High School Boys Basketball: 3A State Tournament Tip-Off

The Manti Templars cheer on their teammates in the 2022 3A State Tournament at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah. Photo/ Deseret News

by Miles Shaw

The Utah High School Boy’s 3A State Tournament second round is set to tip off on Friday, February 17. The first round concluded with Providence Hall, North Sanpete High School, Union High School, and Salt Lake Academy securing wins and cementing the 3A’s 16-team tournament bracket. The second round home site games will decide which teams head to Southern Utah University, where the home of the Thunderbirds hosts the tournament’s quarterfinals through its championship game. 

Emery High, Grantsville High, Manti High, and American Leadership Academy earned the top spot in their regions with overall records of 16-4, 16-6, 20-2, 16-6. Manti’s the tournament’s No. 1-seeded team with the fewest losses in 3A with only two. Richfield, Emery, Grantsville, and Morgan round out the top five seeds.  

Second-Round Matchups To Watch 

16 Providence Hall vs 1 Manti 

The Manti Templars charge into the state tournament as clear favorites having only lost to 5A Timpview in the first game of the season, and took a nine-point December loss to 4A Desert Hills. Junior forward Reggie Frichsknecht and senior guard Dylan Anderson lead the Templars in points for the year averaging 12.4 and 12.1 points per game. Senior guard Lars Pogroszewski, who earned a spot on the 3A All-State Third Team for the 2021-22 season, finished the season averaging 9.9 points per game and will look to be a weapon for a Templar squad that exited last year’s tournament with a 20-point semi-final loss to Grantsville. 

15 Union vs 2 Richfield 

Richfield is well familiar with turning around their basketball program as the Wildcats leap up from last year’s No. 15 seed to this year’s No. 2 seeded team. 

Junior guard Miles Barnett’s had a large part to play in the squad’s turnaround. Barnett heads into the tournament averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. The six-foot guard put up 20 points in his second-highest scoring output of the season in a narrow 68-63 loss against Region 12 rival Emery. The Wildcats capped off their season with a 56-38 victory at Carbon High School. 

On the other side of the court, despite squeaking into the 16-team bracket with a 38-35 victory over Delta High— Union’s been a tough out. The Cougars fell short to No.1-seeded Manti by just nine points in a late-season loss. 

13 Ogden vs 4 Grantsville

Grantsville’s no stranger to high-level play in the state tournament. The Cowboys are the reigning runner-ups having just fallen short last year in the championship game to the Layton Christian Eagles. The team’s returning multiple players from 2022’s championship-level team including senior guards Gabe Mouritsen and Brigham Mulford. The guards averaged 12.9 and 14.1 points this season and also ended their 2022 championship runners-up campaign as 3A All-State Honorable Mentions. 

This matchup is set to be a grudge match with the Ogden Tigers looking to play spoiler to their highly-seeded Region 13 rival, in what will be the third matchup between them this season. In these teams’ first meeting, the Tigers were able to hunt down the Cowboys in a 54-45 Ogden home victory on January 18. Ogden’s senior guard Austin Johnson led the game in scoring with 19 points, three rebounds, and two assists. In the second clash, the Cowboys took down Ogden for a 55-49 victory in Grantsville. The Cowboy defense was the key to victory holding Ogden’s Johnson to 12 points while Mouritsen poured in his season-high 25 points. Mulford added another 12 points with eight rebounds and five assists. 

With the previous two meetings being back-and-forth contests this game might light up the second round of this tournament. 

12 Carbon vs 5 Morgan

Morgan rolls into the tournament coming off four victories in their last six games. The Trojans also split early-season games against the top two-seeded teams with a 48-42 victory over Richfield and a crushing 33-point defeat against Manti. 6-foot-4 senior forward Eli Bailey leads the Trojans in scoring with 11.4 points per game. 

Carbon High looks to play spoiler, but the Dinos find themselves in trouble of going extinct with losses in seven of their last eight games. 

However, it’s tournament time— and anything can happen. 

Link to the High School Boys Basketball 3A Tournament Bracket 


All stats from https://www.deseret.com/sports

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