Posted On: 03/15/18 1:51 PM
Salem Hills entered the state tournament with the top scoring threat in 4A and arguably the state. While their path to the 4A state championship seemed like a long shot, they were able to ride the strong play of the best scorer in this classification.
James Nelson and Salem Hills surprised the state as they took down Juan Diego, who many had penciled in to win the state title after their defeat of Orem. However, Nelson saved his best for last and Salem Hills took home the coveted prize.
For the past two seasons, Nelson has done anything and everything to assist Salem Hills in winning games. He continued that throughout the state tournament and found a way to get the job done when it mattered the most. His ability to score the basketball from multiple spots on the court made him versatile and extremely tough to defend. His solid play was the key factor in Salem Hills bringing home the state title.
Ricketts was a man among boys throughout this season. His strength and quickness mixed with his length and skill set made him arguably the most versatile player in any classification. Ricketts was vital to Juan Diego making it to the state championship. However, his solid play could not get them over the hump as they have lost the title game two years in a row.
While Ricketts is an extremely special prospect, Kitzman brought a lot to the table that enabled Juan Diego to make to their second straight state championship. His ability to get his teammates involved in spots where they can be successful made him a difference maker. Even in games where he did not shoot the basketball extremely well, he found ways to create for himself and others.
Falslev is one of the most exciting prospects in the state. He can score the basketball in an array of ways and looks like he still has room to improve. His stellar play in the state tournament will most likely not be a one time thing. Look for him on this list once again next season.
While Orem’s season ended before many thought it would, it was in the match-up that I thought would happen in the championship: Orem vs. Juan Diego. Reeves played well throughout the tournament and scored the basketball consistently. He did all that he could to put Orem in position to win a championship. However, he stellar efforts fell short.
Richard provided a solid presence on the glass and another scoring threat for Orem. While he is undersized, he played extremely hard and did a lot of the little things. Although Reeves graduating will be tough on this team, the returning of Richard and Nacua should give this group confidence heading into next season.