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SALT LAKE CITY — The 4A girls basketball playoffs are wide open, with several able teams vying for the state title.
Cyprus currently holds the No. 1 spot in the 4A state rankings with an undefeated region record of 10-0 and only one loss all year. The Pirates earned their first region title in years behind Lori Parkinson.
The 6-foot-1 forward averages just under 15 points per game and leads the state in rebounds and steals. Teammate Julie Caputo adds just under 11 points per game. On top of the potent scorers, the Pirates boast a stifling defense.
The top-ranked team may be in shipshape for the tournament, but the view from the top is hard to enjoy when as many as eight worthy teams are clamoring for the crown.
One team capable of dethroning the Pirates is the Bonneville Lakers. The Lakers (10-0) and Pirates are the only two teams to make it through region play unscathed. Bonneville has been hot on the heels of Cyprus all year, suffering just three losses overall (18-3).
Emilie Volk is at the offensive helm for the Lakers, averaging 13 points per game, while teammate Kayla Eilertson is a potent scoring threat as well.
The Skyline Eagles (9-1) earned the No. 1 seed in Region 7 with their only region loss coming from Westlake. Skyline is certainly one to watch as it boasts veteran talent in senior forward Miquelle Askew, averaging more than 18 points per game.
Region 8 is quite possibly the biggest question mark in Class 4A. It was a tough region in which no team was able to enjoy a night off.
Salem Hills finished first in the region with an 11-3 record. The squad has a shot at claiming the school's first-ever state championship with senior center Lyssa Hanks leading the team in scoring and rebounding.
Despite the first-place finish, Salem Hills did not sit comfortably. Maple Mountain and Timpanogos contested for the top spot as they both finished with 10-4 region records. The two squads finished in a second place tie, with Timpanogos earning the No. 2 seed after the tiebreaker.
Westlake finished in a second place tie as well and earning the nod over Hillcrest for the No. 2 seed in Region 7. Hillcrest is making its first appearance in years with the No. 3 seed.
Several tiebreakers were needed to determine seeding and this year's level of competition promises some exciting playoff action this week.
The first round begins today at Salt Lake Community College. Look for updates at www.deseretnews.com.
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