The Sky View girls basketball team has had some time to mull over what happened to them last year and don't want it to happen again.

After having been ranked No. 1 the entire season and entering the 4A championship game undefeated, the Bobcats fell to the surprising Ogden Tigers 42-40 in the title game and had to settle for a disappointing second place finish.The Bobcats are again on the trail that paves its way back to the championship game and following in their same footprints. Through the first six games Sky View is top-ranked and undefeated.

Leading the charge for Sky View are returning all-state performers Mari Burningham and Jessica Sparrow. The 6-foot-4 Burningham is on her way to UCLA after finishing out her senior year. Burningham is averaging nearly 18 points per game in the preseason, while also, believe it or not, handling the point guard duties when called upon.

Sparrow stands 6-1 and is the second leading scorer for the Bobcats. The senior has signed to play for Southern Utah next year. Throw in 6-foot-2 newcomer Taffy Smart, who leads the team in rebounds, and the Bobcats have the tallest team in the state. That doesn't necessarily mean a perfect season is on its way.

"We're going to get beat somewhere along the way," Wamsley added. "We just hope its not in the state championship game again."

Sky View's Region 5 foe Ogden would love nothing better than to defend its state title. It may prove a tough battle for the Tigers though. Gone are Ogden's top players from last year, but coach Philip Russell feels his team will be a late bloomer and be in most games because of its defensive tenacity.

Logan, Bear River and Ben Lomond will also prove tough region opponents. The Grizzlies are 5-1 to start the season with their only loss coming to an out-of-state team. Jeremi Covington is the key player for Logan.

All but one team in the demanding Region 8 have a winning preseason record, led by second-ranked Timpview. The Thunderbirds have used their pressing game to take off to an 8-1 mark with their only loss a shocker against a 1A Duchesne squad. Emily Freeze is the spark plug for Timpview.

Payson has jumped out to a 6-1 record and No. 3 ranking due in part to the offensive displays by senior Julie Hansen and sophomore Melissa Tervort.

Tirzah Church has helped Pleasant Grove to a 5-2 record but the Vikings were beaten badly by top-ranked Bingham of 5A last week. Provo got off to a bad start but is now sporting a 4-3 record and playing like the team that was ranked in the preseason poll.

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Region 6 and 7 schools have had a hard time during the preseason. Only Tooele and Jordan do not have losing records and those two should battle it out for the Region 6 crown.

East has a good shot at the Region 7 title with juniors Charlotte Norman at the center position and Elyse Stowell at guard.

Olympus has a young squad, led by senior Tara McNeil. Freshman Kristi Fehr has shown some excellent play at point guard for the Titans and could make them a contender down the stretch.

Woods Cross has struggled against some strong opponents its first few games but Tiffany Britton will help the Wildcats make a region-title run.

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