Sunday, July 27, 2014

3A girls basketball tournament: A team-by-team look (16 items)

By , Deseret News

Feb. 20, 2014

All eyes will be on Desert Hills in this year's 3A state tournament. A runner-up two years in a row — including last year when it was a big favorite — Desert Hills is the overwhelming favorite to capture the 3A state championship this year at Southern Utah.

A couple of other 3A programs such as Morgan, North Sanpete and Juan Diego hope to make things difficult for Desert Hills, but even their best game might not be enough against the loaded Thunder.

In order of winning percentage, these are the 16 teams that qualified for the 3A girls state basketball tournament this year:

1. Desert Hills (21-1)

2. Morgan (20-1)

3. North Sanpete (17-3)

4. Juan Diego (17-4)

5. Bear River (15-7)

6. Stansbury (14-8)

7. Hurricane (13-8)

8. Snow Canyon (11-9)

9. Cedar (12-10)

10. Juab (10-10)

11. Carbon/Payson

12. Union (7-13)

13. Richfield (6-14)

14. Tooele (6-15)

15. Park City (5-13)

16. Grantsville (5-16)

Here’s a team-by-team look at all 16 teams in the state tournament, and what to expect:

1 of 16. Bear River Bears (15-7)

Bear River Bears (15-7)

2013-14 schedule

Coach: Van Park

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 11 with 7-1 record and won coin flip to earn No. 1 seed

Playoff opener: vs. Cedar, Friday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 52-36 win at Bountiful on Dec. 20.

Most important region victory: A 56-49 win vs. Stansbury on Feb. 6.

Top contributors

#20 Alyssa Park, Jr. (15.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 3.3 spg)

#12 Kenzi Summers, So. (6.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 spg)

#40 Terrell Fridal, Sr. (6.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.3 spg)

#3 Tamika Rodriguez, So. (5.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 3.0 spg)

#5 Jordan Fitting, Jr. (4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.8 spg)

Scoring offense: 49.6 ppg (4th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 43.2 ppg (11th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Juan Diego in quarterfinals

Edward’s evaluation: Since losing 3 of 4 during a stretch in January, Bear River has found its groove and ended the season on a six-game winning streak to earn share of Region 11 title. Opens playoffs against quality opponent in Cedar, but if the Bears advance they’ll be a notable underdog against whoever they face the rest of the tournament.

2 of 16. Carbon Dinos (11-12)

2013-14 schedule

Coach: Ted Biano

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 12 with 3-5 record and won play-in game against Payson to clinch final playoff berth.

Playoff opener: at Juan Diego, Friday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 51-34 win at Snow Canyon on Dec. 28.

Most important region victory: A 45-31 win vs. Richfield on Feb. 4.

Top contributors

#11 Shelby Cornforth, Sr. (11.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 2.0 spg)

#23 Katie Basinger, Jr. (10.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.6 spg)

#31 Jordan Scoggins, So. (6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.4 spg)

#33 Jaylie Jensen, Jr. (4.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.9 spg)

#25 Lindsey Blanc, (3.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.6 spg)

Scoring offense: 43.2 ppg (12th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 40.6 ppg (4th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2005

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Juan Diego in first round

Edward’s evaluation: Late-season collapse was erased with play-in game victory over Payson on Tuesday. The Dinos open with Juan Diego, a team it lost to 60-50 back on Jan. 10. However, Carbon traditionally plays well in the state tournament and it features one of the top scoring defenses in 3A, which gives them hope at a potential first-round upset.

3 of 16. Cedar Redmen (12-10)


2013-14 schedule

Coach: John Elison

How qualified: Fourth in Region 9 with 6-6 record

Playoff opener: at Bear River, Friday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 43-41 win vs. North Sanpete on Jan. 2.

Most important region victory: A 44-38 win at Canyon View on Jan. 28.

Top contributors

#23 Courtney Morley, So., Guard (11.7 ppg)

#22 Javlyn Weaver, Jr., Guard (8.0 ppg)

#5 Lisa Ballenger, Jr., Guard (5.2 ppg)

#24 McKenna Collins, Jr., Forward (3.1 ppg)

#33 Shay Bauman, Jr., Guard (2.4 ppg)

Scoring offense: 41.5 ppg (13th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 42.3 ppg (9th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Bear River in first round

Edward’s evaluation: Won final three games to clinch playoff berth. Sustaining that momentum will be difficult with a long trek to Bear River for the first round. If Cedar does escape with the first-round upset, the final three rounds of the tourney will be played at SUU, which gives coach John Elison’s team hope for a few more wins.

4 of 16. Desert Hills Thunder (21-1)

2013-14 schedule

Coach: Chris Allred

How qualified: First in Region 9 with 12-0 record.

Playoff opener: vs. Grantsville, Friday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 50-28 win at Timpanogos on Dec. 21.

Most important region victory: An 83-50 win at Hurricane on Jan. 7.

Top contributors

#43 Haley Bodnar, Sr. (14.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.6 spg)

#4 Blair Bliss, Sr. (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.6 apg, 3.8 spg)

#14 Kenzie Done, So. (9.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.1 spg)

#24 Ashley Beckstrand, Fr. (8.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.6 spg)

#22 Karlee Myers, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)

Scoring offense: 65.3 ppg (2nd in 3A)

Scoring defense: 37.2 ppg (1st in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Win over Morgan in championship

Edward’s evaluation: OK, this has gotta be the year Desert Hills gets the job done, right? After losing in the championship game two straight years, this year’s team has been virtually unstoppable against 5A, 4A and 3A teams with a 27-point average margin of victory. A tough test could await Desert Hills in the final against Morgan, but there’s simply too much talent on this team to come up short again.

5 of 16. Grantsville Cowgirls (5-16)

2013-14 schedule

Coach: Megan Vera

How qualified: Fourth in Region 11 with 2-6 record

Playoff opener: at Desert Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 38-23 win vs. Rowland Hall on Dec. 17

Most important region victory: A 42-32 win vs. Ben Lomond on Feb. 4.

Top contributors

#32 Abby Butler, Fr., F/C (7.6 ppg)

#12 Riley Ekins, Fr., Forward (4.7 ppg)

#3 Whitney Castagno, So., Guard (3.8 ppg)

#13 Jessy Davis, Sr., G/F (3.4 ppg)

#14 Megan Cafarelli, So., Guard (3.2 ppg)

Scoring offense: 32.0 ppg (21st in 3A)

Scoring defense: 45.2 ppg (13th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

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

Edward’s evaluation: With two freshman and two sophomore contributions, Grantsville’s inevitable blowout loss in the first round at Desert Hills will be good experience for the players to build on for next year.