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High school boys basketball: 3A state tournament quarterfinals capsules (+predictions)

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Morgan’s boys basketball team celebrates winning the 3A state championship in a win over Richfield in 2019 at the Sevier Valley Center.

Dave Anderson

For the 3A boys basketball tournament, the RPI got most of the top teams seeded correctly, as evidenced by the remaining eight teams in the tournament.

The first two rounds were mostly chalk, with just one upset happening. No. 10 South Sevier defeated No. 7 Delta in the second round, 48-45. As for the rest of the games, the higher seed prevailed and set up an exciting quarterfinal field.

The 3A basketball quarterfinals get underway on Thursday at the Lifetime Activities Center on the campus of Salt Lake Community College. Here’s all the information you need to know about the eight remaining teams.


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No. 1 Manti (22-1)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Devin Shakespeare (sixth year)

Region: Finished 1st in Region 14 with a 12-0 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Grantsville, Thursday, 11:10 a.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat North Sanpete 60-44

Best victory: Manti 57, Richfield 55

Top contributors:

  • #4 Grady Thompson, Jr. (12.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.9 spg)
  • #5 Kevin Clark, Sr. (11.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.6 spg)
  • #2 Jordan Bauer, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2 apg, 1.7 spg)
  • #10 Conner Christiansen, Sr. (11 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.7 spg)
  • #1 Travis Thomson, Sr.  (10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg)

Scoring offense: 69.39 ppg (1st in 3A)

Scoring defense: 50.35 ppg (2nd in 3A)

Last state championship: 2018 (3A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Morgan, 48-41, in the 3A semifinals

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Win over Richfield in the championship

Joe’s justification: After losing to Morgan in last year’s semifinals, this could be the year Manti gets back to the promised land. The Templars are the best team in 3A, led by four players all averaging 11 points or more per game. That offensive firepower makes them the best scoring offense in 3A, and their defense isn’t far behind — ranking second in the classification. A championship matchup with Richfield will give the Templars a tough test — Manti beat Richfield by just two points early in the season — but the Templars should topple the Wildcats to claim the championship.


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No. 2 Emery (19-3)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Todd Jeffs (32nd year)

Region: Finished 1st in Region 12 with a 9-1 record

Quarterfinals: vs. South Sevier, Thursday, 12:50 p.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat Grand 69-42

Best victory: Emery 54, Richfield 53

Top contributors:

  • #4 Brax Jensen, Sr., G (22.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.4 apg, 2.1 spg)
  • #10 Jordan Ekker, Sr., G (13.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.5 spg)
  • #13 Kyler Wilstead, Sr., F (10.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, 2 spg)
  • #22 Justin Rasmussen, Sr., F (7.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.7 spg)
  • #11 Seth Justice, Sr., F (4.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 spg)

Scoring offense: 67.2 ppg (2nd in 3A)

Scoring defense: 53.8 ppg (6th in 3A)

Last state championship: 1990 (3A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Richfield, 81-57, in the 3A semifinals

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Richfield in semifinals

Joe’s justification: After getting past South Sevier in the quarterfinals, Emery could suffer the same fate as it did last year — a loss to Richfield. The Spartans, winners of 12 straight, have all the momentum in the world right now and are led by senior guard Brax Jensen, who is averaging nearly 23 points per game. But one of Emery’s three losses this year was a 22-point loss to Richfield, though the Spartans got the best of the Wildcats in a one-point win at home. Will playoff history repeat itself, or will Emery advance to the championship and play for its first boys basketball title since 1990?


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No. 3 Richfield (17-4)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Rand Janes (14th year)

Region: Finished 2nd in Region 12 with a 9-1 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Morgan, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat South Summit 65-59

Best victory: Richfield 58, Emery 36

Top contributors:

  • #23 Josh Thalman, Sr., F (19.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.6 apg)
  • #11 Emmitt Hink, Sr., G (12.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg)
  • #10 Will Robinson, Jr., G (7.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg)
  • #0 Hayden Harward, Sr., G (6.1. ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.4 apg)
  • #2 Morgan Albrecht, Sr., F (6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg)

Scoring offense: 60.62 ppg (6th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 44.95 ppg (1st in 3A)

Last state championship: 1988 (2A)

2019 postseason:  Lost to Morgan, 63-54, in the 3A championship

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Manti in the championship.

Joe’s justification: If it takes care of business against Morgan and can get by Emery in the semifinals, Richfield will be back in the championship. They say defense wins championships, and Richfield has the best defense in 3A — holding teams to an average of 44.95 points per game. To avoid disappointment in the championship for the second straight year, Richfield will need its defense to show up. The Wildcats held the Templars to 57 points in a close two-point loss early in the season, so the championship game should be a barnburner.


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No. 4 Judge Memorial (18-6)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Tim Gardner (fourth year)

Region: Finished 1st in Region 13 with a 9-1 record

Quarterfinals: vs. San Juan, Thursday, 9:30 a.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat Carbon 62-36

Best victory: Judge Memorial 66, Morgan 44

Top contributors:

  • #5 Deng Mayar, Sr., G/F (17.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.6 spg)
  • #24 Dom Burns, Jr., G (10.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 spg)
  • #3 Got Daw, So., F (7.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.3 spg)
  • #23 Makaiah Tarver, Jr., F (7.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.3 spg)
  • #10 Jack Terrill, Sr., G (4.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.5 spg)

Scoring offense: 61.88 ppg (5th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 53.54 ppg (5th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2008 (3A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Richfield, 58-43, in the 3A quarterfinals

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Manti in semifinals

Joe’s justification: Judge is on a tear, having won nine consecutive games. The Bulldogs blew out Morgan in the final game of the regular season and then blew out Carbon in the second round, setting them up with some nice momentum heading into the semifinals. The Bulldogs are well-balanced, ranking top-five in both scoring offense and scoring defense. Judge will give Manti a challenge, but will have its hands full against the No. 1 seed and eventual champion. 


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No. 5 San Juan (16-6)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Travis Black (second year)

Region: Finished 3rd in Region 12 with a 6-4 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Judge Memorial, Thursday, 9:30 a.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat Summit Academy 67-54

Best victory: San Juan 54, South Sevier 46

Top contributors:

  • #5 Jaxon Torgerson, Sr., G (15.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.9 spg)
  • #24 Randall Flavel, Sr., F (13.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.6 spg)
  • #2 Shaw Nelson, Sr., G (9.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg)
  • #4 Ryan Imlay, Sr., F (7.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.4 spg)
  • #12 Elijah Lee, Sr., G (6.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 spg)

Scoring offense: 66.45 ppg (3rd in 3A)

Scoring defense: 57.27 ppg (12th in 3A)

Last state championship: 1992 (2A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Providence Hall, 79-55, in the 3A first round

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Judge in quarterfinals

Joe’s justification: San Juan has a strong team, led by the senior duo of Jaxon Torgerson and Randall Flavel. The Broncos took care of business in the second round, soundly defeating Summit Academy. The Broncos should play a close game against Judge. If they get past the Bulldogs, a formidable opponent in Manti awaits.


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No. 6 Morgan (13-9)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Brad Matthews (sixth year)

Region: Finished 3rd in Region 13 with a 6-4 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Richfield, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat Juab 61-45

Best victory: Morgan 56, Grantsville 49

Top contributors:

  • #2 Carter Thackeray, Sr., F (14.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.9 spg)
  • #1 Seth Hadley, Sr., G (13.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 spg)
  • #3 Andrew Russell, Sr., G (7.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.2 spg)
  • #30 Sam Hansen, Jr., G (6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.0 spg)
  • #24 Jaxson Wells, Sr., F (4.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg)

Scoring offense: 60.36 ppg (7th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 56.64 ppg (11th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2019 (3A)

2019 postseason Beat Richfield, 63-54, in the 3A championship

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Richfield in quarterfinals

Joe’s justification: Last year, Morgan entered the state tournament as a No. 1 seed and won the championship. A year later, the Trojans aren’t the No. 1 seed, but could recapture some of last year’s magic and make a run if they get past Richfield. Beating the Wildcats could prove to be a tough challenge for the Trojans’ middle-of-the-pack defense. Carter Thackery will need to have a big day in order for the Trojans to move on.


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No. 8 Grantsville (13-9)

2019-2020 Schedule

Region: Finished 2nd in Region 13 with a 7-3 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Manti, Thursday, 11:10 a.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat American Leadership 66-46

Best victory: Grantsville 55, Emery 50

Top contributors:

  • #44 Davin Ekins (11.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.1 spg)
  • #12 Jackson Sandberg (10.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg)
  • #22 Tuhker Mulford (9 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg)
  • #4 Ammon Bartley (7.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1 spg)
  • #1 Carter Killian (6.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg)

Scoring offense: 59.05 ppg (9th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 53.45 ppg (4th in 3A)

Last state championship: 1998 (2A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Manti, 59-40, in the 3A first round

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Manti in quarterfinals

Joe’s justification: Grantsville dominated No. 9 American Leadership, winning by 21, to earn a quarterfinal gate with Manti. Led by Davin Ekins, the Cowboys have the defensive skill to take an opponent out of their offensive game, but Manti’s offensive firepower will be too great for the Cowboys to handle. 


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No. 10 South Sevier (10-12)

2019-2020 Schedule

Head coach: Carson Christensen (first year)

Region: Finished 4th in Region 12 with a 4-6 record

Quarterfinals: vs. Emery, Thursday, 12:50 p.m. (At SLCC)

How advanced to quarterfinals:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beat Delta 48-45

Best victory: South Sevier 40, American Leadership 38

Top contributors:

  • #11 Brandt Williams, Sr., G (18.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.8 spg)
  • #22 Brennan Hunt, Sr., F (13.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.6 spg)
  • #4 Tracen Winkle, Sr, G (6.7 ppg. 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.3 spg)
  • #2 Landen Payne, Jr., G (5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1 apg, 0.8 spg)
  • #12 Karson Hunt, Jr. F (3.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.6 spg)

Scoring offense: 52.77 ppg (16th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 54.86 ppg (7th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2012 (2A)

2019 postseason: Lost to Morgan, 48-37, in the 3A quarterfinals

Deseret News staff writer Joe Coles’ bracket: Loss to Emery in quarterfinals

Joe’s justification: Both times South Sevier faced Emery this season, it ended in a loss. Though the Spartans only won by six and seven points each time they faced the Rams, they have proven they can get the job done when the two teams go head-to-head. Brandt Williams, South Sevier’s leading scorer, will have to have a good game if the Rams want the third time to be the charm.