3A State Tournament: Semifinal Preview

High School
Utah

Posted On: 02/23/18 1:07 PM

Regions 15 and 13 have largely dominated the 3A state tournament this year. As evidence, 3 teams from those two regions have found their way to the final four.

One of the biggest upsets last night was Manti taking down the overall #1 seed Morgan. Based on how the brackets were made, most fans expected a match-up between South Sevier and Morgan for the title. However, that will no longer be the case.

3A State Tournament: Semifinal Preview

14 #1 Delta vs. 15 #1 South Sevier

Delta and South Sevier are the only #1 seeds how found a way to survive their brackets. South Sevier relied heavily on its experience and senior leadership while Delta is youthful and not content with enjoying the moment.

Derek Smith is without question the leader for Delta. The 2021 prospect has played out of his mind this entire season and hopes to continue his strong play as a means of getting to the state championship. With that said, Delta will need more support than just Smith in order to continue their championship dreams.

Earlier this season, Delta went to toe toe with South Sevier in an away game. They managed to win the game with Smith having help from a couple of unsung heros. Further, they were able to make things extremely tough for Caleb Barton.

While this win demonstrates that Delta is capable of beating South Sevier, the stakes are much different this time for 2018 standouts Barton and Brodee Tebbs. Tebbs and Barton have enjoyed stellar careers at South Sevier. However, their next loss will be their last.

Holding Barton to 9 points will be much more challenging this time as there will be a sense of urgency that only a one and down format can bring out of a player. Tebbs will feel the same way and they are both highly battle tested.

Prediction: South Sevier understands the magnitude of this game and will come out with intensity early that will enable them to put this one away. If they come out slow, that same pressure could cause them to get tense. South Sevier wins this one in a tough battle.

13 #4 Grantsville vs. 15 #3 Manti

Grantsville is skilled, but due to their strength of schedule, they have had a hard time finding consistent wins. With that said, they are extremely dangerous and have beaten Manti once this season.

Further, this team has a lot of senior leadership and multiple players who are capable of putting their stamp on this game. Brady Arbon is their biggest mismatch in this contest as he is a walking double-double who Manti will have to find a way to account for. Moreover, Kevin Roberts and Ryan Potter will be itching to make an impact on the outcome.

While Grantsville has a tough match-up for Manti in Arbon, Manti has plenty of talent of their own. Further, they have demonstrated more consistency which has to give them some sort of an edge in a one and done format.

As far as prospects to watch are concerned, Matt Nelson will most likely give Grantsville most of their headaches. The knockdown shooter does everything he can to impact the outcome of the game. His ability to shoot the basketball from deep will open up the floor and cause problems.

In addition to Nelson, Tanner Rasmussen and Adam Huff are both capable shooters and playmakers. Part of what makes Manti a tough match-up is that nearly 35% of their shots are 3s and they are shooting nearly 40% from behind the line. If they get going from down town, Grantsville will be in trouble.

Prediction: Manti is going to shoot the basketball at a high rate and move forward for a re-match with South Sevier, who they beat earlier this season.