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

Farmington, Highland, Lehi, Springville open the season as the girls basketball preseason favorites in their respective 5A regions

Highland’s Sosefina Langi splits the defense of Springville’s Ahna Hullinger and Blythe Stoddard as they play in the 5A State Basketball Championship in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Highland won 46-34.
Highland’s Sosefina Langi splits the defense of Springville’s Ahna Hullinger and Blythe Stoddard as they play in the 5A girls basketball state championship last season. Langi is one of four returning contributors as the Rams look to defend their title.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

After a multiweek delay because of COVID-19, the 2020-2021 high school girls 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 six new head basketball coaches in 5A this year: Jasmine Porter (Bonneville), Doug Nielson (Brighton), Tes Soracco (Cottonwood), Matteo Dalmonte (Hillcrest), Sean Seastrand (Lehi) and Taylor Jones (Salem Hills).

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


Region 5

1. Farmington Phoenix

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Van Price (third year).

2019-2020 record: 19-3 (first in Region 5 with a 10-0 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Mountain View, 42-40, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Valerie Kunzler, G, Sr., 12.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.4 spg.
  • Abigail Ferrell, G, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.9 spg.
  • Delaney Baker, C, Jr., 8.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Amber Beddes, G, Sr., 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.4 spg.
  • Haley McFarland, C, Sr., 2.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1.0 spg.

Coach comment: “We have a really good group of girls this year that have been together since the school opened up three years ago. We have good depth and some very athletic girls. They should be a very fun team to watch and I’m excited to see how they do. Hopefully the state lets us play.”


2. Bountiful Braves

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Joel Burton (13th year).

2019-2020 record: 10-14 (tied for third in Region 5 with a 4-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 40-39, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Emrie Satuala, C, Jr., 8.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 spg.
  • Lizzy McConkie, G, So., 8.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 spg.
  • Jordyn Harvey, F, So., 10.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.7 spg.
  • Evi Chism, G, So., 2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg.
  • Riley Johnson, F, Jr., 2.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.5 spg.

Coach comment: “I am excited for this upcoming season. We showed a lot of growth as the season progressed last year. I am expecting to see more of that and to compete at a high level this season.”


3. Viewmont Vikings

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Roger Farnsworth (second year).

2019-2020 record: 13-11 (second in Region 5 with a 7-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Mountain View, 52-50, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: 0.

Returning contributors:

  • Emma Lindsey, G, Sr., 1.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Kaisley Larsen, G, Sr., 2.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.4 apg.
  • Grace MacKay, G, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.4 spg.
  • Kaylie Smith, G, Jr., 1.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.1 spg.
  • Lauren Weir, G, Jr.

4. Box Elder Bees

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Aaron Dooley (seventh year).

2019-2020 record: 9-14 (tied for third in Region 5 with a 4-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Mountain View, 62-42, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Annika Quayle, F, Sr., 9.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Kailee Talbot, G, Sr., 4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.9 spg.
  • Tegan Mecham, F, Jr., 8.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.5 spg.
  • Kaitlyn Wight, G, Sr., 1.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Ashlyn Reeder, G, Jr., 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg.

Coach comment: “We are excited to get another season rolling here at Box Elder. We have a group of committed young women, they want to be the best they can. They love and trust each other. It should be a fun year filled with great competition in a great region.”


5. Woods Cross Wildcats

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Dave Simon (fifth year).

2019-2020 Record: 11-12 (fifth in Region 5 with a 3-7 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Highland, 43-33, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Macy Richards, G, Sr., 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Annie Michaelis, F, Sr., 1.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.1 spg.
  • Sofia Mokofisi, F, Jr., 3.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.6 spg.

Coach comment: “We are very excited to see how this year’s team comes together. We do have some varsity experience, but most of our players will be getting that experience for the first time. Working hard and playing together and for each other are going to be a huge focus for our team this year. I think if we can do that we can be successful. It should be a fun group to coach.”


6. Bonneville Lakers

2020-2021 schedule

Head Coach: Jasmine Porter (first year).

2019-2020 record: 8-14 (sixth in Region 5 with a 2-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Skyline, 46-37, in the 5A second round.

Additional info not provided.


Region 6

1. Highland Rams

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Kurt Schneider (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 22-3 (first in Region 6 with a 12-2 record).

2020 postseason: Beat Springville, 46-34, in the 5A championship.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Sosefina Langi, G, So., 13.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.9 spg.
  • Bri Neeleman, F, Sr., 3.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Ku’Lei Makauui, G, Sr., 6.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.7 spg.
  • Paige Cooper, G, Sr., 2.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.1 spg.

Coach comment: “It should be an interesting year. I have a lot of returning players and have a lot of depth. I am hoping we can come together as a team and build on what we accomplished last year. It has been a very difficult year for all teams and I’m just not sure how things will come together. I am extremely excited about the girls we have and I am looking to have a great year.”


2. Olympus Titans

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Whitney Hunsaker (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 14-9 (fourth in Region 6 with a 8-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to East, 56-44, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Alyssa Blanck, F, Jr., 15.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 spg.
  • Olivia Rosvall, G, Jr., 8.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Mia Smith, G, Sr., 5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.5 spg.

Coach comment: “Simply put, just looking forward to this season and hope we can build from last year. Excited with the veterans we have returning and are impressed with the younger kids who will contribute to the program this season. This will be a team effort this season, especially considering the circumstance, and we have confidence that we have a tight-knit group that is willing to work and sacrifice for each other.”


3. Skyline Eagles

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Sam White (third year).

2019-2020 record: 17-7 (tied for second in Region 6 with a 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 41-35, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: 0.

Returning contributors:

  • Tina Njike, C, So., 6.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Grace Marsh, G, Sr., 1.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Erica Clark, G, Jr.
  • Maddie Bell, G, Sr.

Coach comment: “We are in full rebuild mode. After graduating eight seniors last year, we have some hungry underclassmen who are locked-in and ready to make an immediate impact now that spots have opened up. We will certainly have some growing pains early and we need to continue to come together as a team, but there is a very talented group here that is anxious to get on the court. We are looking to stay focused, stay healthy and have some fun.”


4. Murray Spartans

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Holly Gillette (seventh year).

2019-2020 record: 9-13 (sixth in Region 6 with a 5-9 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Woods Cross, 40-35, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Ileah Beh, G, Sr., 14.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 3.6 spg.
  • Taelyr Overby, F, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Iyana Beh, F, So., 7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.6 spg.

Coach comment: “We have an athletic team with plenty of experience this year. We are excited about our height and length defensively, and we have a nice mix of guard and post players who can score. This is a hard-working group with players who have put in the time in the offseason. Looking forward to watching them play together.”


5. East Leopards

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Tapasa Tapusoa.

2019-2020 record: 15-10 (tied for second in Region 6 with a 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Lehi, 53-30, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Additional info not provided.


6. Brighton Bengals

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Doug Nielsen (first year).

2019-2020 record: 7-15 (seventh in Region 6 with a 2-12 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Viewmont, 52-24, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Lilly Cheaham, G, Sr., 9.4 ppg.
  • Abby Berg, G, Jr., 4.9 ppg.

7. Hillcrest Huskies

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Matteo Dal Monte (first year).

2019-2020 record: 7-15 (fifth in Region 6 with a 6-8 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Spanish Fork, 61-43, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Olivia Backus, G, So., 4.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.6 spg.
  • Alycea McVey, F, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.1 spg.
  • Amanda Desjardins, G, Jr., 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.4 spg.

Coach comment: “We have a very young team with a lot of upside and the potential to make some noise this year. Very excited to see our younger players step up into new roles and how we build together as a team over the course of the season.”


8. Cottonwood Colts

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Tes Soracco (first year).

2019-2020 record: 1-20 (eighth in Region 6 with a 1-13 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Skyline, 58-34, in the 5A first round.

Additional info not provided.


Region 7

1. Lehi Pioneers

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Sean Seastrand (first year).

2019-2020 record: 23-1 (first in Region 7 with a 12-0 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 48-44, in the 5A semifinals.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Macie Warren, G, Sr., 15.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.7 spg.
  • Maddie Warren, G, Sr., 14.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.8 spg.
  • Brinly Whiting, F, Sr., 6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.3 spg.
  • Jamisyn Heaton, F, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 2.0 spg.
  • Lizzy Rees, G, Sr., 3.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.8 spg.

Coach comment: “We’re excited about this season. We’ve got an experienced team and some great young players coming up to contribute as well. That’s a great balance to have and I am lucky to have taken over this group.”


2. Orem Tigers

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Nick Taylor (second year).

2019-2020 record: 14-11 (third in Region 7 with a 8-4 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Salem Hills, 52-35, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Tori Hollingshead, C, Sr., 17.1 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.4 spg.
  • Bricia Hendry, G, Jr., 7.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 2.1 spg.
  • Gaby Goo, G, Jr., 5.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.6 spg.

Coach comment: “We’re looking to build on the success we had last year. We have a good base with some key additions that should help us do that. We’re excited to see what we can do in this crazy pandemic year.”


3. Mountain View Bruins

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Gentry Dickerson.

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

2020 postseason: Lost to Highland, 54-45, in the 5A semifinals.

Additional info not provided.


4. Timpview Thunderbirds

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Aimee Dorais (sixth year).

2019-2020 record: 11-12 (second in Region 7 with a 11-12 record).

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

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Taya Cravens, Sr., SF.
  • Hinemoa Aston, Jr., SG.
  • Katie Hansen, So., PG.

Coach comment: “We have a lot of fresh faces on this year’s squad, but they have proven over the last eight months to have a great hunger and work ethic that if continued, will allow us to find successes. We are looking to be anchored by senior Taya Cravens, who brings such a tough grit and competitiveness to our gym. Hinemoa Aston and Katie Hansen return at our guard spots, giving us good experience and proven shooting ability there. 6-footers Brooke Eyre and Maddie Edgington have a much improved defensive game, and are sure to make things difficult around the rim. There is such a big commitment from this group to get better every day, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds for them this year.”


5. Timpanogos Timberwolves

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Todd Granthem (second year).

2019-2020 record: 9-13 (tied for fifth in Region 7 with a 3-9 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Orem, 50-28, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 2.

Returning contributors:

  • Katie Walker, G, So., 4.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.7 spg.
  • Summer Christensen, G, So., 9.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 spg.
  • LaShante Holloway, F, Sr., 1.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.2 spg.
  • Tessa Newell, F, Jr., 1.2 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.3 spg.
  • Raygan Peteson, G, So.

Coach comment: “Timpanogos girls basketball is excited to begin the 2020 season. This year will have a lot of young players who will be playing at the JV and varsity levels. We have some strong seniors who will be able to provide the leadership to help develop our younger players. We will be playing a quick-paced game with lots of good shooters and are looking to improve upon our season from last year.”


6. Alta Hawks

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Lizzy Gustafson.

2019-2020 record: 6-17 (tied for fifth in Region 7 with a 3-9 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Viewmont, 51-46, in the 5A second round.

Additional info not provided.


7. Mountain Ridge Sentinels

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Kenzie Newton (second year).

2019-2020 record: 0-22 (seventh in Region 7 with a 0-12 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Springville, 55-22, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Sarah Broadhead, F, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 spg.
  • Brynnlee Murdock, G, So., 7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.9 spg.
  • Taegan Smith, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.7 spg.

Coach comment: “It takes time to build a program and with that comes excitement and adversity. Our players have continued to put time and dedication in this offseason and we are ready to do ‘Whatever it Takes.’ Our goal is to take this season and continue to be better today than we were yesterday.”


Region 8

1. Springville Red Devils

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Holli Averett (second year).

2019-2020 record: 21-7 (tied for first in Region 8 with a 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Highland, 46-34, in the 5A championship.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Addi Johnson, Sr., 8.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Kayla Jackson, Sr., 10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 spg.
  • Lauryn Deede, Sr., 9.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.1 spg.

2. Maple Mountain Golden Eagles

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Cory Green (12th year).

2019-2020 record: 14-7 (tied for first in Region 8 with a 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Alta, 42-39, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Kaylee Radford, G, Sr., 4.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2.2 spg.
  • Skylar Dennison, G, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Kenley Nelson, F, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.9 spg.
  • Sheridan Liggett, Jr., 11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 1.9 spg.

Coach comment: “We are excited to have some experience at multiple positions returning this season. We are looking to build on the finish we had in region play last season, as well as learn from our losses in order to improve where we end up this season.”


3. Wasatch Wasps

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Norm Hayter.

2019-2020 record: 12-12 (tied for fourth in Region 8 with a 8-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Bountiful, 57-54, in the 5A first round.

Additional info not provided.


4. Salem Hills SkyHawks

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Taylor Jones (first year).

2019-2020 record: 17-8 (tied for first in Region 8 with a 11-3 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Highland, 34-30, in the 5A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: 0.

Returning contributors:

  • Kira Muir, G, Sr., 2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.9 spg.
  • Emma Willis, F, Sr., 2.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg.
  • Macklyn Mortensen, G, Jr.
  • Brekell Gammell, F, Jr.

Coach comment: “Lost all five starters from last year. We are young, but have a good core group that has played together for a long time and will compete every game.”


5. Provo Bulldogs

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Amanda Barker.

2019-2020 record: 7-15 (sixth in Region 8 with a 4-10 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Olympus, 54-47, in the 5A first round.

Additional info not provided.


6. Payson Lions

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Chad Bahr (second year).

2019-2020 record: 6-16 (seventh in Region 8 with a 3-11 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to East, 57-39, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 3.

Returning contributors:

  • Sarah Rowley, G, Sr., 5.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.7 spg.
  • Kameron Meek, G, So., 2.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.1 spg.
  • Whitney Bahr, G, So., 3.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 spg.
  • Melissa McCauley, F, Jr.
  • Riley Openshaw, F, Sr.

Coach comment: “We have made great progress despite being so limited with offseason competitions. We have a group of hard working seniors and talented juniors and sophomores. We are looking forward to taking the next step in being successful at Payson.”


7. Spanish Fork Dons

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Alyssa Larsen (10th year).

2019-2020 record: 10-12 (tied for fourth in Region 8 with a 8-6 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Lehi, 69-43, in the 5A second round.

Returning starters: 1.

Returning contributors:

  • Allie Branch, G, Jr., 2.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.2 apg, 1.0 spg.
  • Kacey Anderson, C, Sr.
  • Avery Critchfield, C, Sr.
  • Gracie Parsons, F, Sr.
  • Callie Johnson, G, Sr.

Coach comment: “With COVID-19 this past offseason it has made for an interesting time for our players. Every day it has made them more grateful for the time they do get to play this game. We have learned to take nothing for granted and the girls are playing as if everyday could be the last. The leadership on this squad is one every coach hopes for, and the grit and determination will allow these girls to surprise everyone we play.”


8. Park City Miners

2020-2021 schedule

Head coach: Brett Isaacson (second year).

2019-2020 record: 2-20 (eighth in Region 8 with a 0-14 record).

2020 postseason: Lost to Salem Hills, 56-39, in the 5A first round.

Returning starters: 4.

Returning contributors:

  • Sam Riely, G, Jr., 3.0 ppg.
  • Caroline Cook, G, Sr., 5.1 ppg.
  • Ava Kimche, F, So., 5.8 ppg.
  • Julia Henry, F, Sr., 2.9 ppg.

Coach comment: “We have 10 players returning, including our top four leading scorers. We are much better prepared to compete in a tough 5A division this year as we gained a ton of experience. We improved by leaps and bounds throughout the season and we definitely have a chance to surprise some people this year.”