Cyprus boys basketball team moves on to region play after successful pre-seasonJan 23, 2020 02:15PM ● By Greg James
As a freshman Quentin Meza is the ninth leading scorer in the 6A classification. (Photo courtesy dsandersonpics.com)
By Greg James | [email protected]
This year’s Cyprus boys basketball team may be the best they have ever had.
“I feel good about this season,” Pirates head coach Tre Smith said. “We got off to a strong start. I have a really good group of kids. I am having fun coaching.”
The Pirates won nine of their first 13 games. Their biggest loss of the season came at the hands of Orem in the Riverton Holiday tournament. The Tigers built a big lead and ended up defeating the Pirates by 20 points.
“We have dropped some games that I, as their coach, would have liked to win, but we have been very competitive. We lost to Orem, they got the best of us, but other than that we have had really close games with really good teams,” Smith said.
The Pirates came away with a third place finish in the post-Christmas Riverton tournament. They have spent their holiday break participating in that tournament for several years.
“It is a successful tournament, and there have been some really good teams. We played two out-of-state teams this year, a team from Nevada and one from California. We were down by as many as 19 against the San Clemente team, but came back to grab the 2-point win,” Smith said. “This is the best we have done in this setting in my time at Cyprus.”
Smith is entering his sixth season as the Pirates head coach. He was a part of the University of Utah’s 2007 and 2009 teams. His teams have never exceeded 14 wins during a season at Cyprus.
“Defensively, we have not hit our mark yet. We can score the ball pretty well. We are the third highest scoring team in 6A right now. If we could hold teams to 60 points per game our record would reflect that,” Smith said.
At press time the Pirates averaged nearly 68 points per game while allowing 65.
“We could have a couple more wins under our belts if we could stop them from scoring. Region is here, I told the kids that these games will be tough. We know each other so well, our scoring will go down, but I feel our defense will pick up as well,” Smith said.
Quentin Meza is leading the team in scoring averaging 16.2 points per game.
“Quentin, he is only a freshman, he really started asserting himself in the Riverton tournament. He shouldered the load for us, and I found myself leaning on him a lot and giving him more opportunities. He has put in the extra work and earned his time,” Smith said.
Meza started the season coming in off the bench but midway through the preseason he earned a starting spot.
“I think he has proven that he can play with the best of the best and hit the big shots. I don’t want to hold him back. He has a knack for scoring. He shoots a pretty good mid-range jump shot. He needs to work on his defense and that will come with maturity,” Smith said.
Team captain Noah Burbidge and new transfer Trevor Dorenbosch both average over 7 points per game.
“(Noah) is not the most talented player, but he is a workhorse and defends the biggest guy. Trevor is my best shooter and is a big rebounder,” Smith said.
Smith said he is anticipating a tough state tournament this season.
“I think the state has a handful of juggernauts (teams) everyone else is very closely matched. Ultimately, it will shake out in the state tournament. This team has known each other for a long time and they are great fun to be around. This year has a different feel,” Smith said.
The Utah High School Activities Association boys state basketball tournament is scheduled to begin Feb. 19. The quarterfinals and finals will be held at the University of Utah.