Kearns starts season with 5-0 recordDec 13, 2021 03:13PM ● By Greg James
Last season The Cougars celebrated as Region 2 champions. (Photo courtesy of Kearns Historian.)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Kearns High School’s boys basketball team lost one of its best players to injury before the season even began. But despite the bad news, it hopes to contend for another region title. It's off to a good start, having won their first five games of the season.
“I feel pretty good about us as the season begins,” Cougars boys basketball coach Dan Cosby said.
Senior Jonny Gasologa came up injured in October and will have to sit out his senior season.
“It will hurt us on the boards; he was probably our best shooter and defender,” Cosby said. “We still have everyone coming back and are defending region champions. We have some high expectations. We will need to make some adjustments. We will be small and quick.”
Senior Gott Daw played well last season, especially heading into region games. He suffered a shoulder injury and missed the final six games of the season. He averaged 11.5 points per game, and Cosby hopes he can return to his pre-injury form.
“[Daw] is about 75 percent right now,” Cosby said. “We look forward to seeing him back playing hard for us.”
Javon Lee was first team All-Region last season. He hit 41% of his field goal attempts and averaged 10.1 points per game.
“[Lee] should shoot the ball well,” Cosby said. “Ryker [Osborne] and Amare [Ames] will help us to stretch the floor. Ryker has yet to play in a varsity game, so we will need to get him some experience.”
The Cougars are defending Region 2 champions. They finished last season with a 16-9 overall record and lost to Roy in the state tournament quarterfinals 60-59. Roy joins the Cougars this season in Region 2.
Last season, the Cougars beat Hunter and Granger four times and split its contests with Cyprus. They also split games against Taylorsville.
“Roy is new to our region,” Cosby said. “Taylorsville and Cyprus will be the big two we have to face. Roy knocked us out on a last-second shot last year. We have some revenge on our mind for that game. Roy was a big team. It will matter what they have come back for this year.”
Cosby said the team will concentrate early on this year on defense. It devotes 65 percent of its practice time to it. It will continue with a fast-paced, in-your-face style.
“We really like to press and set the pace a little bit,” Cosby said. “We really want to get up and down the floor.”
Kearns has won two games in the state tournament in the last six years. This is a streak they would like to break.
“These are really good kids,” Cosby said. “Right now, the team has a 3.4 grade point average. I don’t think we have much to worry about. We will be senior-heavy, with eight seniors on this year's team. We need their experience. We played a lot of close games last season. I think they will be a fun team to watch this year.”