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South Salt Lake Journal

Senior Kirath Makhar’s sizzle as a ball facilitator has put the sauce back in Cottonwood boys hoops

Feb 06, 2023 01:51PM ● By Brian Shaw

6-foot-2 senior Kirath Makhar is facilitating for the Cottonwood Colts/Salt Lake Rebels Nike. (City Journals)

For Cottonwood head coach Marc Miller, having his boys basketball team stay in the moment is vital in order to compete for a 5A title in March. 

“We are excited about what we have accomplished to this point in the season, but are focused on one game at a time and want to be playing our best team basketball come state tournament time,” Miller said. 

To that end, the school’s athletic director added that the 14-1 Cottonwood Colts boys basketball team has taken all of the suggestions that the coaching staff gave in the offseason, to heart. 

“The players did a lot of the things the coaches asked them to do, and I think that’s translating into wins,” said Cottonwood Athletic Director Greg Southwick. 

No one has wrapped their head around these tasks more, perhaps, and certainly no pun intended than senior Kirath Makhar who at a solid 6-feet-2-inches tall and in his traditional patka looks more like a middle linebacker on a football team than a point guard at first glance. 

When other teams have been double-and-triple teaming junior Chris Cox, it has been the senior Makhar who has had to carry some of that scoring weight, added the Cottonwood AD. 

“It’s become more of a necessity to get the ball into (Makhar’s) hands as the season’s gone on,” Southwick said. “And when it has gone into his hands, it more often than not is leading to good things happening.” 

Makhar has been averaging 10.6 points per game for a Cottonwood team that galloped through its preseason like a thoroughbred at the races, and were stallions by the time Region 7 play tipped off in January. 

At crosstown rivals Hillcrest Jan. 11, Makhar had a video game stat line of 31-14-and-7, and you can guess which number was which. Teams are finding out that if you leave the senior alone in the paint he can also hit the backboard and grab rebounds (5.8 per game)—per those 14 in a 72-49 blowout over Hillcrest. 

At Payson on Jan. 13, it was the same story: the opponent keyed on Cox, and so that left Makhar open—he had 18-5-and-8. 

Earlier in the season at 6A Riverton (at the four-day Riverton Holiday Classic) the opps also triple-teamed Cox; that left Makhar open and he got 15-6-and-3 (and made three 3s) in a win, on Dec. 29. 

But that’s what makes Makhar so dangerous; he is just as liable to go get you buckets or rebounds if you let him. 

It’s the last part of his game, however, that is perhaps most jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring. 

Because with all of that physicality that Makhar comes at you with as he rolls into the lane, it’s his sauce that comes with his sizzle that makes crowds ooh and ahh. He’s had it since he was playing for the Matheson Jr. High (Magna) Tigers, and it’s followed him all the way to The Wood. 

Makhar is becoming a household name around the city thanks to his no-look passes that leave fans slack-jawed, grabbing the shirts of their nearest bystander with that signature did-you-just-see-that? 

Makhar is not only scoring and rebounding the basketball for the Colts, he’s dishing out assists to the tune of 8.8 per game. That puts the senior No. 1 in assists per game in Class 5A, said Southwick who ranks the Cottonwood senior up there with the state’s best point guards. 

“He runs the show out there,” said the Cottonwood AD. “And he’s a big part of what they’re trying to do.”