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5A boys basketball state tournament capsules

Published: Wednesday, July 29 2015 2:17 p.m. MDT

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) 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.

American Fork's #23 Marcel Davis,left, takes the ball away from Lone Peak's #11 T.J. Haws as American Fork and Lone Peak play Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 at American Fork. American Fork won 58-50. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) American Fork's #23 Marcel Davis,left, takes the ball away from Lone Peak's #11 T.J. Haws as American Fork and Lone Peak play Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 at American Fork. American Fork won 58-50. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

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)

West Jordan's #21 Jordan Loveridge goes up high for a dunk over Davis' #20 Lincoln Holt as West Jordan and Davis play in semifinal action Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at Orem High in the Great Western Shootout. West Jordan won 67-55. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) West Jordan's #21 Jordan Loveridge goes up high for a dunk over Davis' #20 Lincoln Holt as West Jordan and Davis play in semifinal action Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at Orem High in the Great Western Shootout. West Jordan won 67-55. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

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)

Scoring defense: 52.5 ppg (7th in 5A)

Last state championship: 1979 (3A)

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Lost to West Jordan in championship.

Edward’s evaluation: After erasing any doubt that it could get over the Lone Peak hurdle, the sky’s the limit for this team in the playoffs. The Cavemen consistently play great defense, and with four players averaging in double figures are tough to slow offensively too. They caught a break by winning the coin flip with Lone Peak, and are clearly the best team in the lower portion of the bracket.

Bingham Miners (8-13)

Coach: Mark Dubach

How qualified: Finished tied with Riverton for third in Region 4 with a 4-6 record, but won the region tiebreaker to claim the No. 3 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Hunter, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 78-69 win against Brighton on Dec. 20.

Best region victory: A 54-52 win at Riverton on Jan. 20.

Top contributors

#2 Cody Benson, Sr., Guard (14.8 ppg)

#3 Conner Williams, Sr., Guard (11.0 ppg)

#10 Josh Sandquist, Sr., Guard (6.7 ppg)

#4 Jake Bagley, Sr., Guard (6.5 ppg)

#12 Eric Hannay, Sr., Forward (6.1 ppg)

Scoring offense: 53.1 ppg (15th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 57.7 ppg (20th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2006

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Lost to West Jordan in quarterfinals.

Edward’s evaluation: The Miners limp into the playoffs with three-straight losses, including a 27-point setback to Lone Peak in the regular season finale. Under normal circumstances, this might be a one-and-done playoff appearance, but Bingham catches a break by drawing Hunter in the first round. With a victory, it would then get a rematch in the quarterfinals with West Jordan, which beat Bingham by 35 points in the preseason.

Brighton Bengals (14-7)

Coach: Jeff Gardner

How qualified: Finished third in Region 4 with a 6-4 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Weber, Tuesday, 4:10 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: An 81-74 win at Gillette, Wyo. On Dec. 30.

Best region victory: A 85-82 (OT) win against West Jordan on Jan. 24.

Top contributors

#22 Brandon Miller , Jr., Guard (21.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.7 spg)

#35 Travis Devashrayee, Jr., Forward (12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.8 spg)

#40 Bryce Callahan, Jr., Forward (9.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.8 spg)

#2 Zach Wertz, Sr., Guard (7.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg)

#13 Jon Hicken, Sr., Guard (4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.9 spg)

Scoring offense: 64.8 ppg (3rd in 5A)

Scoring defense: 57.5 ppg (19th in 5A)

Last state championship: 1996

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Lost to Weber in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: The clichÉ “anyone can beat anyone on a given night” definitely applies to Brighton this year. The Bengals split the season series with every team in Region 3 excluding Cottonwood. That 85-82 overtime win over West Jordan is proof the Bengals can play with the big boys when their shots are dropping. Needs to crank it up a notch defensively in the playoffs though.

Copper Hills Grizzlies (12-8)

Coach: Kent Smith

How qualified: Finished fourth in Region 3 with a 5-5 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Northridge, Tuesday, 11:10 a.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 53-45 win at Dixie on Dec. 30.

Best region victory: A 72-54 win against Brighton on Feb. 10.

Top contributors

Tyler Lazenby, Sr., Forward (12.0 ppg)

Dylan Carter, Sr., Guard (11.0 ppg)

Bryson Allen, Sr., Center (10.0 ppg)

Dustin Graham, Sr., Forward (8.4 ppg)

Cameron Sanchez, Sr., Guard (7.1 ppg)

Scoring offense: 59.3 ppg (8th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 52.6 ppg (9th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2000

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Lone Peak in quarterfinals.

Edward’s evaluation: The Grizzlies may be a No. 4 seed, but they’re playing great basketball right now and one could make an argument that they should be favored against Region 1 champion Northridge in the first round. Copper Hills was one desperation 3-pointer away from beating West Jordan two weeks ago, which would’ve really strengthened its resume in the playoffs.

Davis Darts (13-8)

Coach: Jay Welk

How qualified: Finished in a third-place tied in Region 1 with Fremont at 6-4. Swept the season series with Fremont to claim the No. 3 seed.

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

Best preseason victory: A 49-39 win against Bingham on Dec. 9.

Best region victory: A 42-38 win at Fremont on Feb. 17.

Top contributors

#23 Tyson Denney, Sr., Guard (10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.7 spg)

#33 Jace Johnson, Sr., Forward (7.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg)

#30 Abel Porter, So., Guard (8.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg)

#21 Karter Chisholm, Sr., Guard (6.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.9 spg)

#32 Braden Koelliker, Jr., Center (5.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.8 spg)

Scoring offense: 53.1 ppg (14th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 51.6 ppg (6th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2002

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: Davis lost to Alta by 26 points in the second game of the season this year. We’ll find out next Tuesday just how much the Darts have closed that gap when the same teams meet in the first round. Davis has been a very up and down team this year, but with victories over Fremont and Northridge to close the regular season, it’s heading into the state tournament on an upswing.

Fremont Silver Wolves (12-9)

Coach: Corey Melaney

How qualified: Finished in a third-place tied in Region 1 with Fremont at 6-4. Lost the season series to Davis to fall into No. 4 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. West Jordan, Tuesday, 12:50 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 74-62 win against Sky View on Dec. 2.

Best region victory: A 49-42 win against Northridge on Jan. 20.

Top contributors

#24 Brock Smith, Sr., Forward (19.9 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.4 spg)

#33 Hayden Spencer, Sr., Guard (9.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.6 spg)

#4 Jordan Preator, Jr., Guard (5.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 spg)

#3 Rowdy Stucki, Sr. , Guard (4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg)

#44 Lloyd Stephens, Sr., Forward (3.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.5 spg)

Scoring offense: 50.1 ppg (18th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 46.5 ppg (2nd in 5A)

Last state championship: 2005

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to West Jordan in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: A semifinalist a year ago, Fremont faces a very daunting task in the first round of the playoffs this year. It knows what to expect though. The Silver Wolves lost to West Jordan 60-46 in the preseason, which was actually West Jordan’s second-lowest offensive output all year. Fremont’s defense has been stingy all year, but the offense is going to really struggle to keep pace with the Jags.

Hunter Wolverines (12-9)

Coach: Dave Filamoehala

How qualified: Finished second in Region 2 with a 7-3 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Bingham, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 70-64 win at Logan on Dec. 2.

Best region victory: A 68-57 win at Kearns on Jan. 13.

Top contributors

#10 Dimitri Saliba, Sr., Guard (16.0 ppg)

#23 Trevon Johnson, Jr., Guard (12.0 ppg)

#4 Noah Togiai, Fr., Guard (10.0 ppg)

#25 Brandon Davies, Jr. , Forward (5.8 ppg)

#24 Ronnie Montoya, Sr., Guard (4.7 ppg)

Scoring offense: 61.0 ppg (5th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 59.0 ppg (21st in 5A)

Last state championship: 2004

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Bingham in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: The Wolverines are the most athletic team in Region 2 this year, and even though they haven’t beaten a ranked 5A team this year, they’re athletic enough to compete with some of the upper-echelon teams if they hunker down defensively. Relies heavily on 3-point shooting though, which isn’t really a great formula for success in the playoffs.

Kearns Cougars (9-12)

Coach: Dan Cosby

How qualified: Finished tied with West for third in Region 2 with a 4-6 record, but swept West to claim the No. 3 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Lone Peak, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 51-47 win at Hillcrest on Dec. 1.

Best region victory: A 66-58 (OT) win against Granger on Feb. 17.

Top contributors

#35 Dayon Goodman, Jr., Forward (18.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.6 spg)

#2 Taylor Yeager, Sr., Guard (12.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.9 spg)

#12 Jordan Harvey, Sr. , Guard (5.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.7 spg)

#33 Jarvis Andrews, Sr., Forward (4.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.5 spg)

#11 Afuvai Leiato, Sr., Guard (5.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg)

Scoring offense: 50.6 ppg (17th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 53.1 ppg (10th in 5A)

Last state championship: 1972 (3A)

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Lone Peak in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: Kearns will be a massive underdog against Lone Peak in the first round, but it has nothing to lose and should be come out very loose. Considering their relatively close proximity to the Maverik Center, there’s a chance the Cougars might have a large contingent of students on hand to cheer them on. If they can feed off that energy, and Lone Peak is having an off night shooting, perhaps Kearns can keep it close.

Lone Peak Knights (18-3)

Coach: Quincy Lewis

How qualified: Finished tied with American Fork for the Region 4 title with a 9-1 record, but lost the coin flip to fall into the No. 2 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Kearns, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 72-67 (2OT) win against Whitney Young, Ill. in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Dec. 30.

Best region victory: A 55-40 win against American Fork on Jan. 20.

Top contributors

#4 Nick Emery, Jr., Guard (22.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.4 spg)

#11 T.J.Haws, So., Forward (17.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg)

#21 Talon Shumway, Jr., Forward (9.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg)

#15 Chase Hansen, Sr., Forward (3.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.9 spg)

#14 Brody Berry, Sr., Guard (3.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.8 spg)

Scoring offense: 65.0 ppg (2nd in 5A)

Scoring defense: 47.8 ppg (3rd in 5A)

Last state championship: 2011

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to West Jordan in semifinals.

Edward’s evaluation: This time last year, Lone Peak was hitting its stride and was virtually untouchable. Now, however, there’s a lot of uncertainty heading in the playoffs. The Knights are certainly talented enough to run away with the 5A title, but their young guards can sometimes get easily frustrated and when that happens the offense seems to break down. Lone Peak averages eight 3-pointers per game, but the Maverik Center has rarely been kind to shooters through the years.

Northridge Knights (13-8)

Coach: Chad Sims

How qualified: Finished first in Region 1 with an 8-2 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Copper Hills, Tuesday, 11:10 a.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 48-43 win at Jordan on Dec. 10.

Best region victory: A 53-45 win against Weber on Feb. 17.

Top contributors

#23 Karson Casteel, Sr., Forward (14.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 spg)

#3 Preston Christensen, Jr., Guard (10.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.1 spg)

#32 Joe Newkirk, Sr., Guard (5.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.2 spg)

#12 Morgan Berg, Sr., Guard (4.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 spg)

#2 Bryson Niederhauser, Sr., Guard (2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.9 spg)

Scoring offense: 47.4 ppg (20th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 46.2 ppg (1st in 5A)

Last state championship: None

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Copper Hills in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: The formula for winning its first region title in 10 years wasn’t necessarily pretty, but effective. The Knights were one of the lowest scoring teams in 5A, but that didn’t matter because they hung their hats on defense and statistically were the best in 5A. Losing to Davis on the last night of the season raises some red flags though about how deep this team can really go in the playoffs.

Riverton Silverwolves (11-10)

Coach: Steve Galley

How qualified: Finished tied with Bingham for third in Region 4 with a 4-6 record, but lost the region tiebreaker to fall into the No. 4 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Viewmont, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 62-58 win against West Jordan on Dec. 20.

Best region victory: A 64-43 win against Lehi on Feb. 21.

Top contributors

#3 D McCleary, Sr., Guard (14.0 ppg)

#24 Stephan Holm, Jr., Guard (13.5 ppg)

#33 Bryce Stone, Jr., Forward (7.8 ppg)

#44 Richard Worsham, Jr., Center (5.8 ppg)

#12 Austin Anderson, Sr., Guard (4.6 ppg)

Scoring offense: 54.0 ppg (13th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 55.2 ppg (16th in 5A)

Last state championship: None

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in quarterfinals.

Edward’s evaluation: In December, this team finished with a 7-2 record with a win over West Jordan. In January, it went 1-5. After back-to-back losses to Lone Peak and American fork to start February — the AF loss was in OT — this team somehow managed to clinch a playoff berth by ending the season on a three-game winning streak. It’s impossible to predict which team will show up in the playoffs, but Riverton has proven it can play with anybody.

Viewmont Vikings (12-9)

Coach: Jeff Emery

How qualified: Finished first in Region 2 with a 10-0 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Riverton, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 55-50 (OT) win against Bountiful on Dec. 9.

Best region victory: An 85-81 (3OT) win at Hunter on Jan. 18.

Top contributors

#44 Haden Heath, Sr., Forward (10.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.5 spg)

#25 Jarom Tye, Jr., Guard (9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg)

#20 Tanner Gamble, Sr., Guard (7.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.8 spg)

#24 Brody Bagshaw, Sr., Forward (6.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg)

#35 McKay Richins, Jr., Forward (5.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.4 spg)

Scoring offense: 57.3 ppg (10th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 49.4 ppg (5th in 5A)

Last state championship: 1993

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Riverton in first round.

Edward’s evaluation: This team went 2-9 in the preseason, so it’s very easy to discount its 10-0 record in the very weak Region 2. However, over the past three weeks, it appears the Vikings started to figure things out offensively, scoring at a higher clip than they have all season. Was that because they’ve evolved into a decent team, or because the rest of Region 2 failed to keep pace?

Weber Warriors (17-4)

Coach: Mark Larsen

How qualified: Finished second in Region 1 with a 7-3 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Brighton, Tuesday, 4:10 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 70-58 win against Sky View on Dec. 14.

Best region victory: A 1 56-42 win at Davis on Feb. 7.

Top contributors

#3 Hayden Schenck, Jr., Guard (19.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.9 apg, 3.2 spg)

#23 Justin Nielsen, Sr., Forward (12.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 spg)

#20 Jake Shaw, Sr., Forward (8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 spg)

#24 Dylan Rogers, Jr. , Guard (5.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg)

#4 Zak Mahas, Sr., Forward (5.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.7 spg)

Scoring offense: 60.6 ppg (7th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 52.6 ppg (8th in 5A)

Last state championship: 1971 (3A)

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

Edward’s evaluation: Weber may be the best team in 5A nobody knows about outside of Northern Utah. The Warriors feature one of the best point guards in the state in Hayden Schenck, and he runs the offense exceptionally well. They only lost four games all year, but two were to Northridge in Region 1 which cost them the region title. Weber might not be good enough to compete with the big three in 5A, but it’s more than capable of getting past the first round.

West Panthers (5-16)

Coach: Mike Matheson

How qualified: Finished tied with Kearns for third in Region 2 with a 4-6 record, but lost the season series to Kearns to fall into the No. 4 seed.

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

Best preseason victory: A 61-45 win against Cyprus on Dec. 2.

Best region victory: A 39-27 win against granger on Feb. 10.

Top contributors

#5 Devin Price, Sr., Forward (9.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.7 spg)

#24 Lennon Coley, Sr., Forward (8.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.7 spg)

#33 Gordon Vetas, Jr., Guard (7.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 spg)

#23 Denzel Latu, So., Guard (4.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.6 spg)

#11 Alex Espinosa, Jr., Guard (3.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.5 spg)

Scoring offense: 43.0 ppg (24th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 54.4 ppg (13th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2009 (4A)

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

Edward’s evaluation: For a team that didn’t beat a team with a winning record all year, drawing No. 1 American Fork in the first round is a brutal draw. Even if West plays a perfect game, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which it can pull off the upset.

West Jordan Jaguars (19-2)

Coach: Scott Briggs

How qualified: Finished first in Region 3 with a 9-1 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Fremont, Tuesday, 12:50 p.m. (At Maverik Center)

Best preseason victory: A 78-71 win at Orem on Dec. 17.

Best region victory: A 75-60 win at Alta on Feb. 10.

Top contributors

#21 Jordan Loveridge, Sr., Forward (22.8 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg)

#23 Jaden Jackson, Sr., Guard (16.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 2.6 spg)

#24 Jordan Pryor, Sr., Guard (13.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg)

#20 Seth Barrus, Sr., Forward (6.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg)

#33 DeShawn Perkins, Sr., Guard (4.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.7 spg)

Scoring offense: 71.6 ppg (1st in 5A)

Scoring defense: 53.2 ppg (11th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2009

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Win over American Fork in championship game.

Edward’s evaluation: The last time the state tournament was at the Maverik Center, West Jordan cut down the nets after upsetting Lone Peak in the championship game. This year, those same 5A powers are headed toward a semifinal showdown baring any major upsets. Jordan Loveridge is a weapon no other team in 5A possesses, and he needs to dominate for the Jags to win the title. As good as they are offensively, it’s hard to imagine the Jaguars beating Lone Peak if the inevitable match-up turns into a track meet.

Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer.

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