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The City Journals

Expectations Are High for Boys Basketball Teams

Dec 08, 2015 01:05PM ● By Greg James

By Greg James

West Jordan - West Jordan and Copper Hills boys basketball teams have something to prove. Different reasons have motivated each team to start the season headed in the right direction.

Last season Grizzlies head coach Andrew Blanchard said his team would not surprise anyone. They had experience returning at every position, and he expected them to get better as the season went along. 

Despite finishing the regular season 15-8, they struggled against the teams in Region 3. Their 6-4 region record was only good enough for a three-way tie with Alta and Brighton for second place. Their two losses to Brighton forced them to be the number four seed in the state tournament. That matched them up with powerhouse Lone Peak in the first round, and they lost 99-74. 

Their first round loss has motivated them this season. The Grizzlies return several key players. Four seniors are scheduled to take the court to help the Grizzlies return to the state tournament. Preston Sanchez led the team last season in scoring. In his career he has averaged 11.4 points per game. 

They will also rely on the size of center Porter Hawkins. At 6-foot-8, he will garner attention from defenses around the state. The outside shooting of Trevor Hoffman and Charlie Olson will need to help open the middle for Hawkins.

Hawkins and Sanchez have both verbally committed to play at Dixie State in St. George after graduation.

The Jaguars’ opponents should check their eyesight before their games. They may think they are seeing double.  The brother combination of Jacob and Jordan Lowery, both seniors, scored 348 points last season. 

The Jaguars finished last season with a 7-16 record. Their only region victory was a one-point, come-from -behind win over Jordan. They only averaged 51.7 points per game; only Hillcrest scored fewer points in Utah’s 5A division. Improving their scoring average could help them increase their win total this season. 

Head coach Scott Briggs is beginning his 15th season at West Jordan. The Jaguars successful past will help propel this team to return to the top. They have won two state titles (2001 and 2008) in the school’s history.

The Grizzlies defeated the Jaguars in both of last season’s match ups; 57-42 and 66-50. They are scheduled to face each other Friday, Jan. 8 and Tuesday, Feb. 2.

West Jordan is scheduled to open its season Nov. 24 (after press deadline) against Hunter. They visit Herriman Wednesday, Dec. 2 and host Syracuse Friday, Dec. 4.

Copper Hills is scheduled to host its first home game Tuesday, Dec. 8 against Roy and will participate in the Elite Eight tournament in American Fork Dec. 10-12.