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Murray Journal

Cottonwood boys basketball is going up from the ground up

Jan 25, 2021 10:45AM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Playing in one of the toughest regions in the state of Utah has not intimidated the Cottonwood boys basketball team one bit. 

All the hard work this program has put in, according to Cottonwood athletic director Greg Southwick, is beginning to show. 

“We’re competing, that’s the ultimate goal,” Southwick said. 

Two months after starting the season losing their first two games, the Colts are now a respectable 6-5 at press time, and nothing—not even one of the most difficult regions in the state—is stopping them from playing to win. 

It’s the best start in more than five years for Cottonwood, who are already thinking this is the team that will go to state for the first time in years. 

“We’ve got some coaches that are really working hard, developing the Bantam program from the ground up,” explained Southwick. 

The build has been slow but steady. The last head coach, Lance Gummersall, started the process, culling his varsity and JV teams from the Bantams as he led the Colts to, given the stiff competition in region play, a decent 16-31 record over two seasons and one appearance at a state tournament play-in game. 

But head coach Marc Miller, who took over after Gummersall left for Herriman two years ago this summer has taken the Colts from a 3-21 record last year and in 2020-21 has already doubled his previous win total in just 11 games. 

Cottonwood was 2-1 at home in region play, 2-2 overall in Region 6 when this article was published, having defeated East 67-43 in a blowout victory and a talented Skyline bunch in a game that went down to the final play of overtime by a 50-48 score line. 

Even when a gym’s seating capacity “can only be at 25%” during this pandemic according to the athletic director Southwick, that hasn’t rattled the Colts, who have only lost once at home in region play at the time this article was printed and even that one went down to the wire in overtime as Highland prevailed, 49-47.

Cottonwood sat in a favorable spot in late January in the RPI rankings at No. 16 according to the UHSAA, which seeds all 29 Class 5A teams for state tournament play.