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The City Journals

Grizzly boys and girls reach state semifinals

Apr 11, 2018 10:32AM ● By Greg James

The Grizzlies 6-foot-6-inch junior forward Trevon Allfrey led the team in scoring by scoring 18.8 points per game. (Dave Reeder)

It was a semifinals party at Copper Hills.

The Grizzlies’ boys and girls basketball teams advanced to the semifinals of their 6A state basketball tournaments. Copper Hills is the only school in the state’s largest classification to place teams that far in both tournaments.

“Our season was very challenging, fun and exciting,” boys head coach Andrew Blanchard said in a note to his team. “We played well at times in the preseason, but overall we did not play our best until region games.”

The boys finished 7-1 in Region 3 and captured a share of the title with Riverton High School. The region championship came down to the final contest, a 71-61 loss to Riverton.

The boys participated in the Utah Elite 8 Tournament at American Fork High School in December, defeating Bountiful (72-60) and Corner Canyon (84-75) and losing to American Fork by one point.

They also traveled to Orlando, Florida, where they played teams from Florida, Maryland and Alabama. Their difficult non-region schedule prepared them for their regular season.

“We entered the state tournament against our rival and defending state champion (Bingham), and we had to play at the highest level possible,” Blanchard said.

The boys advanced to the semifinals where they lost to Pleasant Grove and their star player, Matt Van Komen (7-foot-4), 57-42. 

Junior Trevon Allfrey was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.8 points per game. He also picked up 6.2 rebounds per game.

The girls team was not to be out done by their classmates, though.

“We had a great season and achieved many of the individual and team goals we set at the beginning of the season,” girls head coach Ben Morley said. “I loved the effort and heart of our team.”

The girls captured their third straight region championship. 

They lost only one region contest this season, 60-50 to Riverton. The only other regular season game they lost was to Viewmont, 61-55, in the fourth game of the season.

The girls entered the state tournament as the No. 1 seed from Region 3 and defeated Pleasant Grove 66-25. Their second-round contest matched them against Layton, which they defeated 57-31. In the semifinals, they lost to Bingham, 48-40.

“The season always ends with a tough loss for every team but one,” Morley said. “It was disappointing to just fall short. We struggled with our execution down the stretch, and our shooting failed us, but I loved our effort.”

Breaunna Gillen was the leading scorer, averaging 15.2 points, but Morley said his team is what makes the difference.

“We pride ourselves in saying that the star of our team is the team,” he said. “Honestly, all of our players made a difference in some way, small or large. I could not be prouder of the way they stuck together throughout the season. The winning is nice, but the lessons learned and the relationships made are what makes it all worth it.”

Both head coaches like the prospects of the future and said their teams have the determination to continue improving.