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High school boys basketball: Cyprus’ Quentin Meza becomes the fourth highest scorer in state history in 6A quarterfinal victory

Cyprus beat Syracuse 58-56 to advance to the 6A semifinals

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Cyprus’ Quentin Meza pushes the ball ahead as Syracuse’s Daxton Faddis and Dax Brady move in on him.

Cyprus’ Quentin Meza pushes the ball ahead as Syracuse’s Daxton Faddis and Dax Brady move in on him as they play in the quarterfinals of the 6A boys basketball state playoffs at the Dee Events Center at Weber State in Ogden on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. Cyprus won 58-56.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Box score

With a 68-year championship drought, Cyprus has been hungry to reclaim the throne. However, in last year’s 6A quarterfinals, Cyprus’ hopeful run was ended early by a four-point loss to Corner Canyon.

This year Cyprus is having one of its most successful seasons in school history. The Pirates ended the regular season with a 22-3 record, giving them their best shot at a state crown in decades. Then on Tuesday, the team claimed a 58-56 victory over Syracuse to advance to the 6A semifinals.

“This is the biggest win in program history,” said Cyprus head coach Tre Smith. “For us, having a shot means a lot. You got to credit the kids; it was a tough fought win.”

He continued, “At the same time, I got to give Syracuse a lot of credit. That is a well-coached team, they play the right way, they play hard, and they compete. Sometimes you just got to hit a few more shots, and we did that tonight.”

The quarterfinal game went down to the wire and contained seven score ties and seven lead changes.

Despite losing the rebounding game 27-20, the Pirates shot 54% from the field to keep themselves in it.

With both teams battling hard, the first half ended with a 29-28 lead for Syracuse.

Cyprus was defensive-minded out of the half and held Syracuse to just nine third-quarter points, the lowest scoring quarter for the Titans.

With the score tied 38-38 to end the third, the pressure was on and Cyprus rose to the challenge. The Cyprus offense exploded with 20 points in the fourth quarter on its way to victory.  

Cyprus senior Quentin Meza scored 20 second-half points, many of which were late in the fourth, and put the game out of reach for Syracuse.

“The kids a hooper. If there is any ‘Mr. Basketball’ it’s him in my opinion,” said Smith. “You know with what he’s done for the program, for his teammates, and for all the work he’s put in. He does have a lot of room for growth and improvement but it’s all about working every day and grinding.”

Meza ended the game with 31 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

With Tuesday’s game Meza has recorded 2,107 career points, 600 assists and 504 rebounds. He’s now fourth on Utah’s all-time points scored list and third in all-time assists.

“It’s not anything I ever imagined,” said Meza. “At the start of my career, I knew I had a good freshman year but I never thought anything of it.”

He continued, “Then this senior year I was like ‘I’m getting close, I’m moving up’ and I got here but I didn’t really care about scoring today, I just wanted to win and advance. I wished last year that we could advance so I was really hoping this year we could make it and advance since it’s my last year. I’m just doing whatever I can to win that state championship.”