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All-Area POY: Stockton Marriott’s belief, toughness, led Ogden to title-contending season

2024 Standard-Examiner All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year

By BRETT HEIN - Standard-Examiner | Mar 30, 2024
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Ogden High senior Stockton Marriott poses for a photo Monday, March 25, 2024, at Ogden High School. Marriott is the All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season.
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Ogden's Stockton Marriott (12) drives ahead of Granstville's Cooper Castagno during a 3A second-round playoff game Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Ogden.
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Ogden High senior Stockton Marriott poses for a photo Monday, March 25, 2024, at Ogden High School. Marriott is the All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season.
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Ogden's Stockton Marriott (12) dribbles against Mountain Crest on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, in Ogden.


Team of the Year: LAYTON


OGDEN — When facing tough times, some teams start by looking in the mirror.

Stockton Marriott made sure his Ogden High boys basketball team looked in the mirror by writing on one, a moment that led him and Ogden to a rare season for the old school.

After losses to Mountain Crest and Bonneville, Ogden ended the 2023 calendar year at a tournament in San Diego, opening with a blowout loss to Sacred Heart (California) to drop its record to 7-4.

“That wasn’t who we were, so we as coaches said ‘hey, we want you guys to come up with our identity because maybe we’re forcing some identity on you guys,'” head coach Trent Porter said. “‘We’re going to leave, let you guys talk.'”

Absent a white board, Marriott and fellow senior Teegan Porter used a coach’s dry-erase marker and penned the fruits of the conversation onto a hotel mirror.

It included internal motivation points like play for each other, play with heart, play relentless defense. It also included one big on-court item: we’re going to play fast.

It took 20 minutes and Teegan texted his father, the coach: ‘We’re ready.’

“They explained them one by one and each kid took turns saying what they had to say about the team and where they saw us,” Trent Porter said about what happened when the coaches returned.

Marriott, the team’s point guard, had one more thing, the boldest of all, to add: he thought Ogden had every reason to compete for the 3A state championship, and it ended up atop the list.

“It all starts with belief,” Marriott said. “I wanted us to be the team that nobody wants to play against.”

“It was a strong moment,” Porter said, “coming from one of our captains and the guy who’s going to have the ball in his hands … that was the time everyone really started to buy in.”

Ogden won 13 of its next 14 games, which included securing the Region 13 championship trophy, the boys basketball program’s first region title since 1993. That run also included two playoff wins, netting the program’s first playoff victory in 25 years and the first time winning multiple non-consolation postseason games since 1993.

The hotel mirror brainstorm hearkened back to Marriott’s selection as a captain in his junior season, several chances he had to meet his Hall of Fame namesake, and encouragement from an assistant coach.

On the court, Marriott averaged 17.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game. He also led the state of Utah in free throws across all classifications, shooting 174 of 218 for an 80% mark.

For the combination of belief, leadership and on-court toughness that led Ogden to a historic season, Marriott is the 2024 All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Ogden got tougher each night, so he had help, but Marriott led his team in rebounding from the point guard spot, which helped the plan to play fast.

He got to the line to the tune of eight attempts per game, too, drawing from his namesake John Stockton who, especially in his early All-Star days, pushed tempo and drove the paint. (For example, even with Karl Malone leading the league in free-throw attempts in the 1989-90 season, Stockton was still 27th at 5.5 per game).

“A lot of his scoring and our team’s success came from him just being savvy and not being afraid of contact,” Porter said.

Marriott, who wears No. 12, says it was intentional. Through relatives who played at BYU, who played against Gonzaga, he says he’s had four chances to meet and speak briefly with John Stockton over recent years.

“He saw my hoodie that said ‘Stockton’ on it and was like ‘Oh, you’re a ball player too?'” Marriott said. “From then on, it just kind of hit me and I embraced what he brought to his team. He was a leader, he’d leave it all out on the floor every night … he made his team better by sharing the ball and taking care of the ball.”

Marriott worked to get stronger and took over starting point guard duties early in his junior season, but it took some belief from former Ogden player and current assistant coach Hunter Clarke to hit the next gear as a senior.

“He’d talk to me before games saying, ‘No one can guard you. You go shine,'” Marriott said. “It just like flipped a switch, and as soon as I realized that, then I could get everyone else involved … And I knew that I practiced and worked out more than the guy across from me. Knowing you’re prepared just boosts your mentality and your confidence.”

Then he shared that belief with others, starting with the hotel mirror. Ogden finished the San Diego trip with tough wins over Grants Pass (Oregon) and Helix (California), then returned home.

“Our next game was the start of region where we won at Morgan, and that was the first time we beat them at their place in like 10 years,” Marriott said. “So then we wrote down those things (from San Diego) on the board before every game.”

That belief carried to the end. After the Tigers won Region 13 with a 9-1 record, they defeated Grantsville and Union to start the 3A state playoffs — nearly matching in one week Ogden’s three total non-consolation playoff victories between 1995 and 2023 and giving the Tigers 20 wins for the season.

That put Ogden against Judge Memorial in the semifinals. The Tigers had a tough time stopping dynamic guard JJ Apathjang, who scored 21 points despite being in foul trouble throughout.

Ogden trailed 57-34 with 6:54 left in the game — and somehow got the contest to overtime, calling back one more time to the marker on the mirror.

“We said we’re going to dig in, play one possession at a time and it goes back to where Stock says ‘I believe,'” Porter said. “It was pretty remarkable to see a bunch of teenage boys just believe and fight.”

Ogden went on a blink-of-the-eye, 21-0 run, forcing a flurry of turnovers and attacking the basket. It became a 26-2 run that gave the Tigers a late lead before one Judge free throw got the game to extra time, where the Bulldogs won, then won again the next day against South Summit to claim the 3A title.

Marriott had 16 rebounds (with a team-best 6 of 6 at the foul line, naturally), five rebounds, three assists and two steals in the defeat.

He says he learned from seniors before him and when it was his turn to be the voice, he had to step up.

“I knew if we wanted to go far and be good, I needed to set the tone and lead, and show the guys that they could rely on me to play well for them,” he said.

Marriott plans to play college basketball after missionary service, holding one offer from Carroll College in Montana and interest from a few other schools.

Until then, he can look back with some pride about the 2023-24 season.

“It stunk to lose that game to Judge. We were pretty sad but I wasn’t upset because I knew we gave it our all and that we still accomplished a lot,” Marriott said. “We set a tone for Ogden to become a school on the map for basketball.”


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