything less."
Warner will leave for Lone Peak next season, but the lessons learned from coaching Springville's extraordinary players have shaped her permanently. Watching her players overcome adversity and working toward an undefeated season has strengthened her passion for coaching. She marveled at the commitment and fortune she had coaching the Red Devils.
"It was an honor to coach these girls," Warner said. "How we improved on the whole as a unit and team made for a rewarding season."