CCHS basketball teams begin season in state’s top fiveJan 05, 2023 11:39AM ● By Catherine Garrett
All-State junior Elina Mortensen (#30) leads the fifth-ranked Chargers in scoring with nearly 14 points a game. (Photo courtesy Taylor Sampson)
The Corner Canyon High boys basketball team starts the 2022-23 season ranked second in 6A while the girls squad begins as fifth-best in Utah.
Behind two-time All-State senior guard Max Toombs, the Chargers are back with a talented group that were part of the 2022 team that lost by four points to American Fork in the 6A state championship game a year ago and made the final four in 2021.
So far this season, Corner Canyon is 4-1 with Toombs averaging 26 points to lead offensively with junior forward Brody Kozlowski recording double-doubles in four of the five games— averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds—while senior point guard Jaxon Roberts puts in 12 a game.
In an 87-51 win over Bingham Nov. 22, Toombs scored 24 points while Roberts added 22 and Kozlowski had 14 points and six boards.
Toombs went off for eight 3-pointers and 44 points in an 88-63 win over Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Maryland) with Kozlowski grabbing 19 rebounds to go with his 11 points.
At the Corner Canyon Invitational, Corner Canyon suffered a close loss to Liberty (Henderson, Nevada) Dec. 1 68-63 behind Kozlowski’s 29 points and 11 rebounds with Toombs adding 15.
At the Corner Canyon Invitational against Madison (Rexburg, Idaho), four players—Toombs (17 points), Roberts (12), junior guard Kallen Lewis (12) and Kozlowski (11)—scored in double figures in a 63-53 win while Kozlowski was again big on the boards with 13 rebounds. Against Cyprus Dec. 3, Toombs led the offense with 29 points while Kozlowski had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
In the Lehi Holiday Hoopfest Dec. 9-10, CCHS defeated Vashon (Mo.) 72-61 with Toombs putting in 21 points, Kozlowski 19 and Roberts 18. Kozlowski also led the team in rebounding with 12. They then lost to Beaumont (Tex.) 72-55 to close out the weekend.
Corner Canyon is also scheduled to play in a December tournament against teams from Missouri, Texas, Arizona and Colorado while also facing Murray and Copper Hills before region home-and-away matchups against American Fork, Westlake, Skyridge, Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove.
Also on the 2022-23 CCHS squad are seniors Owen Borg and Carson Tebbs; juniors Tate Bowman, Sam Chandler and Wells Robertson; sophomores Hudson Brown, Brigg Jensen, Tag Jensen, Peterson Lunt, Enoch Mitchell, Isaac Neibaur, McKay Wells and Stockton Young; and freshmen Taylor Feroah and Tyler Mortensen.
“This is our year,” is the mantra for Corner Canyon High School girls basketball team this season following a second-round exit in the 6A state tournament a year ago. This time around, Honorable Mention All-State forward Elli Mortensen returns for her junior season and will be looked to by second-year head coach Craig Morris as a continued leader on the court along with seniors Summer Larson, Maddie White, Brook Yeomans, Clara Hazar and Caitlin Madsen.
“Our goal is to take state or, at a minimum, compete for the state title,” Morris said.
The Chargers, who are currently ranked fifth in 6A, spent much of the off-season “getting more comfortable with the new offensive and defensive sets” implemented in Morris’ first year. “It’s a system that takes a bit to get a hang of, but once they do, it is so effective,” he said.
Also on the 2022-23 team this season are juniors Bostyn Carlson and Maia Rhay; sophomores Liberty Henstrom, Maddison Little, Brooke Luper, Sorrelle Nielsen, Kenzie Randall and Addison Yeomans; and freshmen Paige Frohman, Olivia Gleason, Addyson Hamilton, Hallee Johnson, Abigail Larson, Katelyn Leroy, Lexi Leroy, Molly Nguyen, Layla Parry, Libbry Taylor and Allie Wahlquist.
So far this season, Corner Canyon is 3-1 with wins over Northridge, Green Canyon and Alta. Against the Knights Nov. 22, the Chargers won 55-36 behind 13 points from Larson and 11 from Mortensen. In the 56-47 win over the Wolves Nov. 29, Mortensen led offensively with 16 points while Larson added 13. Mortensen poured in 23 points in an 83-27 win over the Hawks Dec. 1 while 10 other CCHS players also scored.
Its lone loss was to Springville, the top 5A team in the state, 57-27 Nov. 30.
The Chargers are also scheduled to face Fremont, Jordan, Ridgeline, Copper Hills, Herriman, Emery and Bingham in preseason action before Region 4 home-and-away games against American Fork, Westlake, Skyridge, Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove.
“This group is special,” Morris said. “They really love each other and play as a team. From ninth-12th grade, we are loaded with talent and amazing young ladies.”