CEDAR CITY — With a mix of returning talent and new faces, Canyon View High School’s basketball teams are getting geared up for the start of the upcoming season.
Following a recent practice, head coach Rob Potter explained why the Falcons’ practice jerseys say “Family” across the front.
“It’s mainly about the idea that no one is bigger than another, and we all have each other’s backs,” Potter told Cedar City News. “We may fight and argue or have bad days, but we all have each other’s backs when it’s time to go to battle.”
Potter added that this year the team has “top to bottom, as good of kids as we have had in the program: good students, good young men, and on top of that good athletes and ball players.”
“We had a couple nice move-ins who are juniors, that will help add some nice depth,” he said.
Leading the way for the Falcons will be 6-foot-1 senior guard Trevor Farrow, a three-year varsity starter who is returning for the fourth straight year. He was one of the team’s top scorers last year, averaging 12.7 points per game.
Expected to join Farrow in the starting backcourt will be fellow senior guard Cody Spencer, who started one game for the Falcons last year and saw significant minutes off the bench.
“He had some huge plays for us, specifically in the home win against then-undefeated Pine View,” Potter said of Spencer.
Another senior guard, Jaxon Jorgenson, also saw plenty of minutes off the bench last year and recorded double-digit scoring efforts in varsity games.
“Our other three seniors – Karsten Jensen, Hayden Springer and Jaxon Dastrup – should all contribute, along with a few juniors who are fighting for varsity spots, led by Cole Farrow, who has really worked hard in the offseason to get better,” Potter added.
Last season, the Falcons went 10-13 overall, including 6-6 in Region 9 play, qualifying for the region’s fourth and final playoff spot. They lost their first-round playoff game 74-56 at Orem on Feb. 22.
This year, under the Utah High School Activities Association’s new RPI rating system, every 4A team will make the postseason playoffs, with state tournament seeds being based on a formula that takes into account the win-loss records of every opponent, not just those of region rivals.
“With the RPI, all the games now count the same,” Potter said. “(Region games) will still be huge but no more valuable than the others.”
Another notable difference comes with the addition of new Region 9 school Crimson Cliffs, which means all teams in the region will now play a total of 14 region games instead of the 12 they played last year.
Canyon View’s first two scheduled region contests are both in December, with the Falcons playing at home vs. Dixie on Dec. 10 and at Snow Canyon the following week, on Dec. 17.
Prior to those games, Canyon View will kick off its season at a three-day invitational tournament hosted by Legacy High School in Las Vegas Dec. 5-7.
Potter said the Falcons have participated in the annual event off and on over the past several years.
“It is fun to take just the varsity players down in Suburbans and get away to start the season,” he said. “We get four games for the price of two, which gets us extra games, and we get to see some really good competition.”
The Falcons will start off by facing Faith Lutheran at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5, after which they’ll play one additional game the next day and two more on Saturday.
Canyon View Lady Falcons girls basketball
Although the Lady Falcons won just one region game last season, returning head coach Jaycee Barnhurst expects to see her team show improvement this year.
“We’re ready to take charge,” Barnhurst told Cedar City News. “We’ve been building and continue to trust the process, continue to take steps forward and be in the middle of the pack.”
“We have some things up our sleeve, and we will be ready to compete,” added Barnhurst, who is starting her third year as head coach. She also is in her first year teaching English full time at Canyon View High.
The Lady Falcons have three returning starters from last year: Addison Newman, Ashlyn Banks and Harlee Nicoll.
Banks, a 5-foot-10 senior, led the Lady Falcons in scoring and rebounding last year, averaging 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Newman, a junior, will be starting at guard for the third straight year. Last season, she averaged 8.4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
Nicoll, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, averaged 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a freshman last year. She is one of eight sophomores on the Lady Falcons’ young varsity roster.
Last season, the Lady Falcons finished with an overall record of 6-16, including 1-11 against Region 9 opponents. Their lone region win was a 48-46 home victory against Pine View on Jan. 15.
This season, the Lady Falcons are guaranteed to make the playoffs, along with virtually every other high school basketball team in Utah, thanks to the new state tournament seeding system featuring weighted RPI rankings.
The Canyon View Lady Falcons are scheduled to play their first game of the season at home Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against Manti.
Canyon View’s first region game is Dec. 11 at Dixie, with the Falcons playing their first home region game the following week, on Dec. 18 against Snow Canyon. Their other 12 region contests will take place after the New Year.
The Lady Falcons, along with the Cedar High School girls team and the boys teams from both schools, will also be hosting and participating in the annual Steve Hodson Cancer Classic invitational tournament, which runs from Dec. 26-28 this year.
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