2014 Standard-Examiner All-Area Basketball - First Team

Saturday , April 26, 2014 - 6:58 PM

Abel Porter

Abel Porter...

Standard-Examiner staff

2014 Standard-Examiner All-Area Basketball

First team selections

Sam Merrill, MVP

School: Bountiful

Year: Senior

Position: Guard

Height: 6-foot-4

On the court: Merrill averaged 15.8 points and 7.4 assists per game during the 2013-14 season. In the playoffs, he increased his scoring average to 19.3 points per game. Throughout the season, Merrill also tied for the most steals on the team, averaging 2.3 per game. Merrill is signed to play at Utah State University upon returning from his LDS mission.

Coach Mike Maxwell’s comments: “He’s a winner. I don’t know too many guys that had a 61-6 win-loss record, and three of those came right in a row when he was right out of football and the team just wasn’t quite ready. Take those three losses away and the kid’s probably 61-3. And two of those were in the state semifinals. It’s uncanny what he’s able to do. He showed from day one once he became a starter he was going to win. He was going to find a way for this team to win. When he’s on the floor great things were going to happen for Bountiful. We’re frankly going to miss that. You don’t replace that. You don’t find guys like that.”

Christian Musoko

School: Layton Christian

Year: Senior

Position: Center

Height: 6-foot-8

On the court: Musoko nearly averaged a triple-double during the 2013-14 season with 17.8 points, 14.3 rebounds and 8.2 blocked shots per game. He also shot 54 percent from the field.

Coach Bobby Porter’s comments: “First of all, I have not seen a better high school big man with better footwork than Christian Musoko. That includes Shawn Kemp. That includes Moses Malone – who I played against – the sky is the limit for this young man. He’s a late-bloomer that everyone is just coming in on. You’ve got Utah, Utah State, you’ve got Seton Hall, you’ve got Florida Gulf Coast, you’ve got Portland, you’ve got Loyola Marymount. He’s one of the top recruits in the area and his best basketball is ahead of him. The kid has an incredible vertical jump, he averaged a double-double – almost a triple-double. Blocked 8.2 shots a game. All of those who have ever seen this young man play know that he’s a fantastic player.”

Elijah Kletzli

School: Davis

Year: Senior

Positions: Center

Height: 6-foot-7

On the court: Kletzli averaged 17.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game during the 2013-14 season. He also shot 63.1 percent from the field. In Davis’ three 5-A playoff games, Kletzli averaged a double-double (19.7 points, 11.7 rebounds per game).

Coach Jay Welk’s comments: “Elijah was probably the surprise to everybody. We knew coming into the season he would be key to our success because we knew we had solid perimeter guys, and the key then became our ability to score inside and defend inside and rebound. […] I think he was the surprise to everybody outside of our team. Our team wasn’t surprised by what he was capable of doing, but he developed the consistency for us to accomplish what we did. I thought he was big.”

Zac Seljaas

School: Bountiful

Year: Junior

Positions: Forward

Height: 6-foot-7

On the court: Seljaas led Bountiful’s high-powered offense with 18.8 points per game during the 2013-14 season. Seljaas was also second on the team in rebounds (6.3 per game), second in assists (3.9), third in steals (1.9) and second in blocks (1.2). Against Olympus in the 4-A semifinals, Seljaas scored 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Seljaas has already committed to play at BYU.

Coach Mike Maxwell’s comments: “He’s followed Sam and that’s been a great example to follow. Now we’ve started our workouts for next year already the last couple weeks and I’ve seen that mantle be shifted to Zac now. […] In practice he’s pulling guys aside and saying we need to work on this little thing. He does it in such a nice way that I think he’s learned from Sam this is what leaders do. Leaders are responsible, they’re going to make sure everybody’s doing things the way they’re supposed to be done and if they’re not, he’s going to help them and he’s going to find a way to make this team successful. I like what I’m seeing from Zac as far as his maturity. He’s still a 16-year-old kid. He’s still a kid. Which is unbelievable the talent he has because of his work ethic. The sky is the limit for him and we’re just going to watch and see what he can become now.”

Abel Porter

School: Davis

Year: Senior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-2

On the court: Porter averaged 14.7 points per game as the Darts’ third leading scorer and also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.9 steals. No Davis player played more minutes than Porter, who averaged 28.2 minutes per game.

Coach Jay Welk’s comments: “Abel was a three-year starter for us. He really was our floor general on a team that went 21-3 and won the region and went to the state semifinals. He was the guy that directed everything on the floor. He was a coach on the floor. He’s an exceptionally dangerous player, quick and had the ability to score. I thought he improved defensively.”

Jarriesse Blackmon

School: Layton

Year: Junior

Positions: Forward

Height: 6-foot-7

On the court: Blackmon was a force in multiple statistical categories for Layton during the 2012-13 season. Not only did he average a double-double (16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds), but he also averaged 2.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocks.

Coach Kelby Miller’s comments: “Jarriesse is one of the best athletes in the state. There are not many players that can impact the game in as many ways as he can. Not only can he score points in different ways, but was the best rebounder in 5-A and the only player to average a double-double. Jarriesse expanded his offensive game this year and was capable of having a monster game in multiple statistical categories night in and night out. He did a great job this year as a leader for us and playing his role both offensively and defensively. Anytime you’ve got a kid who’s capable of scoring 30-plus points and having 20-rebound games, that’s pretty amazing.”

Shad Watson

School: Box Elder

Year: Senior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-1

On the court: Watson averaged 20.7 points per game for Box Elder this season, twice going over 40 points (42 vs. Ogden, 41 vs. Mountain Crest). Throughout his high school career, Watson scored at least 40 points three times. Watson is signed to play at BYU-Hawaii upon returning from his two-year LDS mission. Watson left in March to serve in the Hungary Budapest Mission.

Coach Jace McKee’s comments: “When he first came in, he was a complimentary guy as a freshman and would score off of opportunities, and over the years, he became the man. He always shot the ball well (and could) penetrate and get to the rim. He got better defensively every year. He has developed all-around, but mostly being able to shoot the ball and attack the basket.”

Jesse Wade

School: Davis

Year: Junior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-0

On the court: Wade averaged 17.4 points per game as Davis’ leading scorer during the 2013-14 season and shot 46.3 percent from 3-point range. On defense, Wade was the team leader in steals with 2.4 per game. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Wade is committed to play at Gonzaga.

Coach Jay Welk’s comments: “Back-to-back years – sophomore and junior years – where he ended up being the leading scorer on the team. He’s a very dangerous player. He can score in a lot of ways. He had a very good junior year. Although he was hampered by injury a lot of it, still averaged over 17 points a game. He really is the type of player that could make other players around him better just because people have to pay so much attention to him. I think he’s legitimate. He’s one of the best that we’ve had come through here.”

Tyler Brimhall

School: Logan

Year: Junior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-4

On the court: Brimhall averaged 17.2 points per game as Logan’s leading scorer and was also the team leader in rebounds (5.6 per game) and steals (2.1 per game).

Coach Logan Brown’s comments: “Tyler has always had a goal of playing at the next level and his mentality has been focused to prepare his body and skill set for the level he needs to be at to play college basketball. He’s been a great leader in the offseason coming in, working in the weight room. He gained 25 pounds of muscle since he was a freshman. His pull-up jumper has been his strength this season compared to the season before. I felt like he was the best pull-up jump shooter that I saw all year long. (This year will) just add more confidence. As a sophomore, he really made a statement in the state tournament and it led to more opportunities as a junior. I feel like his senior year is going to be even bigger.”

McKay Butler

School: Viewmont

Year: Senior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-2

On the court: Butler led Viewmont in points per game (14.0) and steals per game (2.0). He shot 48.9 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Coach Jeff Emery’s comments: “He was kind of our go-to guy in a lot of cases. He had some huge in-the-game plays that helped us win some big-time ball games. I think that’s probably what stands out for me individually is some of the big-time shots he hit in big games in critical situations, whether it be to send us to overtime or win it in overtime.”

Mike Hibbert

School: Layton

Year: Senior

Positions: Forward/Center

Height: 6-foot-9

On the court: Hibbert averaged 16.0 points per game as Layton’s second leading scorer and shot 54.5 percent from the field. He averaged 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocked shots and his 14 made 3s were third best on the team.

Coach Kelby Miller’s comments: “Any time a player is a three-year starter in a program, he must be special. At 6’9”, Mike had the uncanny ability to stretch the defense with outside touch. He has also been almost automatic from the foul line during that time. Mike has worked really hard this past season to be a force inside and it showed in many games, not only in points, but in his ability to block and change shots. Just about any team we played, he did a great job controlling the paint. Mike has been a great leader and team guy during his time at Layton High. He will be missed.”

Garren Miles

School: Morgan

Year: Senior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-2

On the court: Miles was Morgan’s leading scorer with 15.8 points per game and shot 51 percent from the field. From 3-point range, Miles shot 42 percent. He also averaged 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

Coach Jim Wiscombe’s comments: “Really good player. Very good shooter and he was great in the passing lanes and getting steals. We had a lot of seniors this year but he was one of the leaders on the team and did a great job that way.”

Bridger Streadbeck

School: Morgan

Year: Junior

Positions: Forward

Height: 6-foot-2

On the court: Streadbeck shot 58 percent from the field and averaged 9.4 points per game. He averaged 1.7 steals and had seven in the 3-A championship game against Cedar.

Coach Jim Wiscombe’s comments: “Bridger is probably the best defensive post I’ve ever coached. Great anticipator for passes coming into the post, (and) athleticism to get around and get steals. He stepped up his offense quite a bit.”

Brekkott Chapman

School: Roy

Year: Senior

Positions: Forward

Height: 6-foot-9

On the court: Chapman nearly averaged a double-double this past season, averaging 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He has signed to play at the University of Utah.

Coach Dan McClure’s comments: “Brekkott is obviously a game-changer. With him on the floor on both ends, he impacts the game in so many ways offensively and defensively and obviously helped us achieve our goal of a region championship and played a huge role in that.”

Garret Grant

School: Woods Cross

Year: Junior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-1

On the court: Grant averaged 14.4 points per game and shot 37 percent from 3-point range. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Coach Kasey Walkenhurst’s comments: “Obviously, he’s a tremendous shooter. He’s probably the best shooter on our team, especially from 3-point range. At one point through the preseason, he was shooting around 48 percent from the 3-point line, which is extraordinary for a high school player. He was always the hardest worker, which is good because I get him for another year with him only being a junior. It’s nice for your best player to be your hardest worker.”

Matt Murdock

School: Morgan

Year: Senior

Positions: Guard

Height: 6-foot-0

On the court: Murdock averaged 7.9 points per game and shot 56 percent from 3-point range. He also was among the team leaders in assists per game (4.1) and steals per game (2.5).

Coach Jim Wiscombe’s comments: “He’s been the starting point guard for two years. Super competitive. Great ball handler and a tenacious defender. He had great hands so he got his hands on the ball. Actually shot (nearly) 60 percent from 3s this year. Doesn’t shoot it a lot, but it makes him a threat on offense – not only to drive, but to make the open jump shot.”

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