The men’s and women’s basketball teams of Salt Lake Community College are preparing for the Region 18 tournaments that begin Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
Men’s tournament preview
The No. 13-ranked men’s team (19-3, 12-3 Scenic West Athletic Conference) finished the 2020-21 season on a five-game winning streak. The Bruins earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will play the winner of the game between Snow College and Colorado Northwest Community College on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“Our program as a whole has high expectations, and we are planning on playing with a chance to win the league and punch our ticket to the national tournament,” said men’s assistant coach CJ Killin.
“Every team in the Scenic West Athletic Conference qualifies for the Region 18 tournament. There are a lot of great teams and it’ll be a battle every night,” said men’s head coach Kyle Taylor.
Women’s tournament preview
The women’s team (16-4, 11-4 SWAC) won the conference while ending their season with a five-game winning streak. The Bruins earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and will play the winner of the game between Snow College and Colorado Northwest Community College on Friday at 1 p.m.
“We are focused on winning it [the Region 18 tournament] and advancing to the national tournament,” said women’s head coach Marcilina Grayer. “I am expecting the tournament to be extremely competitive this year. There are four teams that have all beat one another at some point in the year. Anyone can win on any given night; which is an exciting thing.”
Coaches discuss COVID
With regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, the coaches and players feel eager and grateful to play basketball this year.
“It [the COVID-19 pandemic] added a new level of appreciation to be able to play, and that enthusiasm was clear as we started our season this year,” said Killin.
“There has been a lot of uncertainty and anxiety around the season. We’re fortunate to complete our entire regular season,” said Taylor.
“I feel this year has truly been an emotional rollercoaster due to the pandemic and all that is required to play basketball,” said Grayer.