5A boys basketball state tournament capsules

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Preston Christensen of Northridge, left, steals the ball with just more than a minute left in the game and makes the layup to put his team ahead. Northridge High School defeated Weber High School in boys basketball in Layton, Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. In the background is Zak Mahas of Weber.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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Three months after the boys basketball season tipped off, the Big 3 of 5A are still the teams to beat in next week’s state tournament as American Fork, West Jordan and Lone Peak have separated themselves from the 5A pack all season. However, they’ve all proven themselves to be vulnerable at times this season, and there are a lot of second tier 5A teams more than capable of pulling off an upset or two at the Maverik Center.

Here’s a team-by-team look at all 16 teams in the state tournament, and what to expect:

Alta Hawks (16-5)

Coach: Jim Barker

How qualified: Finished second in Region 3 with a 7-3 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Davis, Tuesday, 9:10 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 49-42 win at Olympus on Dec. 6.

Best region victory: A 57-56 win at Brighton on Jan. 27.

Top contributors

#20 Jarett Anderson, Sr., Forward (13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.7 spg)

#24 Dub Price, Sr., Forward (9.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg)

#23 Zack Zdunich, Sr., Guard (8.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg)

#15 Tanner Jones, Sr., Center (6.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.5 spg)

#33 Landon Albrecht, So., Forward (5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.7 spg)

Scoring offense: 54.8 ppg (12th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 47.9 ppg (4th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2010

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to American Fork in semifinals.

Edward’s evaluation: The bracket is set up very nicely for the Hawks to make a semifinal run in the state tournament. Beyond that though, they’d have to beat a better team, which hasn’t yet happened this year. In two games against West Jordan and one against American Fork, Alta hung with the favorites for a while, but didn’t have the finishing quality necessary to pull off the upset.

American Fork Cavemen (18-2)

Coach: Doug Meacham

How qualified: Finished tied with Lone Peak for the Region 4 title with a 9-1 record, and won the coin flip to earn the No. 1 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. West, Tuesday, 5:50 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 57-50 win at Alta on Dec. 14.

Best region victory: A 58-50 win against Lone Peak on Feb. 10.

Top contributors

#25 Austin Waddoups, Sr., Guard (13.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg)

#32 Quincy Bair, Sr., Forward (12.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg)

#35 Zac Hunter, Sr., Guard (11.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.7 spg)

#23 Marcel Davis, Sr., Guard (10.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.0 spg)

#50 Ryan Andrus, So., Center (6.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.3 spg)

Scoring offense: 62.6 ppg (4th in 5A)