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West Jordan Journal

Experienced Jaguars ready to compete for region title in boys basketball

Nov 30, 2023 12:48PM ● By Josh McFadden

Head coach Christian Wouden returns for his third season. (File photo City Journals)

With four starters back and a new region with new opponents, the West Jordan boys basketball team is optimistic that things this season will look a lot different than the previous one. 

Last season, the Jaguars struggled in a competitive Region 3 of Class 6A, finishing last with a 1-9 mark. Overall, West Jordan was 6-17. However, West Jordan is now part of 5A’s Region 4 where it will compete alongside Cyprus, Granger, Hunter, Kearns, Juan Diego and Taylorsville. 

“I am extremely excited for this year,” head coach Christian Wouden said. “We have four returners coming back from last year’s team. We are looking to continue to build on their experience, compete for a region championship and make some noise at the state tournament.”

A strong senior class will headline the Jaguars’ lineup. Guards Colton Blackham, Steven Cox and Carter Dorenbosch enter their final seasons at West Jordan with extensive playing time under their belts. Fellow senior Ethan Black, a forward, joins the trio as a leader on the team. Wouden also expects big things from three other seniors: Elijah Young, Quinton Robinson and Alex Szymanski. 

“Each player has a different set of strengths and weaknesses,” Wouden said. “We need every player on the entire team to be successful. Everyone needs to be a star in their role. Together we can make this a special season.”

Blackham led the team in scoring last season as a junior with 16.2 points per game. He also averaged 4.7 rebounds a contest and dished out 100 assists. Black was second in scoring in 2022–23 with 8 points and 5 rebounds an outing. Dorenborsch tallied 5.6 points per game a season ago.

Even though the Jaguars didn’t produce a lot of wins last season, it wasn’t due to lack of effort. Wouden admires his players’ attitudes and what they put into every game and practice. He hopes to see the team work together well and talk more on the court.

“The team’s biggest strength is how hard [the players] play,” he said. “They are all so competitive and want to win. They are all unselfish and will do whatever they can to help the team be successful. One of biggest challenges is communicating on the court. We need to be more vocal. I tell my players all the time, ‘we play basketball in a gym, not a library.’”

Besides the intangibles of the game, Wouden enjoys coaching this group of players. He said they listen and are eager to learn. He is impressed with how they act in and out of the gym. 

“They are all high-character individuals,” he said. “They are all extremely coachable and want to get better. They have great personalities; they are easy to get along with, and they spend a lot of time in the gym playing together.”

West Jordan got underway Nov. 21 when it hosted Region 1’s Davis. After a long non-region slate of games, West Jordan opens region play at home against Cyprus Jan. 3. The Jaguars will also play in the Tarkanian Classic tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, the week before Christmas. 

“I am beyond excited for this season,” Wouden said. “This is my third season as the head coach at West Jordan, and this group is special. They play so hard. They will never give up. Our theme for this season is GRIT. That’s exactly what these players have. We are going to be hard to beat this year. Everyone needs to come out and watch this special group play together. It will be well worth it.” λ