High school boys basketball: 2023 UHSAA/Mountain America 6A boys state championships

High school boys basketball: 2023 UHSAA/Mountain America 6A boys state championships

by James Tate

Semi-finals games

(1) Corner Canyon Chargers 70
(4) Lone Peak Knights 54

Corner Canyon’s Taylor Feroah grabs a rebound

First half

The #1 seed Chargers fell behind in the first quarter 20-19 to the #4 seed Knights. The Knights scored the first two baskets on a three-pointer by junior guard Thomsen Kramer and a layup by senior forward Luke Fotheringham. The second quarter was all Chargers as they outscored the Knights 18-5. Three Chargers finished the first half in double-figure scoring, Max Toombs (11), Jaxson Roberts (10), and Brody Kozlowski (10).

The Chargers were able to force eight Knight turnovers in the first half. The Charger’s largest lead was 15 points at the 1:05 mark. The halftime score had the Chargers ahead 37-25 after Knight’s sophomore Isaac Staley nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Second half

The second half saw the Charger’s big three of Kozlowski, Toombs, and Roberts continue to score at will. The Knights could not close the lead as the Chargers made good on many second-chance opportunities with offensive rebounds. The Chargers finished the game with 17 offensive rebounds and forced 13 Knight turnovers.

The Chargers shot 45% from the field and added a rebounding advantage of 41-27 over the Knights. The championship game will feature a region 4 battle between the Chargers and the American Fork Cavemen.

Outstanding performances

The Chargers were led in scoring by Kozlowski’s game-high 26 points, and he added ten rebounds. Roberts scored 19, and Toombs added 16 points in the Charger’s victory.

Lone Peak’s leader in scoring was Staley, finishing with 17 points.

(3) American Fork Cavemen 49
(2) Cyprus Pirates 44

photo of Pirate’s Arou Ayuen jump shot

First half

This contest would be a battle of the size of the Cavemen against the quickness and will of the Pirates. The Pirates won the fight for loose balls early in the contest and built a lead of 13-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Cavemen would respond and take advantage of its size inside and the cold start of Pirate’s leading scorer, guard Quentin Meza.

Spies Tia would lead the Pirates in scoring in the first half with 11 points. Tia also was the force to hold up against the taller Cavemen interior players. Meza only scored four points in the half for the Pirates. Ashton Wallace led the Cavemen in scoring with eight points. Blake Rawson scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds in the first half. The Cavemen outrebounded the Pirates 21-12 and took a 22-17 halftime lead. The defense was critical for the Cavemen, holding the Pirates to four total points in the second quarter.

Second half

The Pirates would look to get Meza going in the second half, but his shot was not falling. Meza would finish the game by making five of his 19-shot attempts. Tia and Meza would be the game’s leading scorers with 16 points each. Tia also grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals.

The game would have an exciting finish as Pirate’s junior guard Diego Mulford would hit two three-pointers and score ten second-half points. The Cavemen’s lead would get down to three in the closing minutes, but the Cavemen’s defense would hold up and close the game with a final score of 49-44. The Cavemen move on into the championship game and play the #1 seed and region 4 foe Corner Canyon Chargers

Outstanding performances

In defeat, the Pirates played with great intensity and effort. Rawson had a double-double performance, scoring 11 points and pulling down 12 rebounds for the Cavemen.

photos courtesy James Tate

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