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High school boys basketball: 2020 Class 5A team-by-team preseason capsules

Farmington, Olympus, Timpview and Maple Mountain open the season as the boys basketball preseason favorites in their respective 5A regions

Farmington’s Collin Chandler shoots over Provo’s Gabriel Gutierrez during the 5A boys basketball state quarterfinals at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Farmington won 78-76 in overtime.
Farmington’s Collin Chandler shoots over Provo’s Gabriel Gutierrez during the 5A boys basketball state quarterfinals at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Farmington won 78-76 in overtime.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

After a multiweek delay because of COVID-19, the 2020-2021 high school boys basketball season gets underway this week for teams teams in 6A through 1A. To prepare fans for the upcoming season, the Deseret News has put together capsules for every team in 5A. Every coach was invited to participate and submit information.

The region rankings are based on coaches preseason projections.

There are three new head basketball coaches in 5A this year: Dan Del Porto (East), Brandon Sluga (Hillcrest) and Quincy Lewis (Lehi).

Here are the 5A teams and players to watch this upcoming season.


Region 5

1. Farmington Phoenix

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Kasey Walkenhurst (third year).

2019-2020 record: 19-8 (tied for second in Region 5 with a 7-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Timpview, 49-47, in the 5A semifinals.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Collin Chandler, Jr., G, 18.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Truman Hendry, Sr., C, 10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Caleb Mordue, Sr., F, 3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Sam Rencher, Sr., G.

Coach comment: “We are very excited about the group we have coming back this year. We will be long and athletic and will have some much needed experience back from our final four run last season. If we can make defending and rebounding a priority, this team could be pretty fun to watch come February and March.”


2. Bountiful Braves

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Mike Maxwell (32nd year).

2019-2020 record: 16-11 (tied for second in Region 5 with a 7-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 65-60, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: 2½.

Returning contributors:

  • Rob Whaley, Sr., W, 20.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.3 spg.
  • Austin Cooper, Sr., PG, 4.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Henry Smith, Sr., W, 4.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.4 spg.

Coach comment: “This will be a good team to coach. They generally like each other and are very willing to play for each other. Unselfish to a fault if there is such a thing. Need to mature defensively and maybe then could have a shot.”


3. Bonneville Lakers

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Kyle Bullinger (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 8-13 (fourth in Region 5 with a 4-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Brighton, 47-45, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Luke Dixon, Sr., G, 9.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Matt Tesch, Sr., F, 8.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.9 spg.

Coach comment: “The coaching staff at Bonneville is excited about the upcoming season for the Lakers. Bonneville will have a senior-laden team, but will be without returning All-Region point guard Jordan Citte, who suffered a torn ACL during football season. The Lakers will rely on returning starters Luke Dixon and Matt Tesch, as well as key contributors Jarom Strate, Chance Redd, Bosten Baur, and Carson Jones to shoulder the load in what should be a very competitive Region 5.”


4. Box Elder Bees

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jace McKee (ninth year).

2019-2020 record: 11-12 (tied for 5th in Region 5 with a 2-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Woods Cross, 62-50, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Parker Buchanan, Sr., C, 16.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Jarom Watson, Sr., G, 6.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.8 spg.
  • Cole Mortenson, Soph., G.

Coach comment: “It is hard to talk about our team and the season when we just don’t know what is going to happen. We just want a season at this point. We have a few returners in Parker Buchanan and Jarom Watson, but Parker is coming off a football injury that will sideline him for some time. We will be breaking in a few sophomores in the meantime. Let’s just let the kids play.”


5. Woods Cross Wildcats

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jeff Jorgensen (third year).

2019-2020 record: 19-6 (1st in Region 5 with an 8-2 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 71-69, in the 5A semifinals.

Additional info not provided.


6. Viewmont Vikings

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jeff Emery (24th year).

2019-2020 record: 7-17 (tied for 5th in Region 5 with a 2-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Farmington, 44-29, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Brash Emery, Sr., PG, 11.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.9 spg.
  • Garret Tietjen, Sr., SG, 1.1 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.2 spg.
  • Dawson Kearns, Sr., SG, 1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg.
  • John Barnes, Sr., SF, 2.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg.

Coach comment: “Honestly, I’m just hoping we get to play a season! I really like our team chemistry and if we can figure out a way to make some shots and then defend and rebound consistently, I think we can be very competitive this year.”


Region 6

1. Olympus Titans

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Matt Barnes (24th year).

2019-2020 record: 13-11 (tied for third in Region 6 with a 10-4 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Mountain View, 63-58, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Jack Wistrcill, Jr., C, 6.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Ben Krystkowiak, Sr., G/F, 11.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 spg.

Coach comment: “The Titans return just two starters from last year’s team. I am very excited to see how the team comes together. Many unknowns right now. Should be an exciting year for the Titans.”


2. Brighton Bengals

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Garrett Wilson (fifth year).

2019-2020 record: 18-7 (tied for 1st in Region 6 with an 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Orem, 71-51, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Tanner Church, Sr., G, 8.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.5 spg.
  • Lander Barton, Jr., F, 12.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg.
  • Josh Petersen, Sr., F, 9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.4 spg.

Coach comment: “We return four starters, three leading scorers, two leading rebounders, assist leader, and steal leader from our region championship team last year. This year, we feel like our offense should be much better and able to score in many different ways and with many different guys. Add that to our perennial top 5 defense (#1 defense in 5A last year at 49.4 PPG), and needless to say, we are very excited for this season and expect to compete for another region title and a state playoff run.”


3. Murray Spartans

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jason Workman (16th year).

2019-2020 record: 13-13 (tied for third in Region 6 with a 10-4 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Timpview, 53-32, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Bowen Davies, Jr., C, 7.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Jaxson Workman, Soph., PG, 6.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg.
  • Chudi Anosike, Soph., F, 7.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Kyle Ross, Sr., G, 6.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg.

Coach comment: “We hope that our young core can continue to develop, and improve upon their surprising last half of last season.”


4. Highland Rams

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jim Boyce (seventh year).

2019-2020 record: 3-20 (sixth in Region 6 with a 3-11 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Timpview, 75-49, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Elijah Tolbert, Jr., G, 13.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Ammon Kaufusi, Sr., C, 10.8, 7.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Jacob Solvasen, Sr., G.
  • Nate Johnson, Soph., G.

Coach comment: “The Highland Rams bring experience and depth to this year’s season. If we can defend, come together as a team, and each player understands their role we can compete for the region title and make a run in the state tournament.”


5. East Leopards

2020-2021 schedule

Head Coach: Dan Del Porto (first year).

2019-2020 Record: 16-7 (tied for 1st in Region 6 with an 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Timpview, 46-43, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 0.

Returning contributors:

  • Daniel Huntsman, Jr., G.
  • Elliott Levetan, Jr., G.
  • Kevin Doe, Soph., F.
  • Makhiah Tarver, Sr., F (Judge transfer).
  • Ben Roberts, Jr., F.

Coach comment: “I am very excited about this group. They are great kids and as coachable and hardworking as any team I have ever coached. I believe we will probably start slow mainly due to having no off-season, but eventually I expect we will compete at a very high level.”


6. Skyline Eagles

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Cory Plant (second year).

2019-2020 record: 3-21 (tied for seventh in Region 6 with a 2-12 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Orem, 89-54, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Jake Smith, Sr., G, 4.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg.
  • Chase Dellos, Sr., C, 3.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Yorgio Golesis, Soph., PG, 7.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Kolton Smith, Jr., G.

Coach comment: “This year Skyline will be much improved. We have several very good perimeter players and a fabulous point guard that can get the ball distributed. We have an inside threat at the center position. We will be much better on defensive transition and playing solid man to man defense. Offensively, we will have a good inside/outside game. We have several shooters that will make guarding our team much more difficult. We have several very good young players that will depth to our team this year.”


7. Cottonwood Colts

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Marc Miller (second year).

2019-2020 record: 3-21 (tied for seventh in Region 6 with a 2-12 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Timpanogos, 66-39, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Andre Cooper, Sr., 6.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Noah Widerbug, Jr., 10.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Aidan Oliphant, Soph., 9.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Cooper Lindsey, Jr., 4.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.3 spg.

Coach comment: “Having only lost one senior from last year’s team, Cottonwood is looking to build off of their experience from last season.”


8. Hillcrest Huskies

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Brandon Sluga (first year).

2019-2020 record: 10-14 (5th in Region 6 with a 7-7 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Alta, 68-55, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Maddux Albers, 6.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Porter Nielson, 3.1 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.4 apg.
  • Josh Blackbourn.

Coach comment: “Hillcrest basketball has a strong mix of age, experience, skill, and ability. We look forward to the opportunity to compete every night and challenge for a region championship.”


Region 7

1. Timpview Thunderbirds

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Kevin Santiago (eighth year).

2019-2020 record: 21-7 (tied for second in Region 7 with a 7-5 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 66-53, in the 5A championship.

Additional info not provided.


2. Lehi Pioneers

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Quincey Lewis (first year).

2019-2020 record: 13-10 (first in Region 7 with a 9-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Park City, 48-45, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Noa Gonsalves, Sr., G, 19.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 spg.
  • Tyson Hawkins, Sr., G, 12.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Blake Hill, Sr., F, 8.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Tyler Trane, Sr., F.

Coach comment: “I like our group – we have a good complement of returning experienced players and new and younger players that will help our team.”


3. Timpanogos Timberwolves

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Izzy Ingle (seventh year).

2019-2020 record: 17-8 (tied for 2nd in Region 7 with a 7-5 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Murray, 47-44, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Jackson Holcombe, Sr., PG/F, 15.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.8 spg.
  • Gavin Scott, Sr., SG, 5.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Bron Roberts, Soph., G/F.

Coach comment: “I’m really excited about this year’s team. We have a great balance of returning seniors and talented underclassmen that should give us a versatile and deep roster. If we can stay healthy, we have a really good chance at another great season.”


4. Alta Hawks

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Jim Baker (14th year).

2019-2020 record: 14-11 (fifth in Region 7 with a 6-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Farmington, 77-75, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Jaden Brownell, Sr., F/C, 19.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg.

Coach comment: “Our team has a lot of newcomers to the varsity level, but we have a lot of depth and we should have good size. It will take us a little while to round into form with the late start, but I think we should be a tough team to beat later in the year.”


5. Mountain Ridge Sentinels

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Scott Briggs (second year).

2019-2020 record: 8-16 (seventh in Region 7 with a 1-11 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Bountiful, 67-58, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Zach Farmer, Sr., F, 10.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.9 spg.
  • Jake Fitton, Jr., G, 8.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Jackson Moller, Soph., C, 8.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.9 spg.
  • Merrick Sherwood, Jr., G, 10.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 spg.
  • Kyle Carley, Soph., G.

Coach comment: “We are excited to get started with our second season of basketball at Mountain Ridge High. We are looking to build off of the eight wins that we had in the school’s first year last season. Returning four starters and bringing back a lot of enthusiasm we expect to be an improved team and look forward to the competitive season that our schedule will bring.”


6. Mountain View Bruins

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Shawn Faux (second year)

2019-2020 record: 10-13 (sixth in Region 7 with a 5-7 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 76-52, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Court Walker, Sr., G, 7.6 ppg.
  • David Hair, Sr., G, 5.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg.
  • Carter Walker, Jr., F, 5.1 ppg.

7. Orem Tigers

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Perry Wildeboer (second year).

2019-2020 record: 18-8 (tied for second in Region 7 with a 7-5 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Woods Cross, 80-75, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Additional info not provided.


Region 8

1. Maple Mountain Golden Eagles

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Johnny Averett (12th year).

2019-2020 record: 18-6 (second in Region 8 with a 10-4 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Provo, 53-50, in the 5A second round.

Additional info not provided.


2. Provo Bulldogs

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Don Johnson (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 13-13 (seventh in Region 8 with a 3-11 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Farmington, 78-76, in the 5A quarterfinals

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Isaac Castagnetto, Sr., G, 14.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 spg.
  • Juan Pablo Camargo, Sr., F, 7.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.7 spg.

Coach comment: “We have two returning starts from last year’s team Isaac Castagnetto and Juan Pablo that have a lot of game experience that we will rely on. Both are great players. Ty McUne and Josh Urrutia saw limited action last year but have been playing well during the fall league. We are not very tall, but we will get after teams and play hard.”


3. Payson Lions

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Anthony Mitchell (fifth year).

2019-2020 record: 13-12 (tied for fifth in Region 8 with an 6-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Provo, 48-47, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Peyton Swasey, Sr., PG, 6.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.9 spg.
  • Parker Larsen, Sr., C, 12.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8 spg.
  • Sam Mitchell, Sr., G/F, 16.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Zac Robbins, Jr., G/F, 2.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Drayton Haney, Sr., G/F.

Coach comment: “I am excited for this year. I have a great bunch of kids who have worked hard to improve over the years. We have all the pieces to make a good run this year.”


4. Salem Hills Skyhawks

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Blake Francom (third year).

2019-2020 record: 12-12 (tied for third in Region 8 with a 9-5 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Box Elder, 61-55, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Austin Hallows, Sr., G, 3.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Jaden Holley, Sr., F, 1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Ryker Richards, Jr., G, 1.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Rome Simonsen, Sr., G.

Coach comment: “We are very excited about this season. We lack some varsity level experience, but have a high-quality group of players that are hungry to compete. We’re excited about the length and athleticism we have on this year’s team, and hope that can translate into an effective defensive unit and efficient offensive team. There is no lack of excellent teams in 5A this year and we are excited for the challenge.”


5. Wasatch Wasps

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: James Ballstaedt (third year).

2019-2020 record: 8-14 (tied for fifth in Region 8 with a 6-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to East, 56-46, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Colin Hughes, Sr., G, 5.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Hawk Ballstaedt, Sr., G, 2.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.7 spg.

Coach comment: “We are undersized but have a group of boys that like to shoot the ball and get up and down the court. Region 8 will be a tough match up.”


6. Springville Red Devils

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Justin Snell (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 22-5 (first in Region 8 with a 12-2 record).

2020 postseason: Beat Timpview, 66-53, in the 5A championship.

Returning starters: 0.

Returning contributors:

  • Jack Schreiner, Sr., G.
  • Ryder Hansen, Sr., G.
  • Isaac Wolfe, Soph., G.
  • Austin Mertz, Jr., G.

Coach comment: “After losing eight seniors to graduation we are going to be young. We’re excited for this year’s group and the team they will be at the end of the season. Like always for Springville it will come down to how well we play defense and rebound.”


7. Spanish Fork Dons

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Ryan Kunzler (fourth year).

2019-2020 record: 14-10 (tied for third in Region 8 with a 9-5 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Murray, 55-48, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Zac Argyle, Sr., G.
  • Morley Bennett, Sr., G.
  • Cade Olsen, Jr., G.

Coach comment: “We are just grateful for a season. We appreciate all those that have worked so hard, especially the UHSAA, the state office, and our district and school administration, to allow us to have a season. These athletes are excited and we couldn’t be more thrilled to play.”


8. Park City Miners

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Thomas Purcell (second year).

2019-2020 record: 6-16 (eighth in Region 8 with a 1-13 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Bountiful, 80-64, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Adam Spink, Sr., F, 6.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Mitch Lind, Jr., G, 8.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Carson Tabaracci, Jr., F, 6.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.5 spg.

Coach comment: “After winning our first playoff game in nearly 20 years last year, we feel we are headed in the right direction. We lost lots of close games last year with a young team, and plan on winning those in the future. We have great kids, and they have worked very hard to be ready for this season to start.”