Corner Canyon boys basketball cap off dominating year with state titleMar 30, 2023 01:58PM ● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon High boys basketball team won the 6A championship by defeating American Fork 66-51 March 4 at Weber State University. (Photo courtesy Jon Clifford, All-Star Photography)
When the Corner Canyon High boys basketball team left the Dee Events Center court at Weber State University following a 43-39 loss to American Fork a year ago in the 6A state championship game, they resolved to turn the devastation they felt into a drive. On March 4, they again matched up with the Cavemen on the same court for the 6A title and this time they hoisted the trophy after a 66-51 victory.
“These kids set a goal that they would be back and that they were going to win it,” said head coach Dan Lunt. “This championship is a direct result of the work, the blood, the sweat and the tears that these kids put in ever since.”
Senior Jaxson Roberts scored 24 points to lead the Chargers while senior Max Toombs added 21 and junior Brody Kozlowski recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The trio were recognized on the 6A All-Tournament team with Roberts earning Most Valuable Player honors, shooting 63% from the field through three state playoff games while averaging nearly 21 points, four rebounds, five assists and more than three steals.
Corner Canyon entered state as the No. 1 overall seed, and after a first-round bye, defeated Herriman 71-55 in the second round, Westlake 83-53 in the quarterfinals and Lone Peak 72-54 in the semis to reach the final game.
Kozlowski was named the MaxPreps Utah High School Player of the Year as the junior averaged nearly 18 points a game, eighth in 6A, shooting 50% from the field—including nearly 40% from three-point range—on the season and 82% at the free throw line. He also led 6A in rebounds with close to 12 a game while also ranking in the top 20 in blocks and steals.
Toombs was third in 6A with 21 points a game while Roberts’ 15 points per game was among the top-20 in the classification.
The Chargers went 18-0 against Utah teams this season, beating opponents by an average of 18 points. They rolled through Region 4 with an undefeated showing through 10 games with the closest matchup being a six-point win over Westlake a few weeks before state. Two of those wins were over American Fork by 10 and 19 points, respectively.
Also on the CCHS team that finished 25-2 overall were seniors Owen Borg and Carsen Tebbs;
juniors Tate Bowman, Sam Chandler, Taylor Feroah, Kallen Lewis, Isaac Neibaur and Wells Robertson; sophomores Hudson Brown, Brigg Jensen, Tag Jensen, Peterson Lunt, Enoch Mitchell, Paxton Naegle, McKay Wells and Stockton Young; and freshman Tyler Mortensen.
Lunt was assisted on the coaching staff by Evric Gray, Taylor Anderson, Perrin Anderl, Jonas Jones and Tom Morris with Rob Geertsen, Jon Clifford, Ric Petersen and Kasch Hart also providing support services for the team this year.
On March 7, Corner Canyon was invited to participate in the State Champions Invitational in Washington, D.C., April 6-8 with an all-expenses paid trip to the tournament.
The games will be televised on ESPN, marking the ninth time this year the Chargers can showcase its talent against teams from other states as they previously faced squads from Maryland, Nevada, Idaho, Missouri, Texas, Arizona and Colorado.
They will also compete in the prestigious Section 7 tournament June 23-25 in Arizona.
Corner Canyon finished the regular season with an 11-point loss to Pleasant Grove Feb. 17. Four days later, the 17-seeded Chargers defeated No. 16 Vikings 63-49 in the first round of the 6A state tournament.
Junior Elina Mortensen scored 10 first-quarter points to help Corner Canyon lead 17-13 after the first eight minutes. Senior Summer Larson led the team with 20 points, 16 of which were in the pivotal fourth quarter when the Chargers went on a 13-0 run to start the final eight minutes and break open a four-point game. Their defense held the Vikings scoreless in the fourth until just under four minutes left in the game.
“I thought we played a really great second half against Pleasant Grove,” said head coach Craig Morris. “Our defense carried us down the stretch.”
From there, Corner Canyon faced the 6A state champs in Lone Peak, a top-10 team in the country, for the third time this season. On Feb. 23, in the second round of the playoffs, the Chargers lost to the Knights 88-43.
“We ran into Lone Peak again,” Morris said. “Tough to beat the eighth-ranked team in the nation.”
Mortensen led the squad, which finished with an 8-16 record, this season with 17 points and six rebounds a game while Larson averaged nearly nine a contest.
“We grew a lot,” Morris said. “Adversity isn’t fun, but it’s so good for you. We learned a lot about ourselves and battled the best teams in the state night in and night out.”
Also on the CCHS team were seniors Clara Hazar, Caitlin Madsen, Maddie White and Brook Yeomans; juniors Boston Carlson and Maia Rhay; sophomores Liberty Henstrom, Maddi Little, Brooke Luper, Sorrelle Nielson and Kenzie Randall; and freshmen Addy Hamilton, Hailee Johnson, Kate LeRoy, Lexi LeRoy and Addi Yeomans.
“We had several sophomores and freshmen step up and provide a huge boost—the future is so bright at Corner Canyon,” Morris said. “We’ll work our butts off this summer and create bonds amongst teammates that’ll make us a great team.”