As the state's basketball teams prepare for region play, wins and losses become more important. The next six weeks will be about region titles and playoff seeding, rather than rankings or bragging rights. Heading into this critical section of their schedules, there are just six undefeated teams — 5A's Riverton and Bingham; 4A's Springville and Bonneville; 3A's Deseret Hills and 1A defending state champion St. Joseph.
While not all of the top teams are led by superstars, there are standout players in every class. The Deseret News compiled a list of 10 girls basketball players to watch this winter, and while the list doesn't include all of the players who will impact the outcome of the season, it features some of the state's most dynamic and enjoyable talents.
Among them are the state's leading overall scorer, Judge junior Kailie Quinn, and three players from Region 4 — Whitney Saunders, Riverton; Jillian Powell, Bingham, and Cassidy Fraughton, American Fork.
The list includes a future Ute, a future Cougar and a future Fresno State Bulldog, as well as three players yet to commit to colleges. Of the 10 featured players, just two are juniors.
Who else made the list? Here are all 10 of Utah's girl hoopsters to watch heading into region play.
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— 6-foot-3, Junior, forward
— 14 ppg, 7 rpg
— Bodnar is a two-year starter and a tremendous talent in basketball. In the 2011-12 school year, Bodnar was an all-state volleyball player as well, but has she's since stopped playing volleyball. She is tall and very athletic, and defensively she's a force for the Thunder. Her hard work in the off-season has made her a great post player who can shoot with both hands.
— 5-foot-10, Senior, guard
— 14.45 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg, 1.75 spg
— A four-year starter who can do just about anything offensively. She's a guard who isn't afraid to sacrifice her body for a bucket, and she's a solid free throw shooter. She is a great outside shooter and sees the court extremely well with great basketball IQ.
— Signed with BYU
— 6-foot, Senior, guard/forward
— 14.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 3 spg
— Started her career in 1A at private school Christian Heritage. She transferred to Bonneville when Christian Heritage closed and has helped the Lakers to be a contender in 4A. She's a pure shooter who isn't afraid to get physical in the paint. Her long wing-span and hustle make her a terrific defender.
— Signed with Fresno State
— 5-foot-10, Senior, guard/forward
— 17.63 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.38 apg, 1.3 spg
— Started her high school career in California but has started for the Red Devils as a junior and senior. She is a captain this season and takes that role very seriously. She's an athletic, quick and tough-minded player who can do just about anything on the court.
—Verbally committed to Utah
— 5-foot-11, Senior, forward/guard
— 17.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.0 spg
— Two year starter for the Silverwolves Saunders is a workhorse for the team. She was last year's Region 4 MVP after leading Riverton to a region title. She helped them to the semi-finals where they lost to Weber. She's a great defender with a nose for the basketball.
— 6-foot-2, Senior, Center
— 15.08 ppg, 8.33 rpg, 1.42 spg
— Four-year starter in two sports (MVP twice in volleyball), Megan Bean has helped Richfield become a team that can compete with just about any squad, regardless of class. She is unusually athletic for her size and extremely coachable and good natured.
— Signed with Weber State for volleyball
— 5-foot-9, Senior, guard
— 11.4 ppg
— Jillian Powell is a two-year starter who leads her teammates by example. Hardworking and willing to do whatever benefits the team, her energy and attitude have helped Bingham to an undefeated pre-season. She and two of her teammates will play together at Snow College next season.
— Signed with Snow College
— 5-foot-9, Senior, guard
— 10.18 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg
— Fraughton is an athletic and versatile player with long arms, quick reflexes and enviable speed. She can score by driving to the basket or knocking down a long-range jump shot. She's equally strong dribbling with either hand and she doesn't mind the physical demands of gritty defense and rebounding duties in the paint.
— Committed to Dixie State College
— 5-foot-9, Senior, point guard
— 21.45 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.2 spg
— Despite her talent, Reichle, who is also an all-state softball player, is one of the Warriors hardest working players. She's tough, no-nonsense and extremely quick. But maybe her greatest strength is that she handles pressure like a pro.
— Signed with Dixie State College
— 5-foot-9, Junior, guard
— 22.73 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 6.7 spg
— Committed and passionate, Kailie Quinn's greatest strength is her intelligence on the court. She is able to counter the effort of a defense and she sees the court extremely well. She's a great shooter who also hustles after every loose ball.