Utah prep lacrosse championships feature unusual format
American Fork senior Harry Lisonbee (left) tries to avoid a check from Skyridge senior Colby Dulle during the Region 4 contest in Lehi on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Haven Buechner of Skyridge (in orange) takes the ball to goal during a girls high school lacrosse match against Westlake in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
And now for something completely different …
This season will be the first for boys and girls state lacrosse championships and includes three separate division tournaments. The top 16 teams in RPI will compete in Division A, the next 16 in Division B and the remaining 25 teams will compete in Division C.
It’s a radical departure from what the UHSAA has done previously with its other sports and more closely resembles what is often used for European soccer leagues.
On Wednesday, the UHSAA released the final RPI and tournament seedings for both boys and girls lacrosse.
Corner Canyon (18-0) is the top seed in boys Division A with Park City (14-2) at No. 2 and Farmington (16-0) at No. 3. American Fork, which finished 12-3 this season, is the No. 8 seed, Timpview (12-4) is No. 13 and Lone Peak (9-6) is No. 15.
Harry Lisonbee leads the Cavemen with 33 goals and Garrison Grimes, who played wide receiver on the football team, has added 31. American Fork’s only losses have come to Timpview (by a 12-10 score) and Corner Canyon (15-9).
The Cavemen will host No. 9 Fremont (14-2) in the first round, which will be held on Tuesday. Timpview travels to No. 4 Olympus (13-1) and Lone Peak is at No. 2 Park City (14-2).
Weber is the No. 1 seed in Division B. Utah Valley programs competing in this division include No. 5 Wasatch, No. 7 Westlake, No. 10 Lehi, No. 14 Maple Mountain and No. 15 Salem Hills. Division B also begins play Tuesday.
Division C starts with first round games Saturday. Pleasant Grove is the No. 1 seed in Division C, which also includes No. 9 Skyridge, No. 10 Timpanogos, No. 12 Orem, No. 13 Spanish Fork, No. 15 Springville, No. 16 Cedar City, No. 18 Provo and No. 24 Payson.
The boys championships will be held May 29 at Layton High School.
On the girls side, Skyridge (14-1) is the No. 3 seed in Division A, with Park City No. 1 and Mountain Ridge (15-1) No. 2.
The Falcons — the only Utah Valley team in Division A — lost only to top seed Park City, an 11-5 decision on March 10. Sisters Haven and Rivanna Buechner have combined to score a whopping 131 goals this season and goalkeeper Gretchen Jenkins has allowed just 20 goals with a save percentage of .814.
Eight local teams will compete in Division B, including No. 2 Wasatch (10-2), No. 4 Timpview (9-6), No. 5 American Fork (9-6), No. 7 Provo (9-5), No. 10 Timpanogos (7-7), No. 11 Lone Peak (5-10), No. 12 Maple Mountain (4-4) and No. 13 Pleasant Grove (7-9).
Woods Cross (6-8) is the No. 1 team in Division C. The top Utah Valley team in this division is No. 4 Lehi (6-8).
The girls championships will also be held at Layton High School on May 28.
The separate division tournaments should lead to more competitive games overall and fewer colossal first round blowouts. It should be noted, however, that there are no teams with winning records in boys or girls Division C. In total, 14 of the 25 teams in girls Division C have won two games or less and five are winless.
Boys and girls lacrosse was actually sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association for 2020 but the season was canceled after just a few matches due to the COVID-19 crisis.
For complete RPI details and brackets, go to http://UHSAA.org.