Boys basketball: Deep Desert Hills hopes to make title run

Desert Hills' Logan Hokanson returns to lead the Thunder in 2016-17 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – With a varsity team comprised of seven seniors and eight juniors, experience is a commodity at Desert Hills. Depth, too. Size? Not so much.

desert-hills-logoWith the exception of leading scorer Marcus McKone, the Thunder have nearly their entire team back from a team last year that went 18-7 and placed second in Region 9. D-Hills coach Wade Turley is confident in his team, despite a lack of size inside.

“The expectations are high again this year,” he said. “This group of boys have been together for a lot of years and their expectations are high as well.”

Desert Hills'  Tanner Turley (24), Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 27, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Desert Hills’ Tanner Turley (24), Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 27, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Logan Hokanson, an exciting open-court player who averaged 14 points a game last season, is back for his senior season. He is nursing an ankle injury suffered in the state championship football game, but even without him, DH has a couple of bona fide scorers in Jake Mathews and coach’s son Tanner Turley.

“We feel like we can play 9, 10, 11 guys and there not be a lot of drop off,” Coach Turley said. “Thats exciting to have that depth.”

Backcourt: Hokanson, who should return soon from the injury, is a scorer from anywhere on the court and is especially adept in one-on-one situations. Issac Olivas will run the point and Trey Allred can shoot. Mathews can play the two or the three and is a good rebounder.

Frontcourt: Turley is more a guard than a forward, but may have to play down low for the undersized Thunder. The 6-foot-5 Sam Kunzler didn’t make the team last year, but worked hard and will factor in the post along with Cam Clayton. Juniors Tayler Cox and Tyler Marz could also help out inside.

“We need to love every day and enjoy every day and win every day,” Coach Turley said. “You just never know when that might be taken from us.”

The Thunder played one game, a road win at Canyon View, and continue their preseason with the 3A Preview in Richfield this weekend. DH will also battle up north in a tournament just before New Year’s, facing teams like Olympus and West Jordan.

DATE GAME START TIME / RESULTS
Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Canyon View Desert Hills 60 | Canyon View 49
Friday, Dec. 2
3A-2A PREVIEW  vs Morgan
1:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3
3A-2A PREVIEW  vs Grantsville
1:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9
KEN ROBINSON CLASSIC vs Richfield
6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10
KEN ROBINSON CLASSIC vs Spanish Fork
3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 15
COACH WALKER CLASSIC

vs Ridgeline

6:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16
COACH WALKER CLASSIC

vs Maple Mountain

6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17
COACH WALKER CLASSIC

vs Manti

2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 28
UTAH AUTISM HOLIDAY CLASSIC

vs Olympus

8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 29
UTAH AUTISM HOLIDAY CLASSIC

vs West Jordan

11:30 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 30
UTAH AUTISM HOLIDAY CLASSIC

vs Judge Memorial

11:30 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 30
UTAH AUTISM HOLIDAY CLASSIC

vs Park City

5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 6 vs Richfield 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 11 vs Cedar 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 13 at Dixie 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Hurricane 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20 vs Snow Canyon 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Pine View 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 27 at Cedar 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 1 vs Dixie 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3 vs Hurricane 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Snow Canyon 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 vs Pine View 7:00 p.m.

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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