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Sandy Journal

Alta basketball team wins some and loses some

Feb 22, 2017 02:16PM ● By Billy Swartzfager

An Alta basketball player drives around an opponent earlier this season. (James Falls/Alta High School)

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]
Alta’s basketball team is doing significantly better this season than last. The Hawks finished dead last in 4A’s region seven for the 2015–16 season, winning only three games against region adversaries, while losing nine. Alta won 10 games last season, though they finished with a losing record overall — 10-13 — and missed the postseason altogether.
2016-17 is looking slightly better, however, at least in region games. By early February, Alta had already won four region games with nearly a month left to play and five region matchups remaining.
The Hawks won their first game clear back in November, besting Skyline, 60-55 on Nov. 22. Alta then lost their next four games, beginning at Davis on Dec 2, losing by 18 points, 54-36. The following two games were close, losing at Westlake by one on Dec. 9, 53-52, and at home to Pleasant Grove, 62-58, on Dec. 13. The Hawks headed into their winter break after losing to Olympus on Dec. 16, 64-52.
After the holiday, Alta traveled to Mesa, AZ to play in the annual Basketball Challenge, a 16-team holiday tournament held in Mesa. There are 12 teams from Arizona and four teams from out of state. Alta won its first game in Mesa against Salpointe by one basket, 74-72, but the Hawks were blown out in their second game versus Basha, a team from Chandler, AZ, 69-37. Alta was sent home by Red Mountain, a local team from Mesa, in close a game, 71-67.
Alta returned to Utah to begin region play, which began in early January. The Hawks beat Corner Canyon on Jan. 6, 60-56, and followed the win with another a few days later against Provo on Jan. 10, 47-33. After that, Alta lost three straight including a 20-point loss to Orem on Jan. 13, 52-32, and a 27-point loss to Mountain View on Jan. 17, 77-50. Alta lost to Timpanogos, 78-68, on Jan. 20 before they won another game.
On Jan. 24, Skyridge came to Alta for a game. It was a close one that came to the final seconds, but the Hawks held on to win for an exciting 48-47 victory. A week later, Alta went to Corner Canyon and won another nail biter, a close game that also went to the wire. Alta beat Corner Canyon, 40-39, on Jan. 31.
Region 7 in Division 4A is tough, and Alta has been in the fifth spot for most of the year. Sitting ahead of them are Timpanogos and Timpview, both of whom have only lost a few games. Corner Canyon and Mountain View are just behind them. It looks like Alta will miss out on the postseason once again. But, this year, the Hawks definitely made progress and didn’t finish at the bottom of the region standings. The experience the team gained, especially considering all of the close games they almost won, should help them climb even higher next season. Hopefully Alta can get themselves back into the playoffs and near the top of the Region 7 pile.