Cottonwood boys basketball finishes with best season since 2008Feb 23, 2022 07:31PM ● By Brian Shaw
Robbie Yates led the Colts in scoring with 14 per game. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
There was a time in the 1990s when Cottonwood High had a boys basketball program that was hard to beat, one with the great Justin Weidauer who went on to have success at BYU as a player. Then in 2004 the Colts got all the way to what was then the Class 4A state championship game, losing to Hunter by just one point at the Maverik Center.
Since that time, however, it has been a hard, tough slog for the Colts to win games—let alone play in the state tournament.
But the Colts have done that and more in 2021 and 2022, finishing their first season in the new Region 7 in impressive fashion—their best since 2008. Cottonwood has wrapped up its season with a 15-8 record overall, 7-5 in Region 7.
It has also been Cottonwood’s first season over the .500 mark since 2008, one that can go in the history books with the Colts’ best teams of 1991 and 2004, and that ’08 team that finished 12-10 and made it to the first round of the state tournament that year.
The Colts did qualify for the state tournament last year and were defeated in the first round, but finished their regular season in 2020-21 with a 10-12 record.
Cottonwood will hope to go even further than that this year with a talented, deep group led by sophomore center Chris Cox, senior forwards Robbie Yates and Noah Widerburg, senior guard Cooper Lindsey and junior guard Aiden Oliphant.
Yates leads the team in scoring with 14 points per contest, while Widerburg, who is the team’s leading rebounder [four per game], is also averaging about 12 points every time he walks onto the court. Cox has been a dominant force inside despite his age and is putting up about 10 points and four rebounds every outing.
What makes these Colts a team to watch, however, in the upcoming 5A state tournament is that they go 15 players deep and have been able to stay healthy all year. All 15 players on Cottonwood’s roster have played in the Colts’ 23 games and of those, about half have played enough minutes to have scored on average three points per game.
These are important numbers going into a state tournament that stands to be very competitive. Pairings for this year’s 5A state tournament will be announced after press time. As of today, the Colts have been ranked No. 12 in Class 5A by the Utah High School Activities Association, the state’s governing body that seeds the high schools for the respective state tournaments.If the tournament were to start today, Cottonwood would have a home playoff game based on this UHSAA ranking. However, this final ranking of the season from UHSAA does not take into account the final week of the season and so the state tournament pairings are subje