Vernon has talent for another title run
Deseret Morning News
It's typical for a defending state champion to endure everyone's
best effort the following year. This year, though, there's a bull's-eye
the size of a volcanic crater on Mount Vernon's jersey.
With Juan Pablo Silveira bringing
back his 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game, and
6-foot-8 center Sebastian Gobba returning with his 14 points and
eight rebounds, the Patriots are loaded for a repeat.
"We've got a bunch of guys that
like to compete," said Mount Vernon coach Scott Lambson. "We
like to run, and when we get into running mode, we should be hard
In 1A, though, anything can happen.
Just ask Wasatch Academy.
The Tigers were ranked No. 1 heading
into last year's state tournament, but they were quickly relegated
to the consolation bracket thanks to a first-round upset by Manila,
which was Region 16's No. 4 seed.
While Mount Vernon will no doubt
be a force come March, the Patriots must first focus on holding
off an outstanding Waterford squad in Region 17.
The Ravens return four starters off
last year's 1A consolation championship team.
"The team has solid experience
at all positions, has scoring capability from both inside and outside,
and will defend exceptionally well," said coach Reid Monson.
"If I do my job as a coach correctly, and we stay healthy,
we will play very well in the region and will be difficult to beat."
Many of Waterford's hopes hinge on
6-3 guard Tyson Brazell. The potential college prospect averaged
18 points last year. The Ravens' other returning starters are Cliff
Snyder, Jud Kennedy and Kevin Pelo, who averaged a combined 28 points
The Region 17 race won't be the only
hotly contested region. Both Dugway and Wasatch Academy return three
starters each in Region 18.
"I was told that last season
was the best team in the school's 121-year history," said Wasatch
Academy coach Ron Lindberg. "This team is better. Mantas Armonas
and Everard Bartlett are both being recruited by Div. I schools,
and carry the game and academics to stand out in college."
So far this year, Armonas is averaging
22.7 points and Bartlett is averaging 21.5.
Dugway counters with 5-11 guard Dane
Schofield, who is averaging 17.2 points this year. Even though the
Mustangs don't have a player over 6-foot, coach George Bruce said,
"We shall survive."
In Region 15, Milford and Bryce Valley
appear to be the cream of the crop. Every region coach but one picked
the two teams to finish either first or second.
"This may be Bryce Valley's
most optimistic season ever," said coach Eric Jessen. "Dave
Mathews, Tye Ramsay and Levi LeFevre have all been starters since
their sophomore season."
All three averaged double-figures
last year, and they're doing it again this year. In addition to
the big three, Brady Shakespear and Landon Mecham are both outstanding
seniors with good size.
Milford, meanwhile, returns all five
starters from a team that went 13-12 and finished second in Region
"Milford is extremely balanced
and deep again this year," said Milford coach Renae Aschoff.
"We should have a competitive year with explosive scoring capabilities
and tenacious defense."
Travis Nelson leads the team this
year with a 15.2 scoring average.
With three starters back off of last
year's state runner-up team, Manila was the overwhelming favorite
among Region 16 coaches.
Zac Schofield and Jeff Catron will
shoulder the scoring load for the Mustangs. The duo averaged 30
points last year, and is averaging 28 this year.
Coach Scott Taylor may have a secret
weapon in Casey Robinson. The 6-3 sophomore is averaging 14.5 points
a game so far this year.
"We have great shooters and
team players that understand the system we're running," said
Taylor. "After making it to the state championship on great
defense, they are even more committed now."
Manila's stiffest challenge in Region
16 may come from Duchesne, which returns three starters.
"We will be experienced in all
positions," said coach Stan Young. "Depth will be a positive
for us. We're a little small, but if our big younger players can
give us some good minutes, we should be pretty good."
to give scholarship to 1A's MVP
Deseret Morning News
Mount Vernon to the 1A state basketball championship last year,
Juan Pablo Silveira has been battling the Utah High School Activities
Association about his eligibility for this upcoming season.
After a nine-month ordeal
in which he was deemed ineligible on two separate occasions, the
Patriots' senior has twice as many reasons to smile this week.
Mount Vernon Academy's Juan Pablo
Silveira (35) has accepted a scholarship offer to play at
Johanna Kirk, Deseret Morning News
The UHSAA reinstated him for the upcoming
season two days ago, and Thursday he accepted a scholarship offer
to play basketball for Weber State.
"He's ecstatic," said Scott
Lambson. "To find out that you're going to be able to play
your entire senior year and then be able to commit to a scholarship,
it's a big deal."
Silveira, last year's 1A MVP, is originally
from Salta, Uruguay.
"He's a terrific floor leader,"
said Lambson. "He's quick, he's got a great shot and he's a
terrific passer. I feel he's the best player coming out of Utah
in the class of 2004."
At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Silveira
chose Weber State over Cornell. He averaged 21.6 points per game
for Mount Vernon last year
shines in Mt. Vernon win
Deseret Morning News
In watching Juan Pablo Silviera run up and down a basketball court,
it's easy to see why the majority of 1A basketball coaches were
hoping he'd be ruled ineligible this year. With his skill and poise,
the Mount Vernon senior can take over a game at any time.
Wednesday afternoon at the Delta Center, that time was the second
Manila High's Gabe Bru, left, has
the ball stripped away by Mount Vernon Academy's Andrew
Lambson in Wednesday's game. Mount Vernon prevailed, 63-38.
Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
Silviera scored eight straight points
to start the second quarter as No. 1 Mount Vernon raced to a big
lead and cruised to a 63-38 victory over No. 2 Manila in a rematch
of last year's 1A state championship.
"I think he's feeding off all
the adversity," said Patriots' coach Scott Lambson.
Since Mount Vernon won last year's
championship, the debate about international students has become
very heated. According to a Utah High School Activities Association
rule, enacted in 2002, foreign students attending high school in
the United States on an F1 visa are only allowed a single year of
athletic eligibility. But the rule wasn't enforced in the 2002-03
The UHSAA was hoping to enforce the
rule this year, but after several appeals it decided to let current
students continue playing and wait until the spring to make a final
decision on the matter.
That's bad news for 1A teams not
from Murray. Silviera scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the
Mount Vernon isn't a one-man show though. Junior Sam Woodall poured
in 20 points, and 6-foot-8 senior Sebastian Gobba chipped in with
10 points and eight blocks in the victory.
"We've got a bunch of guys that
like to compete," said Lambson. "We like to run, and when
we get into running mode, we should be hard to stop."
Considering the Patriots played a
game Tuesday night, Lambson wasn't quite sure how effective his
team's fast-paced offense would be on the enlarged Delta Center
floor. Mount Vernon didn't return home until about 1 a.m. following
its impressive road victory over 2A's North Sevier Tuesday.
The Patriots didn't seem to be suffering
from fatigue one bit Wednesday.
Clinging to a 13-11 lead late in
the first quarter, the Patriots reeled off a 18-2 spurt to seal
"I think it definitely helped
them to play a game already," said Manila coach Scott Taylor.
"This isn't a game to panic, but this serves to help us know
where we need to be."
Take Home First Ever 1A Title
By Andrew Aragon
Cedar City -
The folks who complained about a private school winning the 1A State
basketball championship last season won't be happy about this.
But Mt. Vernon
defeated Manila 65-50 on Saturday for the school's first basketball
championship and second straight for a private school in the 1A
knew fans at the 1A tournament wouldn't be happy if they won the
championship. After the Patriots beat Piute on Friday night, the
Mt. Vernon players and coaches had trash thrown at them as they
walked of the court. The fans behavior only gave the Patriots extra
ugly," Mt. Vernon coach Scott Lambson said. "We just fed
off that and it inspired us to play."
Did it ever.
Mt. Vernon completed an impressive four day tournament run winning
three of its four games by an average of 17 points.
can say is to all the people that doubted us-forget y'all,"
Mt. Vernon forward Tristan Lawyer said. "They didn't believe
a private school could do it again."
The fans at
the 1A tournament didn't have any complaints about Mt. Vernon before
the tournament started. Wasatch Academy was looked at as more of
a threat to win the championship. Manila especially couldn't have
thought too highly of the Patriots after the Mustangs beat them
by 21 points in January. But this wasn't the same Mt. Vernon team.
The Patriots finished the season with 14 straight wins after starting
the season 6-6.
to take advantage of his teams strengths and talent.
to give (Juan Pablo Silveira) the ball," Lambson said. "We
started to play more up tempo and press and use our talent to out
talent other teams. We've been unstoppable ever since."
It helped to
get Lawyer in the mix after he sat out the first 6 games of the
season because of an eligibility issue. Lawyer dropped out of school
in the 10th grade after attending Central high and Granite high,
and it was questioned whether or not he had any remaining eligibility
left. He did, and his inside presence was a solid part in Mt. Vernon's
"big three," along with Silveira and Sebastian Gobba.
made a huge difference," Lambson said.
on Saturday, Silveira and Lawyer took a backseat to Gobba, who scored
22 points. The 6'8 center from Uruguay had little trouble scoring
against the Mustangs, who's tallest player is listed a t 6'2.
to pound the ball inside to him because we knew they didn't have
anyone to guard him," Silveira said. "He did a great job."
excellent as well. After Gobba fouled out with 3:41 remaining, Manila
scored 14 straight points to cut Mt. Vernon's lead to 56-50. Manila
may have made another incredible comeback but Silveira made an awkward
runner in the lane on the Patriots next possession, and Lawyer followed
with the 3 point play to put the game away.
they would make a run, but we had (Silveria), "Lambson said.
"If he's not on the floor I don't know if we withstand it."
win gave the school its first basketball championship in its 28
Make History With 1st 1-A Title
By Peter Richins
The Salt Lake
Mount Vernon's victory over Manila in Saturday's Class 1-A boys
basketball state championship game did more than earn the Patriots
a state title. It healed some old wounds.
last played in the title game 10 years ago. Current coach Scott
Lambson played in the loss to Valley.
a lot of that pain away tonight, that's for sure," Lambson
said after Mount Vernon's 65-50 victory over the Mustangs at the
Centrum. Lambson is in his second year coaching the Patriots but
has been a player or fan of the school his whole life.
always been a Lambson coaching this team," Lambson said. The
private school in Murray was founded by his parents, Jack and Jean,
28 years ago.
their vision," Lambson said. "If it was for anybody, that
championship was for my parents."
victory was their 14th straight after a 6-6 start.
much slower," Lambson said. That's when he decided the change
the Patriots' strategy.
to out-talent teams," Lambson said. "Give J.P. the ball,
let's run at teams and make it happen."
is Juan Pablo Silveira. The junior guard from Uruguay scored 18
points in the game and kept Mount Vernon in control with his cool
down to J.P. being on the floor," Lambson said. "He got
us our first state championship."
points was just below his tournament average of 20. But the final
tally was not his main concern.
care if I score 30 or if I don't score, the only thing is winning,"
Silveira said. The Patriots strategy in the game was to get the
ball inside to Sebastian Gobba, another Uruguayan.
passing the ball," Silveira said. "Whenever I pass and
a teammate scores, I feel great."
the Patriots with 22 points, despite sitting out in the 3rd quarter
because of foul trouble and finally fouling out in the fourth.
called everything on me, but it doesn't matter," Gobba said.
"I still got some points."
8 points in the 1st quarter as Mt. Vernon took a 16-8 lead. The
Patriots were ahead by 15 points at half-time, the lead dwindled
in the 4th quarter.
A late push
by Manila's Catron brothers, Jeff and Jeremy, and Zac Schofield
pulled the Mustangs from Northeastern Utah to within 56-49. But
Mt. Vernon's 9-1 run against an aggressive press put Manila out
fate," Lambson said. "We're a team of destiny."
their status as a private school, as well as objects from the stands
after their semi-final game, were hurled at the Patriots.
But the team
made the most of the situation.
off that anti-private school mentality," Lambson said. "We
thrived on it."
basketball championship is the second in a row for a private school-and
the second in 1A history.
to extend the streak. "Win state again next year," he
said. "That's what Sebastian and I plan."
Win Has Silveira Lining
By Peter Richins
The Salt Lake
City- Mt. Vernon's boys basketball coach Scott Lambson knew Piute
would be a tough test for the Patriots in Friday's Class 1A State
Boys Basketball Tournament Semi-Final.
the Thunderbirds size and their run oriented offense Piute was an
equal for Mt. Vernon in nearly every respect. The key to Mt. Vernon
in its 58-57 victory, Lambson said, was Juan Pablo Silveira.
is definitely the best player in this tournament," Lambson
said. Silveira scored 26 points and always seemed to be there when
the Patriots needed a rebound, a steal, or a layup.
a man among boys, " Lambson said, "He never loses his
scored 10 points in the 1st quarter and 17 in the first half. His
3 pointer in the 3rd quarter tied the score 40-40, but his leadership
in the 4th quarter was his biggest contribution.
tried to keep calm, so the rest of my team, they don't lose it,"
Silveira said. But with five seconds left in the game, he was quite
Mt. Vernon up by one, the Patriots inbounded to Silveira. To avoid
a foul and to take up a few extra seconds, Silveira blindly flung
the ball over his head. Piute's Josh Kellum picked it up and ran
up the court, but his desperation shot fell short.
almost died," Silveira said.
a junior from Uruguay, is in his first year with the Patriots. He
is also in his first year in the United States, having coming to
Mt. Vernon to study and to play with teammate Sebastian Gobba, who
he knew in Uruguay.
enough lead changes to keep the outcome in doubt until the last
second, Mt. Vernon had several players step up. After Piute's Rowdy
Smith gave the Thunderbirds the lead with less than a minute left,
Adam Lambson (the coach's nephew) drove the left side of the lane
and hit a layup with 18.8 seconds left.
a time out, Piute brought the ball down the court and began looking
for the game winner, but Gobba made the game clinching steal.
nervous as I was, that was the funnest game I have ever been a part
of," Scott Lambson said.
Lambson finished with 10 points, as did Gobba.
Patriots will play for their first Boys' Basketball State Title
today (5 pm). Ten years ago, Scott Lambson played on the Mt.
Vernon team which lost to Valley in the championship game-the last
time Mt. Vernon has played a title game.
don't get there too often," he said. "We've got to go
out there and give it everything we've got."
Vernon Lawyer hits the court
Deseret News prep editor
There was a time when Mount Vernon senior Tristan Lawyer thought
he would never return to the basketball floor.
He dropped out of school after his freshman year for personal reasons
but returned a year later. Because of that, he was ineligible for
his final year because UHSAA rules state a players' eligibility
clock begins at first enrollment and they have four consecutive
years to complete it.
Mount Vernon Academy's Tristan Lawyer
goes for a layup against Rowland Hall-St. Mark's Brandon
Johanna Kirk, Deseret News
After two unsuccessful tries to overturn
the UHSAA's ruling, Lawyer, who missed the Patriots' first seven
games, was granted his final year earlier this week.
He played in his first game Wednesday
night and scored a career-high 27 points in leading the Class 1A
Patriots (5-3) to the 68-51 victory over Class 2A Rowland Hall.
"It's great to be back, especially
when you have a lot of great teammates," Lawyer said.
Lawyer, along with 6-foot-8-inch
junior Sebastian Gobba, dominated the middle. Lawyer scored 16 points
in the first half and Gobba added 11 more. Gobba finished with 13
for the game.
"He (Lawyer) is learning to
play under the basket, and you can't teach want Tristan has,"
Mount Vernon coach Scott Lambson said. "He wasn't that good
of a player last year, but he learned how to play through experience."
Juan Pablo Silveira, who is the second-leading scorer in Class 1A
at 23.9 points a game, scored 19 points and dished out a half dozen
With the addition of Lawyer, the
Patriots now have a solid inside game with Gobba, while Silveira,
Adam Lambson, who scored seven, and Trent Savage, who saw limited
minutes Wednesday, are bona fide scoring threats from the outside.
"Definitely (Lawyer) will be
a big plus for us the rest of the season," Scott Lambson said.
"He can score and that will take pressure off Gobba."
The Patriots led by seven at the
end of the first quarter, and utilizing a half-court trapping defense
forced Rowland Hall into several turnovers. Lawyer scored 11 points
in the second quarter — including nine straight — to balloon Mount
Vernon's lead to 13 with 2:04 left in the half.
He also scored the first two buckets
of the second half to increase the lead to 16 points.
The Winged Lions (3-6) scored just
three points in the first six minutes of the third quarter, allowing
the Patriots to lead by 20 points on a Silveira jumper with 3:01
left in the period.
"Our half-court trap forced
the tempo to more of our liking," Scott Lambson said.
Paul Long led Rowland Hall with 17
points (three three-pointers) and Kyle Olsen finished with 11 points.