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Boys Divison I Playoff Preview

The Playoffs are here, and Utah Lacrosse News has all the info you need to keep up!
This week we are starting with round one.  The four top teams from each conference fought all season long for good position in the playoffs, and now were ready to find out who earns the hardware.
#1 Alta Hawks Vs.  #4 Olympus Titans
Alta finished off the regular season at 12-1 overall with their only loss coming from Coronado High School out of Henderson, Nevada.  Alta has been led by their stellar offense, with Attackman Jake Arbon  and Middie Matthew Michaeli at 3.92 points per game. The Hawks also have two more Middies with over 3 ppg; Mackay Dunn and Jon Franco.
Olympus comes into the game with a 10-3 regular season record and a #4 seed.  The Titans had a tough 3 game losing streak to conference opponents but finished the season strong, winning 5 straight to squeak into the playoffs. Olympus had been on fire recently because of the smoking hot stick of Senior Attackman Daniel Spencer.  Spencer had 40 goals and 17 assists during the regular season but struggled to make an impact in big games.  Spencer will need to have a great game for The Titans to pull out the upset, which will no doubt be tough knowing he’ll be taking on Altas’ All American Defender Boston Handley.
Olympus has a much improved defense this season and will benefit from experiencing some tough games this season.  That being said, I see Altas transition offense being the key of the game.  The Hawks will score early and often in a comfortable home field environment, running past The Titans 13-10.
The Game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 6:00 PM at Alta High School.
#2 Weber Warriors Vs. #3 Jordan Beetdiggers
Weber Ended their regular season at 9-2, with their only conference loss at the hands of Bountiful.  Since the loss the Warriors have won their last six games, and have been hot as any team entering the playoffs, despite being left out of the coaches poll. Weber is led by offensive stud Jordan Higgs who has 46 goals and 20 assists on the year, coming in at 5.5 PPG.  Higgs will get some help from fellow standout Bleu Moran who has 30 goals and 12 assists.  The Warriors will put points on the board, but need their defense to step up big to shut down Jordan.
Jordan enters the playoffs at a deceptive 5-7 on the season after losing 3 games by 1 point to top tier teams.  The Beetdiggers have lacked a consistent scoring threat with only four players scoring more than 10 goals this season. Mitch Woodhead and Zach Pierce have been Jordans top performers this season with 16 goals each and 24 assists between the two of them.  Woodhead and Pierce will need to score in bunches to pull of the upset.  Hayden Babka has been steady in between the pipes for Jordan at 55% saves on the season and will face plenty of shots against the Warriors.
Jordan made a lot of noise in the playoffs last year, almost reaching the state finals after entering at 4-7. The Beetdiggers will definitely look to play the spoiler this week but don’t have the same scoring threats they have had in previous seasons.  Weber has been able to put up big numbers to end the season and will have no problem winning this one.  Weber moves on 12-8.
The game will be played Tuesday May 10th, 5:30 PM at Oak Lawn Park in North Ogden, Utah.
#2 Waterford Ravens Vs. #3 Bonneville Lakers
Waterford finished the season at 8-7 overall but went 4-1 in conference play to snag the #2 seed and home field advantage for the first round.  Waterford is a young team and doesn’t have too much talent past their first lines.  The Ravens will be led offensively by their little quick attackman Oliver Shaw, who has 16 goals and 20 assists on the season.  Waterford has had to rely heavily on the stellar play of Senior Goalie Alex Smidt to keep them in games and should get a big game from him.
Bonneville ended the regular season at 9-4 but dropped two of their last three games against conference foes.  The Lakers have outrun lesser teams but struggle to compete with experienced opponents.  Bonneville is led by Darin Bowthorpe, who has 57 goals and 25 assists on the year at 6.31 PPG. Bonneville is a deep scoring team with Alex Johson at 5.08 PPG and Nick Pabon at 4.09 PPG.
The Lakers have a huge edge on the stat sheet but don’t let that fool you. The Ravens are a tough team and know how to control a game to their liking, so  I see Waterford getting the win at home 10-9.
The game will be played Tuesday May 10th, 5:30 PM at Waterford High School.
#1 Brighton Bengals Vs. #4 Lone Peak Knights
If Alta is the team to beat then Brighton is the team nobody wants to play. The Bengals finished their regular season at 12-4, and 5-0 in a tough Salt Lake Conference.  The defending champs are led by All American candidate attackman Jayden Haws who has 37 goals and 26 assists throughout the year. Even Alger and Kurt Pascoe help finish off the most dominant attack line in the state, with a combined 59 goals and 30 assists between the two of them.
Lone Peak ended their regular season at 7-4 after facing plenty of adversity.  Lone Peak has been led by Middie Jake Stout who had 23 goals and 41 assists, and Attackman Connor Humphrey with 43 goals and 20 assists.  The Knights have lacked much of a scoring threat besides those two, and will not have much of a chance to find another against Brighton.
Lone Peak will come and play hard for their fallen coach but will ultimately be outrun by the depth of Brighton.  Too much offensive aggression for one team to handle, Brighton wins 12-5.
The game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 7:00 PM at Brighton High School.
#1 Copper Hills Grizzlies Vs. #4 Viewmont Vikings
Copper Hills has been one of the surprise teams of the season, finishing off at 9-4 with all of their losses coming by 2 goals or less.  The Grizzlies came out on top of a talented Sandy Conference to snag home field advantage throughout.  Copper Hills has been led offensively by Attackman Bryce Fontenot who has 44 goals and 25 assists on the year.  The Grizzlies do not rely solely on Fontenot for points, with five other players recording at least 2 PPG throughout the year.  Talyn Bowman has been a beast in the cage for Copper Hills this year with 59.7% on his saves, Bowman should help carry them deep into the playoffs.
Viewmont enters the playoffs at 9-7 on the season after winning 3 of their last 4 to make the playoffs.  The Vikings stunned #1 seeded Bountiful in the last game of the regular season so they will have some confidence going in to face the Grizzlies.  Nathan Ball has led the way for Viewmont with 42 goals and 13 assists on the year and has gotten some backup from Jared Workman who has 20 goals and 17 assists.
Copper Hills is a very aggressive team that has the ability to get under an opponents skin.  I don’t see Viewmont lasting too long in this one, Copper Hills runs the Vikings off their home field 14-8.
The game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 5:00 PM at Copper Hills High School.
#2 Judge Bulldogs Vs. #3 Pleasant Grove Vikings
Judge ended their season at 13-1, losing  their final regular season game to Brighton.  Judge has found a way to win in close games thanks to their stout defense and big goalie Matthew Crispo.  Patrick Griffin has been the most consistent scorer for judge with 33 goals and 13 assists on the season.  The Bulldogs have relied on controlling time of possession and forcing weak shots to come out on top.  Judge had some tough luck at the end of the year but now only have one thing to play for, a championship.
Please Grove finished off their regular season below .500 at 6-7, but 3-2 in conference play.  The Vikings have been inconsistent this season, winning and losing games in streaks.  PG had a great 5 game winning streak  before dropping their last 2 to end the season.  Mckay Madsen has led the way with 21 goals and 19 assists, but the Vikings will need an entire team effort to stay in this one.
Judge plays that great zone defense that just can’t be beat without a talented group of offensive players, which Pleasant Grove just doesn’t have.  The Bulldogs stifle the Vikings 9-4.
The game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 5:30 PM at Judge Memorial High School.
#2 Juan Diego Soaring Eagles Vs. #3 Park City Miners
Juan Diego enters the playoffs at 10-3, and as one of the hottest teams to end the regular season.  The Eagles finished off the season with a 6 game winning streak, including a 12-7 win over Park City.  During the streak Juan Diego has not allowed more than 7 goals and has scored more than 11 in each.  Stephen Dunn has powered the offense for the Eagles, tallying 28 goals and 29 assists on the year, with Luke Graney close behind at 30 goals and 22 assists.
Park City is another team that has been hard to figure out this season after finishing at 7-5.  The Miners have shown flashes of extreme talent but have struggled to keep their cool when getting down early.  Park City is 2-4 against top 10 teams this season and has shown frustration when needing poise.  Griffin Perkiel has been the man for The Miners this year with 35 goals and 9 assists but tries to do to much at times.  Park City will need a huge game from Keeper Peter Hoburg to stay in this one.
Hoburg has an amazing 60% save average, and should have a good day after recently playing Juan Diego.  The Eagles may have a tough time staying away from stale offensive possessions after beating the Miners a few weeks back.  I see this one staying closer but with the same result, Juan Diego 9-7.
The game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 7:00 PM at Juan Diego High School.
#1 Bountiful Braves Vs. #4 Bingham Miners
Bountiful is another hot team at this point of the year despite losing their last game to a lesser opponent.  The Braves started out the season 1-3 but turned it around from there, winning 7 straight to lock down the #1 seed before falling to Viewmont. Bountiful is led by top scorer Jack Fabrizio who has a staggering 6.33 PPG, with 43 goals and 33 assists throughout the year.
Bingham finished the regular season at an acceptable 8-7 but retains the #4 seed after falling to Waterford in their final game.  The Miners had a chance to grab the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs but faltered.  Chris Severson is the shooter for Bingham with 66 goals and 5 assists on the year, but will need some help in the form of sharp passes to set him up.
With all that being the said, Bingham should have a bitter taste in their mouth and will want to prove something in this game.  Bountiful is a hot team but hasn’t played any real tough competition for some time now.  I see Bingham snagging the first upset of playoffs 11-10.
The game will be played Wednesday May 11th, 5:00 PM at Milcreek Junior High School.
To see how your picks stack up against the rest of the lacrosse community try the Division I bracket challenge here.


 
 

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18 comments
  1. Can't we just have the Alta v Brighton semi-final and call that the "real" state championship and not waste everyone else's time?

    1. I really agree with you, EXCEPT for the fact that Juan Diego is really getting hot right now…….
      Alta v Brighton will be the MARQUEE game of the tourney though……

    2. Alta is coming mighty Bengal to storm your castle. Hawks are going to rain dance!!

  2. Boston sucks bullet should have had all American last year and every one knows it

    1. oh the joys of politics…but im right there with you bud. boston is good but bullet is game changing for JD.

      1. then expalin to me how boston led the hawks over JD so easily, if alta plays JD in the championship you can just give it to alta because handley is a far better leader then bullet

  3. Bountiful going down in the first round? But then again they did lose to Div 2 Davis and Viewmont is not very good. It will be interesting to see which Bountiful team shows up. Fabrizio is going to need some help!

    1. Bingham handled them pretty easily earlier this season 15-8, should be closer this time though. They are different teams then their first meeting, that's for sure.

      1. Absolutely. It was a great game. Both teams played like they really wanted it and it was a lot closer. There were so many lead changes that I lost count but Bingham came out on top even with being in trouble with penalties the entire game.

    1. If they can stay out of penalty trouble and keep from getting down early they'll have a chance. 2-4 against top 10 teams doesn't sound too promising though.

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