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Just like with the girls a few weeks ago, strange results at the Region 20 tournament have made the upcoming state tournament even more intriguing. Bryce Valley vs. Duchesne is worthy of being a state championship game, but instead they’ll meet in the first round. There are a lot of new faces in this year’s tournament field, some who will likely make quick exits but others who hope to pull off a few upsets.
Here’s a team-by-team look at the 17 teams that have qualified for the state tournament, and what to expect.
Bryce Valley Mustangs (19-3)
Coach: Eric Jessen
How qualified: Finished tied for first in Region 20 with Piute with a 13-1 record, but finished fourth in the Region 20 tournament and heads into playoffs as No. 4 seed.
Playoff opener: vs. Duchesne, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (At Sevier Valley Center)
Best preseason victory: A 58-47 win at Beaver on Dec. 21.
Best region victory: A 50-47 win against Piute on Jan. 28.
Jake Pearson, Sr., Forward (14.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg)
Braxton Syrett, Jr., Guard (12.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.8 spg)
Eddie Dunham, Sr., Forward (12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg)
Dirk Chynoweth, Sr., Forward (8.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.6 spg)
Cajun Syrett, Sr., Guard (3.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.6 spg)
Scoring offense: 64.2 ppg (3rd in 1A)
Scoring defense: 48.0 ppg (10th in 1A)
Last state championship: 2010
Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Win over Piute in championship game.
Duchesne Eagles (18-3)
Coach: Stan Young
How qualified: Finished first in Region 21 with an 8-0 record.
Playoff opener: vs. Bryce Valley, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (At Sevier Valley Center)
Best preseason victory: A 60-53 win against Emery on Dec. 3.
Best region victory: A 55-44 win at Rich on Feb. 17.
Mike Dye, Sr., Guard (10.2 ppg)
Trevon Spencer, Sr., Forward (8.8 ppg)
Braiden Despain, Sr., Forward (7.0 ppg)
Macoy Young, Sr., Guard (6.6 ppg)
Kanann Nealley, Sr., Forward (6.3 ppg)
Scoring offense: 58.2 ppg (7th in 1A)
Scoring defense: 45.8 ppg (7th in 1A)
Last state championship: 1989
Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Bryce Valley in first round.
Green River Pirates (17-4)
Coach: Tom Hughes
How qualified: Finished first in Region 19 with a 10-0 record.