Thursday, July 31, 2014

High school girls basketball: 5A girls basketball state tournament capsules (16 items)

By , Deseret News

Feb. 22, 2014

It's no secret who everyone is chasing in this year's 5A state tournament. Led by Shelby and Latisha Richards, defending state champion Riverton went a perfect 21-0 during the regular season and is the clear team to beat in this year's tourney.

Region 1 co-champions Layton and Fremont both believe they have what it takes to upset the 'Wolves, while Region 3 champion Brighton can't be overlooked either.

Even though the race for the championship is probably a three- or four-team race, there are numerous intriguing storylines in every round which should make for an exciting tournament.

Here’s a team-by-team look at what to expect from all 16 of these schools, one by one.

1 of 16. Alta Hawks (14-9)

Coach: Sean Yeager

How qualified: Second in Region 3 with 8-2 record

Playoff opener: vs Taylorsville, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 73-42 win against Lone Peak on Dec. 17

Most important region victory: A 58-55 win against Brighton on Jan. 21

Top contributors

#22 Mariah Martin, Fr., Guard (12.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.8 spg)

#13 Madyson Quigley, Sr., G/F (8.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 2.4 spg)

#11 Elsa Ferre, Jr., G/F (8.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.0 apg)

#23 Rachel McDonald, Jr., Forward (6.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 spg)

#5 Rachel Jenson, Sr., Guard (3.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg)

Scoring offense: 54.5 ppg (4th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 49.4 ppg (18th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2011

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

Phibbs’ Prognostications: Behind its first-year coach, Alta is still trying to find consistency. The Hawks have won nine of their last 12 outings, but strangely all three losses were by double digits. This team certainly has the talent to make a deep postseason run if it can maintain rhythm.

2 of 16. American Fork Cavemen (12-11)

Coach: Corey Clayton

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 4 with 6-6 record

Playoff opener: vs. Layton, Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 48-44 win against Syracuse on Dec. 17

Most important region victory: A 68-54 win against Lehi on Feb. 20

Top contributors

#13 Taylor Moeaki, Fr., Guard (11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.3 spg)

#22 Jenna Shepherd, So., Guard (9.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.9 spg)

#44 Maile Richardson, Jr., Forward (6.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 spg)

#41 Taylor Franson, Fr., Forward (3.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

#21 Lexi Moeaki, Jr., Forward (3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg)

Scoring offense: 45.1 ppg (15th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 42.8 ppg (6th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2009

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

Phibbs’ Prognostications: American Fork lost several key contributors to graduation, and resultantly has been looking for its identity for the majority of the season, which is evident by its strength on defense rather than offense. The effort is certainly there.

3 of 16. Bingham Miners (12-8)

Coach: Charron Mason

How qualified: Fourth in Region 3 with 4-6 record

Playoff opener: vs. Granger, Tuesday, 5:45 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 65-56 win against Syracuse on Dec. 12

Most important region victory: A 54-23 win against Jordan on Feb. 11

Top contributors

#32 Sheradyn Parker, Sr., Forward (10.3 ppg)

#10 Madison Loftus, So., Guard (10.2 ppg)

#12 Jade Sine, Fr., Guard (7.1 ppg)

#33 Leya Harvey, So., Forward (5.8 ppg)

#35 Holly Sorensen, Sr., Forward (4.9 ppg)

Scoring offense: 48.6 ppg (10th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 43.6 ppg (8th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2007

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

Phibbs’ Prognostications: The Miners have been sporadic throughout the entire season under new leadership, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of pulling off an upset or two in the playoffs.

4 of 16. Brighton Bengals (14-7)

Coach: Jim Gresh

How qualified: First in Region 3 with 9-1 record

Playoff opener: vs. Hunter, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 55-48 win over Layton on Dec. 3

Most important region victory: A 57-48 win against Alta on Feb. 11

Top contributors

#23 Lindsey Johnson, Jr., Guard (10.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 spg)

#30 Maddie Chin, Sr., Forward (9.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.8 apg)

#12 McCall Christensen, Jr., Forward (8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.9 spg)

#11 Alyssa Hirschi, Jr., Forward (8.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 spg)

#22 Dani Barton, Fr., Guard (5.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg)

Scoring offense: 53 ppg (5th in 5A)

Scoring defense: 43.5 ppg (7th in 5A)

Last state championship: 2004

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

Phibbs’ Prognostications: After an unexpected six-game losing streak in the early portion of the season, Brighton switched sails in the positive direction once region play started. The success is attributed to its athletic roster, which could prove to be a difficult out in the postseason.

5 of 16. Copper Hills Grizzlies (14-7)

Coach: Ben Morley

How qualified: Third in Region 3 with 7-3 record

Playoff opener: vs. Cottonwood, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 50-39 win against Lone Peak on Dec. 11

Most important region victory: A 63-44 win against Alta on Feb. 13

Top contributors

#35 Shirten Wissinger, So., Guard (12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 spg)

#40 Savannah Sandberg, Sr. (9.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.9 spg)

#23 Sarah Midgley, Sr., Guard (9.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.4 spg)

#13 Kate Sisler, Fr., Guard (7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 spg)

#10 Sydney May, Jr., Guard (5.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 spg)

Scoring offense: 56.3 ppg (3rd in 5A)

Scoring defense: 47.6 ppg (15th in 5A)

Last state championship: None

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

Phibbs’ Prognostications: Copper Hills is capable of exchanging basket for basket with anyone in the state. The Grizzlies’ backcourt is extremely accurate from the perimeter, and their post presence is a continuous threat to score on the block or at the free-throw line. The only problem is getting stops defensively.