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TOURNAMENT TIME IS HERE FOR PREPS

Postseason play is under way as Utah high school squads seek spring sports titles.

Baseball

You know interregion playoffs are here when underdogs start drooling over an upset and favorites begin barking about how unfair the first round is.

Both will surely happen today across the state when teams in the 4A and 5A classifications begin the postseason with the interregion playoffs. Sixteen teams in each class qualified for the interregions, but only the eight winning squads will advance to next week's double-elimination tourneys.

The marquee matchup has the Taylorsville Warriors, winners of three titles in four years, hosting the defending 5A state champion Orem Tigers today.

Top-ranked Bingham, co-Region 3 champ T-Ville and Region 4 champion Hillcrest look to be the strong contenders in 5A. Defending 4A champ and No. 1-ranked Springville and Region 6/7 champ Tooele are favorites in their class.

The 3A double-elimination tourney, which resumes tomorrow at Dixie College, began with a surprise when No. 1 Dixie lost in the opening round last week and it will face Emery, also surprise first-round loser, at 10 a.m. In 2A, Grand went 8-0 in Region 13 and could win its second straight title. Unlike the others, the 2A tourney is single elimination.

Boys soccer

Five of the six teams that advanced to last year's state championships are all in position to make another run for the title. Last year's winners Viewmont and Wood Cross once again look to be the best bets in 5A and 4A respectively.

Defending 3A champ Park City is also slated for Thursday's semis, but the Miners have run into trouble as of late. Their game with Snow Canyon (9-2) may be the contest of the in Thursday's action for all three classes.

Other intriguing matchups include Olympus (6-2), the 4A preseason favorite against playoff power Sky View (8-4). Finesse forwards Nic Butler (Sky View) and Jake Atkin (Olympus) are two of the state's strongest scorers.

In 5A, Jordan High has made the transition the highest class swiftly with their 19th straight playoff appearance. Last year the Beetdiggers knocked out three region champions en route to the championship game and will start on the same task with Region 3 champ Taylorsville (10-2).

Highland (7-3) will aim for its third run at the championship game starting against Bonneville.

Softball

Defending state champions Alta, Box Elder, Union and Manti will begin their quest for repeat titles when state championship play begins Thursday.

The third-ranked Hawks tied for the Region 4 title this year and open 5A play with Hunter. A win puts Alta into a possible second-round meeting with second-ranked Fremont.Top-ranked Bingham, which had its streak of four-straight titles snapped last season, opens against Mountain View.

Box Elder won its seventh-straight Region 5 crown this year and is the team to beat in 4A. The Bees meet Olympus in the opening round. Despite its favorite status, Pleasant Grove, Tooele and Murray all have strong shots and knocking off the defending champs.

Top-ranked Uintah will have revenge on its mind when it opens state tourney play. The Utes finished second to Union last season and want nothing short of a title this year. A first-round meeting with a strong Emery squad will be a challenge for the Utes.

Manti looks to win its third state title after cruising through the regular season. The top-ranked Templars fell just once in Region 12 play, but that was to Grantsville, the team it beat in the state championship game last year. Manti opens play against Grand, a school that has won three state titles.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Prep schedules

Baseball

CLASS 5A INTERREGION

Wednesday's games

Kearns at Alta, 4 p.m.

Orem at Taylorsville, 4 p.m.

Northridge at Viewmont. 3:30 p.m.

Roy at Skyline, 4 p.m.

Cottonwood at Layton, 4 p.m.

Granger at Hillcrest, 4 p.m.

Thursday's games

Brighton at Bingham, 3:30 p.m.

Highland at Bonneville, 4 p.m.

CLASS 4A INTERREGION

Wednesday's games

Provo at Cyprus, 3:30 p.m.

Sky View at Murray, 3:30 p.m.

Logan at Tooele, 3:30 p.m.

Pleasant Grove at Mtn. Crest, 3:30 p.m.

West at Bear River, 3:30 p.m.

East at Spanish Fork, 4 p.m.

Thursday's games

Woods Cross at Box Elder, 4 p.m.

Olympus at Springville, 4 p.m.

CLASS 3A TOURNAMENT

at Hurst Field, St. George

Thursday's games

Dixie vs. Emery, 10 a.m.

Cedar City vs. Richfield, 1 p.m.

Carbon vs. Uintah, 4 p.m.

Union vs. Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.

CLASS 2A INTERREGION

Thursday's games

Beaver at Manti, 3 p.m.

Grantsville at Kanab, 3 p.m.

Juab at Grand, 3 p.m.

Monticello at Gunnison, 3 p.m.

Soccer

Thursday's games

CLASS 5A INTERREGION

Davis or Skyline at Clearfield, 4 p.m.

Granger at Hillcrest, 3:30 p.m.

Alta at Bingham, 3:30 p.m.

Layton at Viewmont, 3:30 p.m.

Jordan at Taylorsville, 3:30 p.m.

Bonneville at Highland, 3:30 p.m.

Bountiful at Roy, 4 p.m.

Kearns at Brighton, 3:30 p.m.

CLASS 4A INTERREGION

Judge at Ogden, 3:30 p.m.

East at Provo, 3:30 p.m.

Sky View at Olympus, 3:30 p.m.

Ben Lomond at Woods Cross, 3:30 p.m.

Springville at Bear River, 3:30 p.m.

Cyprus at Mountain Crest, 3:30 p.m.

West at Timpview, 3:30 p.m.

Friday's game

Pleasant Grove at Tooele, 4:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A TOURNAMENT

at Woods Cross High School

Thursday's semifinals

Cedar City vs. Morgan, 4:15 p.m.

Snow Canyon vs. Park City, 6 p.m.

Softball

CLASS 5A INTERREGION

Thursday's games

Cottonwood at Fremont, 4 p.m.

Hunter at Alta, 3:30 p.m.

Jordan at Taylorsville, 3:30 p.m.

Weber at Bountiful, 4 p.m.

Mountain View at Bingham, 3:30 p.m.

Bonneville at Viewmont, 3:30 p.m.

Highland at Roy, 4 p.m.

West Jordan at Hillcrest, 3:30 p.m.

CLASS 4A INTERREGION

Thursday's games

Olympus at Box Elder, 4 p.m.

West at Payson, 3 p.m.

Judge at Springville, 4 p.m.

Ogden at Murray, 3 p.m.

Mountain Crest at Tooele, 3:30 p.m.

Spanish Fork at Bear River, 3:30 p.m.

Cyprus at Sky View, 3 p.m.

Woods Cross at Pleasant Grove, 4 p.m.

CLASS 3A STATE TOURNAMENT

May 16-18 at Cedar City

Uintah vs. Emery, 3 p.m.

Richfield vs. Dixie, 3 p.m.

North Sanpete vs. Hurricane, 3 p.m.

Snow Canyon vs. Union, 5 p.m.

CLASS 2A INTERREGION

Thursday's games

Grand at Manti, 3 p.m.

Grantsville at Beaver, 3 p.m.

Morgan at San Juan, 3 p.m.

Monticello at Juab, 3 p.m.