With two full weeks of the prep basketball regular season left, it's starting to look more and more like a numbers game.
And those numbers have to do with 32 state-playoff berths - 16 each to the 4A and 3A tournaments.Those are the big numbers. The little numbers are the total berths available to the state's eight 4A and 3A leagues. All the 2A and 1A berths will be determined by postseason region tournaments in late February and early March.
One league where the numbers game is looking confusing is Region 6, where seven teams are within two games of each other. With all teams facing four more games and only four teams advancing to the state tournament, Region 6 foes know that every game really counts from here on out.
Just a reminder of how many teams advance to the state tournaments from each 3A and 4A league. For the 4A playoffs, Regions 1 and 2 each have four berths, while Region 3 has five and Region 4 only three. For the 3A tournament, Region 5 has five spots, Regions 6 and 8 four and Region 7 only three.
The following individual highlights were compiled from scoring summaries forwarded to the Deseret News following last week's games.
Points: East Carbon's Mike Oldroyd earned top-scorer honors for the past week, tallying 42 points against Tabiona. And West sophomore Chris Stepan earned duplicity distinction, scoring 27 points against Murray in a midweek game and following up with a 29-point effort against Tooele on Friday.
Making or breaking the 30-point barrier in games last week were Weber's Chris Andrews (33 vs. Layton), Cottonwood's Justin Weidauer (31 vs. Alta), North Sanpete's Daniel Christensen (31 vs. Park City) and Emery's Jared Butler (30 vs. Uintah).
Other players scoring 25 or more points in a game last week included Davis' Brett Barton (28 vs. Clearfield), South Summit's Jed Frazier (28 vs. Manti), North Summit's Jim Garfield (28 vs. St. Joseph), Sky View's Shane Mecham (27 vs. Mountain Crest), Dugway's Steve DeWitt (27 vs. Wendover), Mountain Crest's Jeff Thatcher (26 vs. Sky View), Wayne's Frank Noyes (26 vs. Bryce), Park City's Justin Christensen (25 vs. North Sanpete), and Green River's Gary Quarnberg (25 vs. Monticello).
Free throws: The best single-miss-out-of-double-digit-attempts performances last week was posted by Jordan's Hadden Fraser, who poured in 13 of his 14 attempts against Murray.
Other top free-throw tossers included Highland's Justin Scott (9-10 vs. Brighton), West's Kevin Easter (9-10 vs. Murray), Green River's Gary Quarnberg (9-10 vs. Monticello), Weber's Chris Andrews (15-17 vs. Layton), Tooele's Marc Lawson (13-15 vs. Granite), Hurricane's Cal Nielson (11-13 vs. North Sevier), Sky View's Shane Mecham (10-12 vs. Mountain Crest), Cottonwood's Justin Weidauer (9-11 vs. Alta), and Grantsville's Jeff Ware (10-13 vs. Morgan).
Treys: Here's some threes that came in pairs: First, a couple of pair-of-games performances. Manti's Travis Thompson tallied 10 3-pointers in the Templars' two games last week - four against North Sanpete and six against South Summit. And South Summit's Jed Frazier and Green River's Garrett Ekker each had nine-trey efforts in a two-game week - Frazier with five against Park City and four against Manti, and Ekker with four against Monticello and five against Grand County (with four in one quarter in the latter game).
Second, a couple of pairs of same-team trey-happy players in the same game. The North Sanpete duo of Daniel Christensen and Russell Buttars connected on 10 3-pointers against Park City - six by Christensen and four by Buttars. And the Payson pair of Bryan Nielsen and Phil DeGraffenreid made good on nine treys against Pine View - five by Nielsen and four by DeGraffenreid.
Other top 3-point shooters last week included Judge's John Yerkovich (6 vs. Bountiful), Mountain Crest's Jeff Thatcher (5 vs. Sky View), Carbon's Rod Jewkes (5 vs. Lehi), Orem's Bryce Hull (4 vs. Provo), Grantsville's Carter Jackson (4 vs. Juab), Delta's Todd Topham (4 vs. Kanab), South Sevier's Spencer Adams (4 vs. Beaver), and Bryce Valley's Derrick Clark (4 vs. Wayne).
Midweek matchups: Tuesday's best bets have Bonneville at Davis in Region 1, Taylorsville visiting No. 4 Hillcrest in Region 3, and a threesome of Region 6 games - No. 3 Bountiful at West, Tooele at Murray and Granite at Woods Cross - for the aforementioned reasons.
Wednesday's top pairing is No. 5 Springville visiting No. 2 Spanish Fork in a key Region 8 rivalry. Other noteworthy games include Orem at No. 2 Timpview in Region 4, Mountain Crest at No. 5 Ogden in Region 5, and a pair of Region 9 games involving the league's four top teams - No. 1 South Summit at Morgan and Juab at No. 4 North Sanpete.
Weekend wars: Besides the take-your-pick selection from the four Region 6 games, other of Friday's highlighted matchups include Alta at Highland in Region 2, No. 4 Wasatch at Emery County in Region 7, Pine View at No. 5 Springville in Region 8, and Tabiona at Duchesne in Region 13.
However, the best weekend pairing comes a day later, as No. 3 San Juan hosts No. 2 North Sevier in a non-league 2A contest.