High school boys basketball: Wasatch Academy, South Sevier are clear-cut favorites in 2A
Editor’s note: 3A basketball preview will be published on Monday.
Check out the Deseret News leaders to see the scoring, rebounds, steals and assists leaders in 2A.
Here’s a look back at the 2A preseason capsules that were published Nov. 20.
The public vs. private debate is alive and kicking in 2A.
In one corner you have two-time state champion South Sevier, the public school team that’s loaded with talent and is the favorite in the eyes of many again in 2A.
In the other corner you have Wasatch Academy, the boarding school in Mt. Pleasant that’s made itself relevant in basketball circles the past few years by bringing in outstanding international talent.
South Sevier has dealt with significant injuries this preseason, but still owns a 6-3 record and a 30-point average margin of victory in three games against 2A foes.
Wasatch Academy is 10-1 this preseason and currently ranked No. 1 in 2A. Its best victory of the preseason was a 70-59 win over Weber (5A). In three preseason games against 2A foes, the Tigers have won by an average of 35 points.
One of those victories was a 20-point win over South Summit.
“I really don’t see anybody beating Wasatch Academy. I don’t know how you defend them. They’re so good at every position. They’re better than your best man at every position,” said South Summit coach Dusty Hatch.
Hatch wouldn’t be surprised if all seven contributors for Wasatch Academy go on to play college basketball somewhere.
Until the rules change, Hatch said complaining about Wasatch Academy’s ability to recruit just comes off as sour grapes. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel bad for the kids in 2A.
“I feel bad, not just my team, but every team in 2A. These young men have aspirations of being successful at basketball since they’ve been in fifth grade. And then you get in high school and it’s tough to compete,” said Hatch.
Don’t expect South Sevier to concede its throne just yet.
Even though Rams’ coach Scott Hunt echoed Hatch’s sentiment and said Wasatch Academy is like a college team, his team is no pushover either. Led by two-time 2A MVP Race Parsons, South Sevier has posted 24-1 records the past two seasons. The SUU commit is one of three returning starters on a team that simply doesn’t lose.
“South Sevier is very good. For us to win we’ve got to go through them,” said Wasatch Academy coach Geno Morgan.
Ironically enough, if region play unfolds for South Sevier and Wasatch Academy how most expect, the two will meet in the 2A semifinals and not the championship game.
First, however, the teams need to take care of business in region play, which gets underway for many 2A teams next week.
Don’t expect Region 15 to be a breeze for South Sevier.
Richfield was the 2A runner-up a year ago, while Emery and San Juan both have strong teams too.
“Our kids have been working hard and getting better every game, especially with as young as we are,” said Richfield coach Rand Janes.
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