OREM — The politically correct response to the 2A boys state tournament would be an advertisement of a competitive field. The championship is for the taking. However, similar to Lone Peak’s lack of drama in 2013, that simply isn’t the case.
It doesn’t take a genius to tab Wasatch Academy as the best team in the classification, and — debates aside — the Tigers have rightfully earned that respect. The private school in Mount Pleasant has averaged a 33.1-point margin of victory on its way to a 22-1 regular season record, but it’ll need 26 wins to defend its state title.
The 2A boys tournament gets underway on Saturday at Orem High with eight games beginning with Emery (Region 15, No. 2) and Rockwell (Region 14, No. 3) at 8:30 a.m. and concluding with Gunnison (Region 16, No. 2) and Delta (Region 13, No. 3) at 8:10 p.m.
Wasatch Academy (Region 15, No. 1) faces Rowland Hall (Region 14, No. 4) in the seventh game of the evening at 6:30 p.m.
South Summit (17-4), which plays Beaver at 10:15 in the first-round, appears to be Wasatch Academy’s best challenger. The Wildcats, who have yet to face the Tigers this season, have won 13 straight outings behind Beau Rydalch, who is averaging 22.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Wasatch Academy, which has tallied an overall record of 69-5 since its reclassification into 2A, has stumbled in the postseason as the overwhelming favorite. In 2011-12, the Tigers fell in the 2A quarterfinals, 58-41, against Richfield with a 20-2 record before eventually winning the fifth-place game against Waterford.
Enterprise also poses a threat in the upper portion of the bracket (wouldn’t face Wasatch Academy until the championship game). The Wolves (Region 13, No. 1) finished 15-7, but are capable of making a deep run with 2A’s leading scorer, Justin Prisbrey (23.3 ppg) resting in the wings.
Layton Christian (17-7) has won seven straight games after losing by 41 against Wasatch Academy in late January. The Eagles are led by one of the premier bigs in 2A, Christian Musoko.