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State basketball preview: 6A, 5A tournaments return to Weber State’s Dee Events Center this week

By Patrick Carr - Prep Sports Reporter | Feb 27, 2023
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Davis player Kendra Kitchen (30) passes against Fremont's Charli Hunt (11) on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Plain City.
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Fremont High's Dallin Hall hugs teammate Calvin Peterson (3) after scoring 38 points to lead Fremont to a 68-55 win over Riverton in the 6A boys basketball quarterfinals Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at Weber State University.
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Fremont's Hunter Hansen (2) drives against Copper Hills in a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, in Plain City.
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Syracuse's Brevin Hamblin rises for a layup against Fremont on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in Plain City.
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Davis High's Kaden Eggett, left, goes up for a layup while guarded by Weber's Dylan Rylands during a 6A boys basketball playoff game Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Kaysville.
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Syracuse's Avery Sanders gets out on a fast break against Roy in a 6A state playoff game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Syracuse.
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Fremont's Aly Coombs prepares to go up for a floater during a high school girls basketball game at Syracuse High School on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

The 6A and 5A boys and girls basketball state tournament returns to Weber State’s Dee Events Center this week, starting with quarterfinal action on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s a brief look at the 6A/5A boys and girls tournaments.


Fremont junior guard Hunter Hansen appeared to return to pre-injury form with a 29-point, 12-for-14 shooting and 11-rebound night in the 61-44 win over Copper Hills.

The No. 6 Silverwolves (16-7) face defending champion No. 3 American Fork (17-8), whom they lost to 50-49 in December, in the quarters. AF played the second-toughest schedule of any 6A team this year.

Fremont has shot 53.3% from the field and allowed 44.5 points per game in two games since a Feb. 14 loss to Syracuse.

The last time Fremont played a state quarterfinal at the Dee Events Center, a junior guard by the name of Dallin Hall exploded for 38 points in a 68-55 win over Riverton.

An experienced Syracuse team faces the best Cyprus team in more than a generation, led by electric point guard Quentin Meza (24.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 49.8% shooting). The Pirates aren’t the stereotypical “Region 2 good,” either; they beat Lone Peak twice and Pleasant Grove this year.

Kaden Ericksen (16.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 45.9% shooting) and Brevin Hamblin (14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 61.2% FG) lead the Titans statistically.

A year after getting bounced in upset fashion in the second round, Davis (14-11) did the same thing last week to No. 5 Riverton on the road.

For the second game in a row, sophomore Coleman Atwater hit a crucial elbow jump shot. Atwater (10.6 points), Zach Fisher (12.4), Colby Whicker (11.5) and Kaden Eggett (11.4) average double-figure scoring.

The Darts face No. 4 Lone Peak (16-8), which is 10-2 in single-digit games and has balanced scoring. No. 1 Corner Canyon (22-2) enters as the team to beat.


Wins-wise, Davis is in the midst of its best season since 2006-07 when the Darts went 21-3 and got to the state semifinals. This year’s Davis team won its first region title since 2013, has a 19-2 record and is the No. 3 seed in the tournament.

The Darts are led in most stat categories by junior Kendra Kitchen, who’s taken a quantum leap forward this year to average 19.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.5 blocks while shooting 48.4% from the field, 36.7% from 3-point range and 81.3% at the foul line.

Herriman, Davis’ quarterfinal opponent, is 18-5 but 2-2 in the last four games. The Mustangs share the ball well, averaging 13.4 assists on 19.9 made field goals per game, they shoot 72% at the foul line and are generally good at avoiding turnovers.

Davis’ top three players are Kitchen, senior Aryanna Bull (8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds) and junior Kate Richards (7.9 points, 3.6 assists). Kitchen has hit 20-plus points 10 times and 10-plus rebounds 11 times.

Fremont (18-6) faces a No. 5 Mountain Ridge (19-5) team that is athletic, young, talented, has won seven in a row and lost to the Silverwolves 45-38 on the road in December. Fremont held the Sentinels to a season-low 21% shooting in that game.

Three senior guards/wings anchor the Silverwolves: Sierra Eddie (13.6 points, 2.7 steals), Aly Coombs (11.8 points, 7.4 rebounds) and Charli Hunt (7.4 points, 4.3 assists).

Apart from those three, experience at the state tournament’s neutral site is limited and the Silverwolves also drew the 9:10 p.m. tipoff time where they have all day to sit and think about the game.

Syracuse, fresh off an upset win at Copper Hills, plays a Skyridge (18-5) team that full-court presses the entire game and runs all sorts of traps and pressures that turn games into turnover festivals.

This Titans group is young, most of them are on the big tournament stage for the first time and they haven’t seen a team press like Skyridge. Syracuse’s top two players are junior Avery Sanders (14.3 points, 3.2 assists, 3.8 steals) and junior Cortnie Barker (8.7 points, 7.0 rebounds).

Defending champion Lone Peak (20-3) is the No. 1 seed and likely tournament favorite, led by BYU-committed guard Kailey Woolston.


The tournament favorite is most likely No. 1 Springville (21-2), the two-time defending 5A champion that returned their top six scorers from last year’s junior-heavy team. The Red Devils’ two losses are against 6A No. 1 Lone Peak and 5A No. 2 seed Bountiful (20-1).

The Redhawks won another unbeaten Region 5 title, they allow 35.1 points per game and just three teams have hit 50-plus points against them. Bountiful faces Highland in the quarters, which has averaged 62.9 points per game over an eight-game win streak.

Bountiful’s top players are sophomore Taylor Harvey (14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.0 blocks), senior Jordyn Harvey (9.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.1 steals), freshman Milika Satuala (9.7 points, 5.6 rebounds), senior Claire Cook (8.9 points, 5.3 rebounds) and senior Lizzy McConkie (7.8 points, 3.8 assists).


Between 2020-22, Region 5 had five semifinal teams in Bonneville (2022), Farmington (2020-21) and Woods Cross (2021-22). This year, Region 5 teams were all eliminated before the quarters.

Olympus (23-2) averages 72.6 points per game and enters this year’s 5A tournament as the favorite to win a repeat title, though the Titans barely beat No. 16 East 61-58 in the second round.

Cottonwood’s (23-1) had its best season since 2004 when the Colts went 16-9 and lost to Hunter in the title game.



6A Boys quarterfinals:

9:30 a.m. — No. 12 Davis vs. No. 4 Lone Peak

11:10 a.m. — No. 1 Corner Canyon vs. No. 9 Westlake

12:50 p.m. — No. 7 Syracuse vs. No. 2 Cyprus

2:30 p.m. — No. 6 Fremont vs. No. 3 American Fork

6A Girls quarterfinals:

4:10 p.m. — No. 3 Davis vs. No. 6 Herriman

5:50 p.m. — No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 2 Skyridge

7:30 p.m. — No. 1 Lone Peak vs. No. 8 Westlake

9:10 p.m. — No. 5 Fremont vs. No. 4 Mountain Ridge


5A Boys quarterfinals:

9:30 a.m. — No. 4 Alta vs. No. 12 Springville

11:15 a.m. — No. 1 Olympus vs. No. 8 Brighton

12:50 p.m. — No. 2 Cottonwood vs. No. 7 Timpview

2:30 p.m. — No. 6 Lehi vs. No. 14 Orem

5A Girls quarterfinals:

4:10 p.m. — No. 3 Timpview vs. No. 22 Skyline

5:50 p.m. — No. 2 Bountiful vs. No. 7 Highland

7:30 p.m. — No. 1 Springville vs. No. 8 Timpanogos

9:10 p.m. — No. 4 Lehi vs. No. 21 Spanish Fork


3 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. — 6A Girls semifinals

7 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. — 6A Boys semifinals


3 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. — 5A Girls semifinals

7 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. — 5A Boys semifinals


11 a.m. — 6A Girls championship

1:30 p.m. — 5A Girls championship

4:30 p.m. — 6A Boys championship

7 p.m. — 5A Boys championship

Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.


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