Over the past three seasons, Ogden was the dominant team in Class 3A, winning two state championships and making the finals last year. Most of last year's 3A schools are now in 4A and once again the Tigers are one of the best in their class.

But they've got considerably more competition with schools such as Provo, Olympus and Timpview dropping down from the largest classification to join them.Perennial power Provo has produced a 5-3 record so far, but it's a little deceiving because the Bulldogs have played six 5A teams and have lost to unbeaten Mountain View in double overtime and to Brighton in overtime.

Tooele, which gave Provo its other loss, should be the class team in Region 6, while unbeaten Mountain Crest will challenge Ogden in Region 5. Olympus should have little competition in Region 6.

The 4A league games begin Jan. 7, but with the smaller regions this year, some non-league games will be played during January and February. The 4A tournament will be played Feb. 28-March 5 at Weber State.

REGION 5

Ogden (6-1) lost all-stater Brandon Fries, but returns Brent Moore, who was 2nd team all-state as a sophomore in averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds. The 6-5 junior is averaging 21 points this year. Besides Moore, Ogden counts on three-year starter John Plyer, Kip Bremser and Adam Vandyke.

In a preseason questionaire, Mountain Crest coach John Nielsen couldn't name his top players because "we are very deep with no great players, but a lot of very good players." Whoever they are, the Mustang players have found the winning formula so far in jumping out to a 7-0 record with three wins over 5A teams. Junior guards Eric Baugh and Dan Conger have been doing a lot of the team's scoring so far.

Ben Lomond (3-4) features one of 4A's best players in Cliff Williams. Sky View (3-2), led by Daren Jackson and Brandon Birch, gave 5A's Viewmont all it could handle in a loss last week.

Logan (3-4) relies on Steve Smith and Paul Clark for scoring, while Box Elder (2-5) has struggled so far with an inexperienced lineup. Bear River (2-5) is off to a slow start and needs its younger players to help returnees Ryan Toone and Leo Robertson.

REGION 6

Tooele (7-1) lost a lot of players from last year's 4th-in-state team, but the Buffaloes return 22-point scorer Drew Hansen, who earned second-team all-state honors in the Deseret News. Hansen will be aided by Graig Warner and Scott Pratt.

Murray (4-2) is off to a strong start, thanks to the phenomenal play of sophomore Jeff Johnsen, who is averaging 20 points a game. Brad Winget and Scott Evans provide the Spartans with experience.

Last year Judge Memorial (3-2) had a good season with 6-10 Ben Melmeth and a bunch of little guys. Melmeth's gone, but most of the little guys are back, including Justin Henderson and Timmy Gardner. Jordan (3-4) is balanced enough to have a different leading scorer every night, but will need a strong year from 6-7 Dan Olsen to contend. Granite (1-6) has a new coach in Ron Burnside, who is trying to install a strong defense with an inexperienced crew.

REGION 7

Something would really have to go wrong for Olympus (5-2) not to win this region. The other four teams combined for a dismal 4-22 mark prior to the Christmas moratorium.

The Titans are clearly the class of the league with three-year starter Ty Church and University of Utah-bound center Greg Barratt leading the way. The 6-8 Barratt leads 4A with a 23-point average, while Church, who has grown to 5-8, is a top playmaker and 3-point shooter.

Woods Cross (1-5) has perhaps the biggest player in the state in 6-10 Tyler Allred, who has come up with some big games already. East (1-6) is finding out how tough it is to lose all its starters including all-stater Nate Gardner. While the Leopards have lost by big margins in several games, they did jump up to beat arch-rival Highland, one of 5A's top teams.

West (2-5) has a new coach in Nate Grant, an all-stater for the Panthers a decade ago. There's little on the table for Grant, who counts on Dan Prier and Jason Diaz. Cyprus (0-6) is very young, led by junior Chad Huntsman with at least four sophomores seeing significant playing time.

REGION 8

After its grueling preseason slate, Provo (5-3) may find the league schedule a breeze. Only Timpview, which is rebuilding after finishing second in 5A last year, should give the Bulldogs much trouble.

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The Bulldogs have talent galore, but forwards Brian Paulsen and Steve Liddiard have been the main men so far this year. Greg Jarman, B. J. Chandler and Steve Van Buren are other top players in the Provo lineup.

Timpview (4-5) lost all of its starters from its 21-3 team, but Aaron Warner and Mike Henstrom both played plenty off the bench and are the cogs in this year's squad.

Payson (5-4) gained some good experience by making the semis of the Las Vegas Prep Classic last week behind Jamon Taylor, Scott Moody and Joel Ockey.

Spanish Fork (4-5) won't have a Reid for the first time in six years and with no height and little experience will be hard-pressed to make it to state. Springville (2-6) is led by Riley Johnson and Jake Huff. Pleasant Grove (2-6) won the 4A title in football last month, but so far basketball season hasn't been a pleasant one for the Vikings.

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