3A State Tournament: Inside Thursday’s boys bracket

Today’s 3A State boys basketball games — Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

All games at SUU’s Centrum Arena, Cedar City

3A State Tournament Boys Bracket

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Game 1 — 9:30 a.m.: Snow Canyon (15-7) vs. Richfield (14-5)
Broadcast: ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM

WARRIORS
snow-canyon-smCoach: James Brown (13th year)
Record: 15-7 overall, 9-3 in Region 9 (1st place)
First round: Beat Ben Lomond 54-37
Streak
: 1 win
Last Five: 4-1
PPG: 59.5
PAPG: 57.9
Probable starters: Hayden Anderson (8.0 ppg), Nate Gottfredson (14.6), Tanner Sampson (9.2), Chase Jenkins (4.3), Jacob Frei (8.7)
Other key contributors: Brock Staheli (4.2), Warner Rigby (4.2), Kade Potter (1.8)

WILDCATS
richfield-smCoach: Randy Janes (8th year)
Record: 14-5 overall, 6-2 in Region 12 (2nd place)
Streak: 3 wins
Last five: 4-1
PPG: 54.6
PAPG: 49.9
Probable starters: Brandon Willardson (16.1 ppg), Jaylon Steck, (12.4), Brenan Thomas, (10.1), Ryder Rippstein (4.1), Tanner Jensen (3.4)
Other key contributors: Jensen Magleby (2.1)

Game outlook: If it was possible to overlook a couple of losses to Payson, Richfield would be the hottest team around. But how can we when those two losses were by 37 and 18 points. Add to that non-league losses to Dixie (by 16), Desert Hills (by 19) and Pine View (by 8) and the Wildcats’ resume doesn’t look quite as impressive. But they have won six of their last seven games and that’s with just one senior (Thomas) on the entire roster. Richfield may be a year or two away from being a legit contender. Willardson and Steck have 68 combined treys this year. For the Warriors, it’s got to be all about the posts and getting the inside game going. You can trade 2s for 3s if you hit easy inside shots at a high percentage. SC’s five experienced seniors should be a big advantage.

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Game 2 — 11:10 a.m.: Cedar (14-8) vs. Juan Diego (19-5)
Broadcast: 590-AM KSUB

REDMEN
cedar-smCoach: Craig Cardon (9th season)
Record: 14-8 overall, 8-4 in Region 9 (T-2nd)
First round: Beat Grantsville 50-45
Streak:
 2 wins
Last five: 4-1
PPG: 53.5
PAPG: 48.1
Probable starters: Kordan Nielson (18.6 ppg), Dustin Staggs (14.4), Kyle Wood (5.1), Weston Bettridge (2.8), Greyson Hulet (2.8)
Other key contributors: Kole Dotson (1.8), James Thompson (1.3), Ben Brown (.8), Jaren Forsyth (2.1)

 SOARING EAGLE
juan-diego-sm
Coach: Drew Trost (1st year)
Record: 19-5 overall, 6-2 in Region 10 (2nd place)
First round: Beat Juab 33-31
Streak: 1 win
Last five: 4-1
PPG: 57.5
PAPG: 48.4
Probable starters: Will Hoffler (8.6 ppg), Cameron Hanson (7.5), Alex Hoffman (5.4), Wyatt Parkin (4.4), Zach Nickles (2.8)
Other key contributors: Dominic Colosimo (2.5), Jesse Springer (2.3), Gabe Colosimo (19.9 — out, broken leg)

Game Outlook: A bit of fortune for Cedar and perhaps a cruel twist of fate for Juan Diego late in the year. The Redmen lost on a missed buzzer-beater and fell all the way to the fourth seed, but ended up with a road win in the first round and a crippled Soaring Eagle in the quarterfinals. Juan Diego was leading Morgan late in the season finale with the Region 10 title on the line when star Gabe Colosimo broke his leg. With Colosimo out, the Trojan won the game, the league title and left JD short-handed for the playoffs, as evidenced by the less-than-inspiring 33-31 win over Juab in the first round. The Soaring Eagle went from contender to probably one-and-done victim. Cedar’s already one of the better defensive teams in the state and now the Soaring Eagle has nowhere to turn for the bulk of its scoring load. This one could get ugly, especially if Nielson warms up to the Centrum rims.

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Game 3 — 12:50 p.m.: Pine View (17-5) vs. Payson (17-6)
Broadcast: ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM

PANTHERS
Pine-view-smCoach: Darrell Larsen (5th year)
Record: 17-5 overall, 8-3 in Region 9 (T-2nd place)
First round: Beat Tooele 73-58
Streak
: 1 win
Last five: 2-3
PPG: 65.6
PAPG: 56.5
Probable starters: Chaz Peterson (11.1), Jack Bangerter (8.6), Kody Wilstead (14.9), Collin Dowdell (10.4), Jed Newby (5.1)
Other key contributors: Ryan Koller (8.0), Garrett Bowker (2.6), Kendrick Spencer (1.4)

LIONS
payson-smCoach: Dan Lunt (21st year)
Record: 17-6 overall, 8-0 in Region 12 (1st place)
First round: Beat Uintah 49-40
Streak:
 10 wins
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 59.6
PAPG: 49.5
Probable starters: Daniel Reno (19.2 ppg), Brycen Wood (8.8), Mark Woolf (7.2), Dallin Rowley (7.1), Matt Hales (4.4)
Other key contributors: Dallon Neves (3.5), Jordan Humphreys (3.4), Dallin Jasperson (2.9)

Game Outlook: At first glance, this seems like it might be the most competitive game of the first round, with two teams with excellent records that love to play up-tempo basketball. Reno is one of the biggest players Payson has, but he loves to sneak outside and hit the 3-pointer. He has 39 this season. It’s doubtful the Lions have anyone that can match up with Wilstead inside, plus Dowdell is surprisingly strong in the post. Payson plays like a Desert Hills, only with a little better shooters, so the Panthers had better defend the arc. It may well come down to rebounding. Pine View loves to run and gun, but you can’t fast break if you don’t clear the defensive glass and you can’t press if you don’t score.

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Game 4 — 2:30 p.m.: Morgan (18-6) vs. Bear River (13-10)
Broadcast: none

TROJANS
morgan-smCoach: Jim Wiscombe (27th season)
Record: 18-6 overall, 8-0 in Region 10 (1st place)
First round: Beat North Sanpete 70-52
Streak: 13 wins
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 70.2
PAPG: 61.8
Probable starters: Garren Miles (15.7 ppg), Ben Saunders (12.1), Hunter Stanford (10.5), Bridger Streadbeck (9.4), Matt Murdock (7.6)
Other key contributors: Jordan Nelson (6.8), Hayden Garfield (4.8), Hayden Murdock (3.4), Bobby Cluff (3.2)

BEARS
bear-river-sm
Coach: Scott Hunt (1st year)
Record: 13-10 overall, 7-1 in Region 11 (T-1st)
Streak: 4 wins
First round: Beat Desert Hills 53-43 (OT)
Last five: 4-1
PPG: 59.3
PAPG: 53.3
Probable starters: Parker Lewis (17.6 ppg), Landon Cornwall (11.6), McKade Mitton (6.7), Stetson Summers (6.2), Jared Olsen (5.4)
Other key contributors: Jardee Nessen (5.5), Cole Fronk (1.7)

Game Outlook: Don’t pity the Bears, but certainly they have their work cut out for them against a Morgan team that is doing just about everything right this time of year. At 70 points a game, Morgan clearly wants to push the tempo, while Bear River is a more controlled 59 ppg. Remember, the Trojans also allow 62 points a game, 2oth in 3A (out of 22 teams). Clearly, Morgan’s not so much interested in stopping opponents as just outscoring them. Three times this year, the Trojans gave up 70 points and still won. So BR should get plenty of scoring opportunities. But can they slow down the sharpshooting Trojans, who led 3A in 3-pointers made with 154. Our guess is probably not.

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Related post

3A State Tournament Boys Bracket

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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