Alta Ready for First Year in 4A BasketballJan 26, 2016 03:06PM ● By Ron Bevan
By Ron Bevan / [email protected]
Sandy - Experience could play a factor in how well the Alta Hawks boys basketball team does this season. The Hawks have returned seven seniors to this year’s varsity squad, and assistant coach Curtis Hill hopes the large senior contingent will produce region wins.
“These are seven athletes who have come up playing basketball together,” Hill said. “They know each other and feed off each other.”
Alta’s senior class includes Neema Namdar, Christian Hale, Jacob Armstrong, Brayden Keim, Zack Bunkel, Braxton Kerr and Christian Grow. All but Kerr and Grow were on last year’s squad.
“Kerr has never played for us,” Hill said. “He is the quarterback for our football team and would have come out last year, but had a knee injury that sidelined him. We are glad to have him this year. He is a great athlete and gives us everything he has.”
Although Grow played for Alta as a freshman and a sophomore, he sat out last season to recover from injuries.
“Grow stepped away from basketball for a year because of concussion injuries stemming from sophomore basketball,” Hill said. “It is great to have him back. He is a great kid and a great leader.”
Namdar has taken on the leadership role of the team as a returning starter. He is the second leading scorer with 184 points, trailing behind junior guard Conner Fulton’s 198 tallies. The pair of guards is a threat with the long ball. Namdar has hit 42 treys while Fulton has 29.
“Our game this year has changed from what we have been known as in the past,” Hill said. “We used to like an attack oriented game with a mix of inside play. We still try to attack when we can, but we have become a more outside shooting team. Namdar is a great outside shooter so we take advantage of his abilities.”
The first year in the 4A ranks has been a mixed bag for Alta. After opening with a key 61-46 win over 5A’s Davis High School and a 62-55 victory at Juan Diego, the Hawks traded wins for every loss prior to region play.
Alta picked up a key 52-50 overtime victory over 5A Pleasant Grove to end the pre-season at 5-5.
But region play hasn’t been friendly to the Hawks. Alta lost to crosstown rival Corner Canyon, 44-59, Jan. 8 and then to Provo, 48-66, before picking up its first region win in a 66-55 victory over Orem.
The Hawks will continue region play with nine more games, culminating Feb. 23 at Timpview.