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Posted On: 01/8/18 1:04 PM
With this update of the 4A Rankings, there are some surprises. However, the top teams, Orem and Juan Diego, were exactly like we expected in the off-season.
Dixie has been one of the biggest surprises so far. They have a lot of length and talent. Moreover, they will be challenged by region foe Desert Hills. The top 5 teams in 4A are fairly interchangeable which should make the state tournament quite exciting.
Orem being in this spot should surprise no one as they had a solid team returning from last year. Further, they have key wins over Juan Diego as well as American Fork to support this ranking.
Moreover, none of their losses would be considered “bad losses”. This team is going to be dangerous down the stretch as they have multiple players who are capable of making players for themselves as well as for others.
Ross Nacua has earned the role of guarding the best player on most opposing teams. Further, he has proven the ability to make big time plays which was demonstrated in their win against American Fork. With that said, their primary scorer this season has been Ross Reeves. Reeves sets the tone for this team on the offensive end with Ike Richards playing a crucial role as well.
While there are plenty of contenders worth noting, Orem is still the favorite to walk away with the 4A state title.
Key Players: Ross Reeves, Ike Richards, and Ross Nacua
Key Wins: Juan Diego and American Fork
Juan Diego lost an early bout with Orem which has them in 2nd. However, their strength of schedule and their win over Riverton shows that they will be more than ready to compete for the state title.
While Jason Ricketts has earned a lot of publicity, he is far from the only skilled player on this team. In fact, Matt Kitzman has led the way for Juan Diego from a scoring perspective. He is a knockdown shooter who moves well without the basketball. With a team with this much talent, his role is extremely important as he is capable of putting up points without having to hold the ball for an elongated period of time.
In addition to Ricketts and Kitzman, Raimoana Tiniraurii has helped this team significantly due to his length, athleticism, and toughness. He gets on the glass well and is a capable player on the wing and on the block.
Juan Diego is well-balanced and well-coached. This group is without a doubt a serious title contender.
Key Players: Matt Kitzman, Raimoana Tiniraurii, and Jason Ricketts
Key Wins: Highland, Riverton, and Ridgeline
Tanner Cuff is a mismatch nightmare for Dixie. He is capable of playing anywhere from 1-4 and making a strong impact. As a result, he leads the team in scoring, assists, and rebounds. Moreover, at 6’6, he is a consistent shooter.
In addition to Cuff, Carson Bottema brings the team intensity and another shooter on the court. Moreover, Derek Cox brings the team more length and a true post presence.
This team is one of the longest teams in the state as well as 4A. Their length and toughness make them stout on the defensive end. Thus, they will be a really tough out come the state tournament.
Key Players: Tanner Cuff, Carson Bottema, and Derek Cox
Key Wins: Salem Hills, Logan, and Cyprus
Desert Hills is extremely skilled and long as well. They match-up really well with Dixie which should provide for a couple of really intense region games.
Ryan Marz, 6’5, and Tyler Marz, 6’7, bring length to the front court. In addition Trevin Lindstrom, although the shortest of the starters, is a skilled shooter who leads the team in scoring.
In addition to being long, this team is tough to guard as almost everyone who touches the floor is a capable shooter from deep. Further, they do not have a “primary scorer”. They have multiple guys who are capable of having big games and taking over.
Key Players: Trevin Lindstrom, Tucker Peterson, Tyler Webber, Ryan Marz, and Tyler Marz
Key Wins: Salem Hills, Cedar, and Grantsville
James Nelson might be the best overall scorer in 4A. Due to his ability to score the basketball, Salem Hills is in every game they play. He is the primary playmaker for the team as he also creates for others due to his ability to score. Further, he has improved his numbers on the glass.
In addition to Nelson, David Jones provides a slasher for Salem Hills. He can score the basketball from deep, but prefers to put it on the floor and attack the rim. Between Nelson and Jones, this group is tough to guard.
In addition Charles Wiltshire and Tyson Bishop play key roles as role players for the team. Wiltshire provides needed length. Further, Bishop is a capable shooter from deep who extends the floor so that others can make plays.
While their record is not overly impressive, they have played a strong strength of schedule and will be more than ready once the tournament comes around. This could be a sleeper team that makes a lot of noise by seasons end.
Key Players: James Nelson, David Jones, and Charles Wiltshire
Key Wins: Spanish Fork and Weber
Key Players: Landon Brenchley, Breck Jackson, and Sam Weda
Key Wins: Layton Christian and Box Elder
Key Players: Anthony McDade, Josh Jensen, and Jared Bagley
Key Wins: Northridge and Box Elder
Key Players: Mason Falslev, Koebe Wilson, Payton Lee, and Cole Deboard
Key Wins: N/A
Key Players: Dallin Holker and Dallin Spencer
Key Wins: Layton Christian
Key Players: Dallin Peterson, Ethan Boetcher, and Dallin Grant