The Tooele girls basketball team got red-hot at the end of the season, winning seven of its final eight games to finish with an 11-10 overall record and a second-place finish in the Region 10 standings.
That strong finish also earned the Buffaloes a night off in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament. Tooele received the No. 9 seed in the final Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings, released by the Utah High School Activities Association on Saturday. As one of 4A’s top 11 teams, the Buffs earned a first-round bye, and a trip to southern Utah to face No. 8 Cedar City (11-10) in a second-round game Saturday afternoon.
If history is any indication, Saturday’s matchup ought to be a barn-burner. The Buffs and Reds met on Dec. 29 at the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, with Cedar escaping with a 35-33 win. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals on March 1 in Richfield.
Stansbury (7-14, 4-8 Region 10) will open the postseason on the road Wednesday night against another familiar foe in Region 10 opponent Uintah. The Stallions are the No. 19 seed in the bracket, with Uintah (7-13) ranked 14th. The Utes beat the Stallions 56-32 on Jan. 19 in Vernal, and handed Stansbury a 54-42 defeat in Stansbury Park last Tuesday.
The winner of Wednesday’s game will travel to No. 3 Ridgeline on Saturday. Other first-round matchups include No. 21 Ben Lomond at No. 12 Canyon View, No. 20 Crimson Cliffs at No. 13 Bear River, No. 18 Snow Canyon at No. 15 Dixie and No. 17 Ogden at No. 16 Mountain Crest.
No. 6 Sky View will host No. 11 Cedar Valley in a second-round game on Saturday, while No. 7 Juan Diego will host No. 10 Hurricane. The second-round opponents for No. 1 Pine View, No. 2 Desert Hills, No. 3 Ridgeline, No. 4 Green Canyon and No. 5 Logan will be determined by Wednesday’s results.
The Class 4A boys bracket has both Stansbury and Tooele hosting first-round games Tuesday. SHS (12-8, 8-4 Region 10) received the No. 12 seed in the final RPI, and will host No. 21 Ogden (2-17). The Stallions are 2-0 against the Tigers this season, beating them 75-51 on Jan. 27 at home and 73-53 on Friday in Ogden. The winner of Tuesday’s game will face No. 5 Sky View on the road Friday night in the second round.
Tooele (10-12, 6-6) is the No. 14 seed, which will give the Buffs a home game against No. 19 Canyon View (2-20) on Tuesday. The Buffaloes and Falcons did not meet this season, despite both teams participating in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic in December. They do have four common opponents: Ben Lomond, Stansbury, Cedar City and Hurricane. The Falcons were 2-4 against those teams and Tooele was 4-2. Tuesday’s winner will travel to No. 3 Crimson Cliffs on Friday.
Other games scheduled for Tuesday include No. 20 Mountain Crest at No. 13 Cedar Valley, No. 18 Ben Lomond at No. 15 Bear River and No. 17 Hurricane at No. 16 Pine View. Second-round matchups that are already set include No. 11 Green Canyon at No. 6 Cedar City, No. 10 Uintah at No. 7 Ridgeline and No. 9 Logan at No. 8 Snow Canyon. No. 1 Juan Diego, No. 2 Dixie, No. 3 Crimson Cliffs, No. 4 Desert Hills and No. 5 Sky View will learn their opponents after Tuesday’s games.
The Wendover boys (12-5, 4-1 Region 21) received the No. 2 seed in the Class 1A bracket released Monday morning. That means the Wildcats earned a first-round bye, and they will play host to the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 15 Intermountain Christian and No. 18 Wayne on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Dugway’s boys (1-13, 0-6 Region 21) will travel to No. 14 Diamond Ranch Academy (6-12) for a first-round game on Thursday. The winner will travel to No. 3 Manila on Saturday. Thursday’s other first-round game has No. 17 Milford traveling to No. 16 Green River.
No. 1 Bryce Valley, Wendover and Manila are the only teams whose second-round opponents have yet to be determined. The second round will feature No. 13 Water Canyon at No. 4 Panguitch, No. 12 Pinnacle at No. 5 Piute, No. 11 Tintic at No. 6 Rich, No. 10 Tabiona at No. 7 Telos Academy and No. 9 Mount Vernon at No. 8 Valley.
Wendover’s girls team (8-4, 2-0 Region 21) earned the No. 9 seed and will open the postseason Saturday at 1 p.m. in Tropic against No. 8 Bryce Valley in a first-round game. The winner will face either No. 1 Valley or No. 16 Tintic in a state quarterfinal March 4 in Richfield.
Saturday’s other first-round games include No. 15 Manila at No. 2 Piute, No. 14 Pinnacle at No. 3 Wayne, No. 13 Intermountain Christian at No. 4 Rich, No. 12 Water Canyon at No. 5 Milford, No. 11 Escalante at No. 6 Green River and No. 10 Panguitch at No. 7 Tabiona.