Pirate basketball is crushing it this seasonFeb 06, 2023 03:25PM ● By Greg James
The experienced Pirates basketball: The Pirates line up for an inbounds play against Kearns. The team has had a successful season. (Greg James/City Journals)
Cyprus High School boys basketball has ascended to the No. 1 spot at times this season in the RPI rankings. But they play each game one day at a time in hopes of reaching their goals.
“We started off a little bad and struggled at the beginning of the season,” starting Pirates guard Quentin Meza said. “Now we are on a 12- or 13-game win streak. I feel like we have started to put it together.”
The Pirates held a 13-3 record at press time and are undefeated against Region 2 teams.
Against Kearns Jan. 13 they jumped out to a 20-point lead. Slowly the lead started to deteriorate, but the Pirates strengthened their defense and pulled away for a 15-point victory. Meza scored 22 points and Justus Jackson-Fobbs had 20 in the game.
“We are feeling good. I think the kids are playing great right now,” Pirates head coach Tre Smith said. “It is one step in front of the other. We want to play really good basketball in late February and March. That is the goal. We can win games now and continue to gel as a team.”
They have not lost a region game since February 2021, a 77-69 loss to Taylorsville. In that game Meza scored 26 points.
As a four-year contributor, Meza has scored over 1,800 career points. This season Jackson-Fobbs has contributed 8.7 rebounds per game and junior Diego Mulford has pitched in 8.7 points per game.
“They have been playing together for so long. It does not matter who gets the credit. It is not about the numbers,” Smith said.
The Pirates have competed in a few top tournaments including Hoopfest in Utah County in November. That is where they experienced their losses.
In December they traveled to California to compete in The Classic at Damien, a competitive top-tier high school tournament. They won the diamond division. Meza was selected as the tournament MVP and Jackson-Fobbs was named to the all-tournament team.
“We know we have a target on our backs. The community knows it and we know it. At the same time, it is about us getting better. Every night the two teams lace up their shoes and we have got to figure out a way to win the basketball game,” Smith said.
They were averaging over 66 points a game.
“We have been playing together for so long it should not matter who gets the credit. It is not about the numbers or about the records. We are looking at something bigger that has never been done in the community. I need us to focus on the team,” Smith said.
Every Pirate practice and game they talk about getting better every day.
“There are a lot of good teams in this state. If we understand that there are six coaches, 15 players, and 36 other players in our program. We need to stick together one step and one day at a time,” Smith said. “This is a really talented group. If we can buckle down on defense we can do something special.”
“This is a team effort, sometimes one of us is not playing very well and the other guys can pick it up,” Meza said. “It doesn’t matter who is making buckets we all just care about winning.”