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South Salt Lake Journal

Despite losing all five starters from last year’s team, Cottonwood boys basketball has reloaded

Nov 30, 2023 01:44PM ● By Brian Shaw

The 2023-24 Cottonwood High boys basketball team. The team returns zero starters from its 23-2 team a year ago but has two influential transfers arriving to go along with the talented underclassmen. (Photo courtesy Cottonwood High athletics)

It wasn’t long after Marc Miller learned that Chris Cox, his star player from last year, was moving to Arizona to attend prep school that he got the news no coach wants to hear: none of his starters were coming back to Cottonwood. 

“We have no returning starters from last year’s 23-2 team,” said Coach Miller. “But, we have a lot of new faces and a lot of talented underclassmen that will contribute on this year’s team.” 

This is the way of the world in the age of name, image and likeness; you can play at one high school for one year and be at another one the next. 

Well, guess what? Guys like Cox can change their mind, too. Over the holidays, Cox decided to rejoin the Colts and will get a second chance. 

And for newcomers Luke Park [Alta] and John Rosevear [Brighton] that’s precisely what they’ll be doing at Cottonwood. 

Both juniors, it was Rosevear who picked up right where the high-flying, bucket-getting Cox left off. Rosevear had 24 points, 4 assists, three rebounds and a block for the Colts, who never trailed at home in their season-opening 73-64 win over Mountain View on Friday, Nov. 17. 

Park added 17 points and had seven assists and five rebounds for Cottonwood [1-0] who according to Miller have a gauntlet of a non-league schedule ahead. 

“We have a tough schedule but we feel we can compete with anyone if we play as a team,” said the coach, who is entering his fourth season. 

“The team is doing well. We will once again look to get the ball up and down the court and hopefully score at a high level.” 

There is no question the Colts are happy to return the services of Chris Cox who has received several offers from NCAA Division I schools. 

The sorcery of electric point guard Kirath Makhar can now be seen at the JUCO level; he graduated from Cottonwood and has moved on to Treasure Valley Community College in eastern Oregon where it competes with Salt Lake Community College in NJCAA Region 18 action. 

Though former starters like Makhar will be hard to replace, Coach Miller said he has a plan worked out for this year’s team and a good rotation to boot. 

“On the guard line we will look to rotate Luke Park and John Rosevear as well as Ryan Nielson, Mason Tolley and Tengis Bayasgalan,” Miller said. 

Although Park and Rosevear are relative newcomers to the Colts, the senior Nielson, junior Tolley and sophomore Bayasgalan are not. Nielson also pumped in 14 points during Cottonwood’s season-opening win over Mountain View. 

Peter Oguama returns to help the front line and he chipped in eight points to go with seven rebounds for the Colts, who will alternate some bodies up front. 

“Down low we will look to rotate Peter Oguama, [and newcomers] junior Bo Smith and freshman Luka Cecez,” Miller said. “Looking forward to getting started.” 

Editor's note: Chris Cox returned to the Colts over the holidays to rejoin the team. This story was updated to reflect that.