High expectations for local high school basketball teamsDec 01, 2017 08:00AM ● By Greg James
Hunter High School basketball hopes to recapture its magic from seasons past, stars like former Wolverine Mckay Medlinger from the 2015 team helped the team find success. (Kolbie James/Hunter yearbook)
The high school basketball season is upon us. The local teams have picked their lineups and the excitement of the new season has settled on their schools.
The three high school boys’ teams hope to rebound from disappointing seasons last year. Hunter, Granger and Cyprus managed 14 wins the entire season.
“I go into every season with an open mind. I want kids that will be dedicated to the excellence in the program,” Pirates head coach Tre Smith said. “We have a great group of kids with a common goal—to change the culture of Cyprus basketball. We are excited for the ups and downs over the season.”
The Granger boys will defend their imaginary “West-Side Pride” (competition amongst the local teams) title. Last season they defeated Hunter and Cyprus each twice, but those four wins amounted to more than half of their season’s seven victories. This season, the title will mean more to the winner because all of the schools compete in the same Utah High School Activities Association region. An imaginary title could turn into a real region title.
The Lancers, Wolverines and Pirates join Kearns and Hillcrest in UHSAA’s Region 2.
“We have so many young players with potential. We all need to sacrifice time and energy to attain our goals,” Smith said last season.
The Lancers are scheduled to host their opening game Nov. 29 (after press deadline) against Cottonwood. One player to watch this season could be returning senior and leading scorer Anel Alagic. He has led the team in scoring the last two years.
The Hunter boys are scheduled to open their season Nov. 21 at West Jordan. They participate in the Bear River Winter Classic during the month of December.
Cyprus could be the team to watch in West Valley City. They return last season’s second leading scorer Cody Meza. They had a relatively young team and hope their experience will help them progress. The Pirates opening home game is scheduled for Dec. 5 against Weber. They are also scheduled to play in the Riverton Holiday Tournament Dec. 27-30.
The girls’ imaginary “West-Side” basketball title was captured last season by Cyprus.
The Cyprus girls defeated Granger 40-32 and Hunter 34-21. The Pirates leading scorer, Ashley Flater, returns after averaging 10 points per game. They are scheduled to begin their season by hosting Ben Lomond Nov. 28 (after press deadline).
Granger graduated several of its top scorers from last year. In the 2016 season, the Lancers finished winless and they hope to improve this year. They host Davis Nov. 28 and West Jordan Dec. 8. Second year head coach Shawnee Smith was encouraged at the team’s potential last year.
The Wolverines leading scorer from last season was Angel Lui. As a sophomore, she scored 147 points in 21 games for the Wolverines. They are scheduled to host Westlake Dec. 5. Cameron Gardner is in his second season as head coach for Hunter.
The Wolverines are scheduled to host Westlake Tuesday, Dec. 5 and Brighton Thursday, Dec. 7 in their first home games.