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The City Journals

Chargers Mature into Dominant Basketball Team

Mar 09, 2016 11:19AM ● By Ron Bevan

By Ron Bevan | [email protected]

Draper - This year’s edition of Corner Canyon boys basketball includes a few first-season players now completing three years with the program. And the growth from the inaugural season has turned into one of the 4A teams to beat.

The Chargers are on a rampage this season, taking on all comers and rarely losing. Corner Canyon sits in second place right now behind Timpview in Region 7.

“We just have a little more experience this year,” Corner Canyon coach Tony Cannon said. “A lot of these players have been here from the beginning. They have bought into our program, and now their hard work is paying off.”

The Chargers have dropped two games in Region play, once to Timpview Jan 22, 76-69, and once to Orem, 52-45 the week prior.

But Corner Canyon got revenge against Orem with a 43-39 victory Feb. 5 to secure second place in the region.

Perhaps Cannon’s two biggest wins came against Cannon’s former team, Alta. Corner Canyon hadn’t face the Hawks in the first two seasons, so when the two schools were paired in the same 4A region this year, sparks were expected.  But Corner Canyon took both games with wins of 59-44 and 56-39.

“Alta has always had a strong team,” Cannon said. “Playing them was a bit weird for me, because of all the years I put in at Alta. If we had played them in the first two years, they would have beat us bad. But we got fortunate to catch them in a slower year for them while we were rising.”

Corner Canyon uses its abundance of size this season to establish and inside dominance. Forwards Braydon Johnson and Cameron Dougherty establish the inside game as starters. Tommy Groskreutz, a 6-foot-7-inch senior, comes off the bench to help out.

Johnson, a senior, leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. Johnson has put in 275 points this year, averaging nearly 14 points per game, while grabbing more than eight rebounds each game.

But he is not just an inside presence. He has stepped outside to knock down 16 three- pointers as well.

“We usually control the games with the inside game, but we have enough talent to step outside and establish a perimeter game as well,” Cannon said. 

Kyle Gwilliam, also a senior, leads the team with long balls, knocking down 22 treys this year. 

Corner Canyon has two more seniors on the team, bringing the total to six seniors, an unusually high number for high school basketball. Braxton Coon and Trevor Miller round out the senior class. Both players are defensive specialists for the Chargers.

Cannon usually rotates around eight players throughout the game. Sophomore Zach Wilson has earned a starting position, and junior Michael Scheffner comes off the bench.

Although Corner Canyon is in a good position for the upcoming state playoffs, Cannon knows it will still be a rough road to try and bring home a state title.

“There are a lot of good teams out there,” Cannon said. “I think the 4A title is wide open for a number of teams to try and grab.”