During the last two seasons, the Viewmont Vikings lost a grand total of one game. Last year they won 24 straight games last year en route to the 4A state title.

It looks like little has changed this year as the Vikes have added six more games to their streak and look to be the team to beat again in the state's highest classification of 5A.Back from last year's championship team are first-team all-stater Alex Jensen and second-teamer Jeramie Martin, along with starter Jeff Robison. That threesome has been bolstered by the addition of Tom Evans, Jeff Holt and Jeremy Jeppesen.

Coach Brad Christensen has taken over the Viking program after Clyde Nelson moved on to Ricks College. Christensen's biggest problem this winter has been keeping everyone healthy, while a flu bug has gone through his team. Ranked 24th in the latest USA Today poll, the Vikings play the 11th-ranked team in the country, Simon Gratz of Philadelphia Tuesday in the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina.

The Vikings have learned already that it won't be a cakewalk this year with several close wins. Among the top challengers this year will be Mountain View and Alta from Region 4, Bingham and Taylorsville from Region 3 and Bountiful and Highland from Region 2.

League games won't get under way until the second week of January for most teams. The 5A tournament will be March 7-12 at the University of Utah.


Mediocrity is the byword in Region 1 so far this year.

The league lost its top two teams in Viewmont and Davis, who moved to Region 2 in the realignment and a month into the season, none of the other six teams has emerged. Only two teams have winning records and the combined mark of the six teams is a woeful 17-29.

Northridge (5-3) gained a lot of experience last year with no seniors and is ready to challenge behind guards Colby Bond and Casey Smith. Roy (3-6) is better than its record and has one of the top scorers in 5A in Fred Dawson and a good shooter in Troy Schiffman. The Royals played Viewmont to a 4-point game a couple of weeks ago.

Weber (4-3) has a balanced team led by Scott Harrop and Travis Burke, while Layton (2-5) has a couple of fine juniors in 6-5 Tyson Murdock and Trevor Black. Bonneville (2-6), usually one of the strongest teams in the league, lost a lot of talent and will count on Cody LaFeber for stabilty.

Clearfield (1-6) surprised everyone by coming on strong to finish 3rd in the state last year after a 4th-place region finish. But Ray Meibos lost all his starters and will try to mold a young team led by seniors Aaron Smith and Scott Moser.


Viewmont's toughest competition all year may come from its own region.

Bountiful (7-1) has its best team in years under 5th-year coach Mike Maxwell. Junior Brett Allen has been one of the top scorers in 5A, averaging around 20 points a game during the preseason. Six-foot-8 Dave Hibbert and 6-6 Jeff Child, give the Braves one of the most formidable frontlines in the state.

Highland (6-2), coached by Mike's father Larry Maxwell, could go a long ways in what could be Maxwell's last season of a distinguished coaching career. The Rams are led by senior Gary Langston, an all-state tight end, and junior Todd Christensen, the younger brother of BYU starter Kurt Christensen. The Rams should get better as Matt Cannon, the 5A football MVP, works his way back into the lineup after breaking his leg last month.

Cottonwood (5-2) has some talent with Kevin Linkous and Scott Geertsen and could challenge for the title. Davis (4-4) returns no starters from last year's fine team and counts on point guard Greg Emery. Meanwhile, Skyline, (2-5) under first-year coach Charlie Whiting, is struggling with a young inexperienced squad led by junior Dave Johnson.


Bingham (5-1) doesn't have any giants, but a solid group of athletes who could go a long way this year. Quynn Tebbs is a 6-2 guard who averages 19 points a game and is major-college material. Clint Larson is the other guard, while the Kemp twins, Jason and Jon, play the wings and 6-5 Dwayne Horsley mans the middle.

Taylorsville (4-4) has all the height in the region with five key players over 6-foot-5. Greg Blake, a 6-6 forward from Australia, averaged 18 points a game last year and 16 so far this year. Lack of speed and quickness may be the Warriors' biggest problem this year.

West Jordan (4-4), was the surprise team of the 4A tourney last year, making it to the semifinals. Lorenzo Leuluai, a key player for last year's 4th-in-state team, is back to lead the Jaguars. Tony Sweat can light it up for Hunter (4-4), which makes due with a small lineup (no one over 6-4). Football star Juan Johnson plays center at 6-2.

Granger (3-5) and Kearns (2-5) are the best candidates to miss the state tournament. The Lancers have a good scorer in Andy Butterfield, while the Cougars use a lot of football players, who may take awhile to get in basketball shape.


The 5A champ may not come out of this region, but two very good teams from here will not make the state tournament in March.

From top to bottom this is by far the strongest league in the state led by two teams that are still unbeaten. Every team has a winning record except American Fork, which is 4-4.

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Mountain View (9-0) has been rolling over opponents all year. The Bruins don't have any superstars and no big guys with all the starters between 6-1 and 6-5. Nate Chappell scores 16 points a game, while Jamie Jeffords, Jeff Francis, Heath Jolley and Nate Cooper are all capable of leading the scoring on a given night.

Alta (5-0), hasn't played many games, but will play four games in the Nebraska Prep Classic next week. The Hawks, who had an off-year last year after taking state in 1991, are also small, but have great experience with returning starters Taylor Wagner, Cale DeHart, Joey Hutchinson, Adam Sharp and Brad Wilden.

Brighton (4-3) is coming back after a slow start behind a pair of the best guards in the state in Robbie Yates and Mark Dille. At 6-7, Tyson Welling gives the Bengals height.

Hillcrest (5-2) has its usual small, scrappy defensive bunch, led by Zac Love. Orem (7-2) has played well with a balanced lineup, but will have to scramble to make it to the state playoffs in this tough league. American Fork (4-4) is in the same boat and will look to Jason Ingersoll to lead them to the playoffs.

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