First, she had a game to help win.
Then it was time to let everyone know where her basketball talent would go after high school.
Logan opened the 2019-20 girls basketball season by blowing out Provo Tuesday night at Crimson Gym, 81-40. Following the easy win, Amber Kartchner announced she had verbally committed to play at BYU.
“So, I recently committed to BYU to play basketball,” said Kartchner after being introduced by Logan head coach Josh Zentner and cheered on loudly by her teammates following the game.
And that was it. Now the junior wants to get on with helping the Grizzlies have a great season. Having made a decision this early will allow the 5-foot-9 guard to concentrate on playing and not worrying about being recruited. Kartchner said she had five Division I offers and many other schools interested.
“I knew where I wanted to go and that BYU is the place for me, so why not make the decision now if that is the place you want to go,” Kartchner said. “... Now I just want to focus on winning games and having fun with my teammates.”
Her coach is happy to have her around for essentially two more years before she heads south to the city that was visiting Tuesday night.
“She (Kartchner) was embarrassed tonight to take time to announce her commitment,” Zentner said. “The team was excited for her. She just wants to make the team the best it can be. Tonight was a good start. ... Now that she has made a decision, she can play basketball and just have fun. We are all very proud of her.”
In two-and-a-half quarters of play Tuesday night, Kartchner definitely made her presence felt. She scored a game-best 26 points, came up with seven steals, grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked two shots. Not a bad evening for the amount of time she played.
“That’s fine with me,” Kartchner said of not playing the entire game. “I honestly don’t care as long as we win. ... If you want to be a good basketball player, it’s not just about scoring.”
The junior was happy to see that 10 other teammates played and eight of them scored. Taylor Rose scored 16 points and pulled down five rebounds, while Alec Kennington netted 12 points, made seven steals and dished out three assists. Emily Thurston grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, and Ginger Anderson scored eight points and had four assists.
Logan came out torching the nets and continued throughout the contest, especially from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies made 10 of 19 3-point shots and shot 57 percent from the field.
“We have worked on 3-point shots a lot,” Kartchner said. “My teammates are awesome. They make me look good. They are all ballers.”
On 31 made baskets, Logan had 18 assists as nine different Logan players registered an assist. The Grizzlies also came up with 21 steals in the game.
“We shot the ball well tonight, and we expect it when they are open and shoot it, and that’s what we did tonight,” Zentner said. “... You have to be happy with the assists. That’s big.”
The only blemish for the Grizzlies was at the foul line. Logan went 9 of 23 shooting free throws.
Logan couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. The Grizzlies raced out to an 11-0 lead just over two minutes into the contest. It began with a steal and layup by Kartchner, two assists by Kartchner, then two free throws by the future Cougar and the start was capped with her first of four 3-pointers, as she swished a pass from Kennington.
Logan built a 24-4 lead after the first quarter and took a 42-11 lead into halftime.
The Grizzlies had their largest lead of the game early in the fourth quarter when Tawnee Tubbs drilled a 3-pointer off a pass from Izabelle Rudd, The trey gave the hosts a 70-24 lead. Logan missed 10 fouls shots in the final quarter or it might have been even worse for the Bulldogs.
OTHER HOOPS GAMES
In other girls action Tuesday night, Green Canyon blew by Clearfield, 70-19, with a trio of Wolves scoring in double figures in Kinley Falslev (18), Kennedy Eskelson (14) and Allee McKenna (10). Falslev, who shot 7 of 11 from the field, also dished out five assists, while Eskelson added four. McKenna and Eskelson recorded double-doubles as they finished with 11 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
The Falcons didn’t score more than seven points in any of the quarters.
Mountain Crest beat Bountiful, 46-38, as the Mustangs also had three players reach double digits in Ella Douglass (12), Teagan Hall (11) and Havyn Brown (10). The Mustangs trailed by five points at the half, but outscored the Braves 31-18 over the final two quarters.
Preston (5-1, 3-0) extended its winning streak to three games with a 52-38 road victory over district foe Twin Falls. The Indians outscored the Bruins in every quarter. Cassee Pugmire led Preston with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Mickayla Roberton and Alexis Harris combined for 19 points, and Harris dished out four assists.
Ridgeline fell to Copper Hills, 66-57, as Emma Anderson had 24 points, and Haley Anderson chipped in 15. The defending 4A runner-up Riverhawks only trailed by two points at halftime, 36-34.
In boys action Tuesday night, defending 4A state champion Sky View had no trouble with Weber, winning 72-52. Mason Falslev led the Bobcats with 36 points — 21 from 3-point land — and Sam Phipps added 11. Sky View pulled away in the fourth quarter as it outscored the hosts, 30-16.
Box Elder traveled to Cache Valley and topped Green Canyon, 62-50, as McKay Yorgason and Carter Maughan had 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the reigning region champion Wolves.
Sky View was scheduled to host Morgan on Wednesday night, but the game was postponed due to inclement weather.
HJ sports writer Jason Turner contributed to this report