Girls basketball all-region team picks – St George News

Mayci Torgerson and Japrix Weaver are the St. George news Region 9 co-MVPs | Photos by Jeff RIchards and Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The girls basketball Region 9 season was a fun one that saw four teams make the state quarterfinals and two region teams face off for the state title.

The Cedar Reds won their second consecutive state title to cap off a competitive season. While it was a difficult task to select from so much talent, here are St. George News’ all-region picks.

Region 9 Co-MVP – Cedar’s Japrix Weaver and Mayci Torgerson

Japrix Weaver and Mayci Torgerson, both seniors, were integral parts of the Reds state championship team this year and made up one of the most lethal scoring combinations in the region. Both players averaged a combined 30 points per game and only scored less than ten points in five games throughout the entire year. They capped off a historic three year run with back-to-back state titles and a 67-7 overall record.

“When talking about Japrix Weaver, she guards the best point guards in the state and she guards the best inside post players in the state,” Cedar head coach Corry Nielsen said. “She can guard 1-5. Offensively, she shot 52% for the year from three. She can shoot threes, she has a midrange and she can get to the rim.”

Nielsen also spoke highly of Torgerson.

Mountain Crest at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 22, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Mayci is probably one of the most intense and hard-nosed players that I’ve ever coached,” Nielsen said. “She is a player that will not leave the gym until she is satisfied that her game is in order. She’s the first on in the gym and the last one out of the gym.”

First team

Junior Sam Johnston – Cedar

Sam Johnston only added more to the Reds with her outside shooting touch and basketball IQ. Being a coach’s daughter, her mom is SUU’s Tracy Sanders, she made the right plays and stepped up when the Reds needed her. She averaged eight points per game, but when other players struggled for Cedar, Johnston would step up to the challenge. Cedar head coach Corry Nielsen always said they had multiple contributors, not just one. You never knew who was going to go off on any given night for the Reds, and that only added to the difficulty of playing them.

Senior Kami Bliss – Desert Hills

Kami Bliss anchored the Thunder this season averaging just over 15 points per game. Bliss played a big role in the Thunder’s zone defense, and her length added a different dynamic to the back line of their 2-3 zone. On offense, Bliss got her baskets around the rim with her size but her ability to hit the three is what caused problems. She would keep defenders honest, and if they weren’t close enough, she’d shoot the deep ball and make it. She had a season-high 31 points against Pine View and also had 27 points against Snow Canyon early in the season.

Senior Tylei Jensen – Snow Canyon

The region leader in points per game, averaging 17 points per game, was Tylei Jensen. She was a rock for the Warriors, giving them a consistent 15-20 points every time out. She only had two games where she scored less than 10 points and had seven 20 plus point performances. She shot the ball well, shooting 43% on 300 field goal attempts, and attacked the lane with a purpose. Her size and quickness made her a problem for defenses around Region 9.

Desert Hills at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

Junior Averi Papa – Pine View

Averi Papa proved to be one of the most dominant forces in the painted area this season, and it showed. The junior averaged a double double with 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. She had six 20 plus point performances and was a consistent rebounder for the Panthers. Her finishing ability around the rim, as well as her nice touch, helped her shoot 52% from the field which was one of the better field goal percentages in the region. Papa helped lead the Panthers to the Class 4A semifinals as the No. 7 seed, where they lost to Cedar.

Senior Sydney Peisley – Desert Hills

In her first season at Desert Hills, Sydney Peisley contributed in a big way on the offensive end. She averaged almost 13 points per game and also added size to the Desert Hills 2-3 zone. On offense, her ability to finish around the rim as well as her shooting ability, from deep and midrange, gave teams problems. She played mostly inside the paint but her outside shooting ability was shown when she hit five threes against Snow canyon in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state tournament.

Second team

Senior Olivia Harris – Snow Canyon

Junior Alex Olson – Pine View

Junior Logann Laws – Cedar

Senior Ashlyn Banks – Canyon View

Senior Kandalyn Hinton – Hurricane

Honorable mention

Senior Joslyn Bundy – Dixie

Senior Sophie Jensen – Pine View

Sophomore Brooklyn Winget – Crimson Cliffs

Senior Brooke Thomas – Hurricane

Senior Ellie Wilson – Pine View

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