A loaded Cottonwood Colts boys hoops team is ready to go even furtherDec 02, 2022 01:32PM ● By Brian Shaw
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
The Cottonwood Colts boys basketball team finished fourth in Region 7 play last year with a 7-5 record.
They went 15-9 overall, hosted their first state playoff game in 15 years and lost one of their leading scorers.
According to Cottonwood athletic director Greg Southwick, he was told by Cottonwood head basketball coach Marc Miller that they want more.
“They are looking good; they’ll be one of the top 5A teams,” Southwick said. “I’ll be awfully surprised if they aren’t in the top 10 for most of the year.”
Junior Chris Cox returns and, at 10.4 points per game, was the Colts third option last year. Senior Aidan Oliphant (their top rebounder) is back as is three-point specialist senior Max Russo; the question will turn to who fills those other two starting spots.
Southwick said he likes senior Kirath Makhar at the point guard spot—and junior Jackson Price is going to get some minutes as well.
Others in the Cottonwood backcourt who could play a role and got minutes on last year’s team include junior Ryan Nielson—the kicker on the Colts football team who went viral after his fair catch-free kick at Jordan—and sophomore Mason Tolley.
In the front court, the Colts will have junior Roman Caywood—along with some new kids who the Cottonwood AD said shined at the open tryouts that coach Miller held in Cottonwood’s main gym Nov. 7-9.
The first game of the season for the Colts will be a nonregion one, on the road, at 5A Mountain View on Nov. 28.
Then the Colts will play their next three preseason games at home against 6A Herriman Nov. 30, 5A Skyline on Dec. 6 and 5A Brighton on Dec. 9.
After that it’s back on the road for more nonregion games at 6A Taylorsville (Dec. 13) and 5A Park City (Dec. 14) before the Colts come home to host crosstown rival Murray on Dec. 16.
Cottonwood will then take the holiday break off before returning to action for a four-day holiday tournament at which they’ll play four traditional basketball powers: 3A Judge Memorial Dec. 27, 6A Kearns Dec. 28, followed by a game against 6A Riverton Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 against 6A Roy.
After that, it’s time for Region 7 action to begin as the Colts will travel to Cedar Valley on Jan. 4, 2023 and will have their region home opener Jan. 6, 2023 against Stansbury.
It’s a brutal preseason schedule according to the Cottonwood AD, but this team has all the pieces to make a serious run at a region title and at state.
“(Coach Miller said) if the kids will play their roles well and don’t get selfish, and play team basketball he thinks they’ll be a contender, and the expectations are high,” Southwick said.
There will be a full team preview and a recap of the Colts’ November and early December games in next month’s South Salt Lake Journal.