Video: Dason Youngblood's highlights vs. Palo Verde
See the Bingham High star in action.
A trio of regions from Utah County and Salt Lake County are ruling the roost in Utah boys basketball at this point in the season.
Nine of the state's Top 25 teams in the latest MaxPreps Computer Rankings presented by the Army National Guard hail from Region 3, Region 4 or Region 7. Region 3 is composed of Salt Lake County schools, while Region 4 and Region 7 feature a mix of Utah County and Salt Lake County schools. Editor's note: Rankings have changed since this article was written
Region 4 features the top-ranked Class 5A team in Pleasant Grove. The Vikings (11-1) are undefeated against other Utah schools. Their only loss came to Chino Hills (Calif.) in the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational. Pleasant Grove posted a 3-1 record in the four-day tournament, beating Westbury Christian (Texas), Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) and Crossroads (Calif.).
Pleasant Grove is getting a major boost from the play of 7-foot-4 sophomore Matthew Van Komen
. He is a force inside for the Vikings, averaging 16.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Bingham is the top-ranked team out of Region 3. The defending state champions won the Utah Elite 8 Tournament earlier this season, beating fellow Top 25 teams Copper Hills, Davis and Corner Canyon. The Miners (9-3) followed that up by posting a 3-1 record at the Tarkanian Classic. They are 4-2 overall against out-of-state competition this season.
A trio of stars is getting it done for Bingham. Branden Carlson
, a 6-foot-11 senior, leads the team in points (14.3) and rebounds (8.3). Dason Youngblood
and Lleyton Parker
have provided strong play in the backcourt. Youngblood, a 6-2 guard, is averaging 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Parker, a 6-3 guard, is the team's top perimeter threat and is scoring 13.3 points per contest.
Region 7 has four Top 25 teams – more than any other region in the state. Timpview leads the way as the top-ranked team in Class 4A. The Thunderbirds (8-3) finished second behind Olympus a year ago and definitely have the firepower to challenge for a state title again. Hunter Ericson
and Adam Santiago
form a nice one-two offensive punch for Timpview. Ericson, a 6-3 guard, is one of the top scorers in Class 4A, averaging 20.7 points per game. Santiago, a 6-foot guard, is adding 15.3 points per contest. Both are deadly outside shooters along with 6-foot guard Jordan Sagers
. The trio has combined to make 85 3-pointers in 11 games.
The balance of power shifts farther south for Class 3A. Region 9 boasts three Top 25 schools – all from St. George. Dixie leads the way as the top-ranked Class 3A team. The Flyers (13-0), along with Panguitch, are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the state. Dixie is the defending Class 3A champion and has won 22 consecutive games dating back to last season.
Dixie is getting it done with defense. The Flyers are allowing just 46.5 points per game this season and have won three straight games decided by two points or less.
Utah boys basketball regions with the most Top 25 teams
Class 5ARegion 4
Pleasant Grove (2), Lone Peak (4), American Fork (17)Region 2
Davis (12), Layton (21), Viewmont (23)Region 3
Bingham (3), Copper Hills (7)Class 4ARegion 7
Timpview (5), Corner Canyon (13), Timpanogos (16), Skyridge (20) Region 6
Olympus (11), Hillcrest (18)Class 3ARegion 9
Dixie (8), Pine View (14), Desert Hills (19)Region 11
Juan Diego (10), Ridgeline (15)John Coon covers Utah high school sports for MaxPreps. You can contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @johncoonsports