Thursday , January 18, 2018 - 5:57 PM
As the non-region boys basketball season progressed, there was an opportunity for somebody from Region 5 to assert themselves as a favorite, a team to beat, a “pump-up” game.
Region 5 games finally start Friday. What has been learned so far is one might have better luck picking a favorite out of a hat than trying to guess who out of Roy, Box Elder, Bountiful, Viewmont and Woods Cross will take home the crown.
Roy head coach Terry Schriver said he expects the region to be a dogfight. When asked, Woods Cross coach Kasey Walkenhurst and Box Elder coach had similar responses.
“You look at all the teams that are in there and no one’s really killing it,” Schriver said in an interview after Roy’s loss against Layton on Jan. 2.
“It’s up in the air. I’d like to say the Bees, but I think we have five teams and there’s competitiveness in all five,” McKee said in a December interview.
>Video: Preps reporter Patrick Carr previews the 5 teams, picks the winner out of a hat
By non-region records, Box Elder leads the way at 6-6. The Bees have sharpshooting senior guard Max Watson, who averages 23.5 points per game on a 47 percent shooting clip with 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.2 steals.
Then there’s Bountiful at 6-8, led by the trio of junior Brig Willard (15.9 ppg), sophomore Camron Chism (15 ppg) and junior Isaac Kime (11.6 ppg). The Braves handed 6A favorites Pleasant Grove (13-2) one of its two losses so far.
Viewmont is 5-9 and Josh Mordue leads the Vikings in scoring with 16.4 points per game, yet he’ll curiously start games on the bench every once in awhile. The Vikings went 2-2 against 6A Region 1 teams in non-region contests.
Woods Cross is 5-10 and has lost four games in a row, but the Wildcats have raised a region championship trophy two years on the bounce. Junior Dax Gorringe (14.5 ppg) and senior Mason Cowley (12.4 ppg) lead the team in scoring.
“I think Viewmont’s probably the most talented team, but their record doesn’t show because they’ve had a brutal preseason schedule,” Walkenhurst said after the Wildcats’ win over Clearfield on Dec. 29.
“Bountiful’s really good, Box Elder’s got the Watson kid that can score with anybody. We’re just hoping by the time we get to region play we’re going to be in the mix every single night.”
Roy is 3-10 and on a six-game losing streak. But the Royals start youth in their lineups and McKee used the word “scary” to describe Roy. Senior guard Alex Lamb scores 15 points per game.
Realignment is part of why the crystal ball is so murky.
Woods Cross, Bountiful and Box Elder were all in 4A Region 5 last year. Roy was in 5A Region 1 and Viewmont was in 5A Region 2.
The new region does have the rivalry benefit of Viewmont and Bountiful making the two-mile drive to play each other twice per year. It’s also made scheduling games tougher, since the region schedule is eight games and four weeks long, by which time every other region in boys basketball is underway.
The result of that is most of the Region 5 teams are well-rested, having not played a lot of non-region games the past two weeks.
Soon, they’ll be rested no more once the frantic region schedule tips off Friday.
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