Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
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All signs points to a team from Region 9 being crowned state champion with the 3A state tournament being held at the Burns Arena at Dixie State College this year. No. 1 Desert Hills is certainly the favorite in the tough tournament field. Northern teams like Judge, Payson and Morgan are talented enough to spoil what many feel is an inevitable title for a Southern Utah team.
Here’s a team-by-team look at all 16 teams in the state tournament, and what to expect:
Bear River Bears (7-14)
Coach: Kasey Winters
How qualified: Finished tied for third in Region 11 with Ogden at 6-6, but won the coin flip and heads into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed.
Playoff opener: at Delta, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Best preseason victory: A 71-64 win against Hurricane at the Sevier Valley Center on Dec. 3.
Best region victory: A 77-59 win against Ogden on Jan. 27.
Wade Miller, Jr. (17.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.6 spg)
Taylor Ramsdell, Sr. (8.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.0 spg)
Riley Robbins, Sr. (7.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg)
Kyle Zundel, Jr. (4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.7 spg)
Tory Brown, Sr. (4.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg)
Scoring offense: 54.2 ppg (13th in 3A)
Scoring defense: 60.0 ppg (24th in 3A)
Last state championship: 2009
Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Judge in quarterfinals.
Edward’s evaluation: At one point this season Bear River owned a 1-10 record before it started to pick up wins in the soft Region 11. That one preseason victory was against Hurricane at the Sevier Valley Center, proof the Bears are capable of competing with top-notch teams on a given night. It can also lay an egg.
Ben Lomond Scots (15-6)
Coach: Ryan Wilcox
How qualified: Finished second in Region 11 with a 10-2 record
Playoff opener: vs. Carbon, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Best preseason victory: A 47-45 win against Roy on Dec. 3.
Best region victory: A 62-50 at Ogden on Feb. 8.
Josh Hardin, Jr., Forward (13.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.5 spg)
Nate Watkins, Sr., Guard (9.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.7 spg)
Sterling Brandley, Jr., Guard (8.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 6.9 apg, 2.5 spg)
Cody Buck, Sr., Forward (5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.1 spg)
Sage Eastburn, Jr., Forward (3.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.4 spg)
Scoring offense: 51.4 ppg (17th in 3A)
Scoring defense: 44.7 ppg (1st in 3A)
Last state championship: 1986
Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Carbon in first round.