Alta boys basketball humming along, aiming for another titleFeb 05, 2024 02:40PM ● By Josh McFadden
Carter Goodfellow is part of a talented and hungry Alta squad. (Photo courtesy Carter Goodfellow)
To no one’s surprise, the Alta boys basketball team looks like the frontrunner in the Class 5A race.
The defending 5A champions, the Hawks figured to be one of the top teams in the state this season. They certainly have looked the part.
Heading into their Jan. 30 game at Skyline, the Hawks were 18-1 overall and a perfect 7-0 in Region 6. The team’s only loss didn’t even come against Utah competition. Alta fell Dec. 19 to California Powerhouse St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy 81-69 after building a 60-52 lead through three quarters.
Alta has otherwise been dominant.
In league play, Alta won its first six games, all by at least 11 points. That 11-point game, incidentally, came against fellow perennial power Olympus, defeating the Titans 56-45 on Jan. 16. Alta also defeated West 57-43 on Jan. 12, Highland 60-41 on Jan. 9, Brighton 79-55 on Jan. 19, East 81-51 on Jan. 3 and Skyline 78-47 on Jan. 5. Only one of Alta’s wins was by single digits, a 75-68 win at defending 6A champion Corner Canyon on Dec. 5.
Because most of Alta’s games have been blowouts, a lot of players have gotten the chance to see the court. In all, 18 players have scored at least one point for Alta. At the top, a trio of talented Hawks pace the team in scoring. Senior Jaxon Johnson, who is headed to play for the University of Utah, averages 17.1 points per game. He also leads the Hawks with 7.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as well as pacing the squad with 33 three-pointers. Fellow senior Ace Reiser, a guard, chips in 15.5 points and 4.8 assists an outing. Senior forward Carter Doleac scores 10.8 points a game. Dash Reiser, a sophomore guard, contributes 9.1 points per contest.
Plenty of other players have contributed to the team’s success this season. Carter Goodfellow, Bo Compton, Matt McKea and Zak Paepke don’t get the recognition of some of their teammates. But they’ve filled important roles.
As a team, the Hawks excel at both ends of the court.
Alta averages 70.7 points per game while giving up just 52.6. Only four teams have reached the 60-point mark against Alta. The Hawks have held nine opponents to 50 points or fewer.
As of press time, Alta held the No. 1 spot in the RPI rankings, which will determine playoff seeding. Alta plays each region opponent twice, meaning there are some big games ahead, including a Feb. 9 showdown at Olympus. The following game, Feb. 13 at Brighton, Alta wraps up its regular season. The 5A state tournament begins Feb. 21 at home-team sites. By Feb. 24, the quarterfinals arrive, and teams will play at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah. Alta hopes to avoid upsets along the way and reach the state title game again, which is held this season on March 1 in the Huntsman Center. λ