The West Jordan High School boys basketball team could be described as a high-flying trapeze artist with a harness. Their approach to playing the game is high speed with control.
“We really like our guys. We have some seniors with varsity experience. They know how to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor [play fast]. The area we lack is size. We will need to take advantage of our speed,” Jaguars head coach Scott Briggs said.
The Jaguars roster lists one player taller than 6-foot-3 (sophomore Bryan Banks at 6-foot-5). Briggs said their keys to a successful season will be good shot selection and rebounding against the larger teams in their region.
“We need to create a match-up problem on our own by dragging the opponent’s big players away from the basket to defend us. We need to make them guard us. It will be a work in progress, but we are really excited,” Briggs said.
Jaguars senior Tristen Peterson averaged 4.1 points per game last season. Photo courtesy of dbaphotography.com
Senior Dallas Winberg averaged 5.1 points per game last season. He opened this year with 26 points in a preseason loss to Pleasant Grove, 74-67, Nov. 25.
“Dallas is a good shooter. He can move to the basket. One thing I like about him is his competiveness. The bigger the game, the better he plays,” Briggs said. “Tristen [Peterson] has come a long way as a player. I think we are better when he is on the floor. Connor [Oniki] helps us spread the floor. If he hits the three consistently, we will be tough.”
Oniki scored 23 points, including seven three-pointers, in the Pleasant Grove loss. Peterson led the Jaguars with three steals.
“We will be dangerous this year and surprise a lot of people. I think teams will underestimate us. I can help our team by taking open shots and distributing the ball to my teammates,” Petersen said.
Briggs will use a rotation of players to keep their legs fresh. He said twins Jacob and Jordan Lowery, Sam Ahanonu and Treivan Taei will all play important roles for the Jaguars.
“Our coach uses the word ‘relentless’ a lot. We are going to be relentless on defense and tough to guard with our speed. I am confident in our team’s ability,” Winberg said.
Briggs is beginning his 16th year as the Jaguars head coach. They finished last season with a 11-13 record, losing to Brighton 57-46 in the tie-breaker game to advance to the state tournament.
“We will start our five best players. They may not be the tallest, but we will create and be a tough team to defend,” Briggs said.