Monticello girls start the festivities on Wednesday as they start the 1A Girls State Basketball tournament in Richfield.
The Lady Bucks tied for first place in Region 19 with a convincing 61-44 victory over the Whitehorse Raiders Thursday night in Monticello.
Bettina Benally paced the Bucks with her pinpoint outside shooting, sinking four three pointers while scoring 16 points. Ashley Dowell also pitched in with 16 points, and Linda Barton tossed in an additional 13.
The Bucks finished the regular season with a 12-6 record, including a 7-1 mark in region play, tying with Green River for first place. After a coin toss went Green River’s way, the Bucks drew the second place seed from the region, against the winner of the Meridian/Milford play-in game. Meridian has an 8-9 record on the season, with losses to Piute, Duchesne, and Green River, all teams the Lady Bucks have beaten.
Milford’s record is better at 13-8, although they have lost seven of their last ten games, including the last four in a row. Milford owns a 52-30 victory over Meridian way back in early December, so I’m predicting the Lady Bucks will be playing against the Milford Tigers on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Richfield.
A win there could match the Bucks up against Intermountain Christian School, who come in as the number one seed in Region 17. They are ranked number two in 1A, boast a 17-2-1 record, and are the team that frustratingly ended the Lady Bucks season last year, 42-36.
Yes, they tied Mount Vernon on January 29. I wonder if snow had anything to do with that.
Ashley Dowell leads the Bucks going into the state tournament, sporting a 15 point per game average, good for fourth in 1A.
The Lady Bucks are the sixth highest scoring team in 1A, averaging 48 points a game. The Whitehorse Raiders must win a play-in game against Salt Lake Lutheran to make it to Richfield.
Both the Bronco boys and girls teams qualified for the high pressure proverbial play-in game Friday at Snow College.
The Lady Broncos, after finishing the season losing six of seven, draw the dubious honor of opening against the 16-5, number five ranked North Summit Braves, who garnered the number one seed from Region 14.
The Broncos come in as the number six seed from Region 12. The game tips off at 6:30 in Ephraim.
The Bronco boys, who dropped to the number four seed in the region after a loss to Richfield and an errant coin toss or two, face off against Region 13 second place seed, Parowan, 12-9. Parowan won four games in a row to finish the regular season.
The 17-4 Broncos split two games over the weekend, shellacking Grand 85-49 before losing in overtime in Richfield, 46-43. Kyle Johnson, Teddy Royer, and Dane Lyman lead the Broncos in scoring, with Johnson averaging over 13 points a game, Royer nearly 12 and Lyman 11.
Johnson is also seventh in the entire state in assists per game, averaging 4.29. Nate Einerson is seventh in 2A, with 2.88 assists per game.
The Broncos are the third highest scoring team in 2A, behind Manti and South Sevier, averaging 66 points a game. Johnson is eighth in 2A in three pointers per game, averaging 1.5.
The Broncos hope to go far into the tournament.