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Juan Diego boys basketball team rolling

Feb 01, 2018 10:45AM ● Published by Catherine Garrett

The Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team has won four straight games to start region play. (Photo/Mickelle Marston)

Gallery: Juan Diego boys basketball [1 Image] Click any image to expand.

The Juan Diego Catholic High School boys basketball team began the season with a loss to Orem, one of the top teams in 4A, and played a tough preseason against some of the state’s top teams. The Soaring Eagle squad also faced some of the nation’s best in the prestigious Tarkanian Classic in Last Vegas in mid-December. 

“There tends to be a lot of disparity in 4A and we try to make sure we face good teams and push ourselves,” head coach Drew Trost said. “We want to be always developing our team and this program.”

In the Las Vegas tournament, Juan Diego saw one of its best players, Jason Ricketts, go down with a severe ankle sprain in the first half of the first game. The team battled to a 2-2 showing in its four games. “We did pretty good considering we were playing without Jason,” Trost said.

Ricketts has since returned to the floor and has helped lead Juan Diego to a 7-4 record, heading into region play over the past four games. In those matchups, the Soaring Eagle squad has outscored opponents 300 to 164 in double-digit wins against Bonneville, Ogden, Park City and Ben Lomond.

“I feel good overall with how our season has gone so far,” Trost said. “We have learned a little bit with that tough preseason and now we’re rolling in region.”

Three JDCHS players average 13 points a game — Ricketts, senior Matt Kitzman and junior Raimoana Tiniraurarii — to lead the team in scoring, while Ricketts and Tinirauarii are top in rebounds with seven a game each. 

Trost also noted the contributions lately of junior Lawson Roe, who has been the team’s leading scorer the last few games and now averages nearly nine points a game. 

“He’s really taken off lately and he can truly shoot it,” Trost said of the junior who has put in 37 3-pointers through the team’s 15 games. “He helps us from not just being a three-headed monster, but takes some pressure off Jason, Matt and ‘Ray,’ and they get him chances when he’s open.”

Others on the 2017–18 team are seniors Brady Greene, Turner Crooms and Chinonso Opara; juniors Mikey Curran, Campbell Magrane and Kalthom Kur; and sophomores Gabe Soto, Lorenzo Soto, Jobi Gelder, Laurbong Gai and Kemari Bailey; and freshmen Talon Valdez and Jag Martin.

“We have been doing really well lately in sharing the ball and our assists show that,” Trost said. “Passing well will continue to be a focus the rest of the way.”

Trost is assisted on the coaching staff by Ron Preece, Hector Marquez, Joe Colosimo and Larry Colosimo

“Our program is built on defense, effort and attitude,” Trost said. “If we can have those things, the other things take care of themselves.”

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