Deseret News Week 26 high school star athletes of the week

Boys Basketball

Owen Mackay, Snow Canyon (Jr.)

Defending 4A state champ Snow Canyon is riding a four-game winning streak into the final week of the regular season, and the emergence of junior Owen Mackay as one of the top players in the classification has been a big reason why.

In last week’s big 58-53 win over Dixie, Mackay led the way with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. For the season he’s averaging 24.5 points and 8.9 rebounds.

“Owen is one of the most efficient players I’ve coached. He understands how to move without the ball in his hands. He is all about winning and he brings whatever we need from him whether it’s leadership, scoring, rebounding, and/or defending,” said Snow Canyon coach Doug Meacham.

As a sophomore last year Mackay averaged 13.0 ppg for the state champs and was named a Deseret News first team all-stater. He already has an offer to Utah Tech.


Girls Basketball

Kendra Kitchen, Davis (Jr.)

One of the catalysts to Davis’ perfect record in Region 1, and 17-1 record overall, has been Davis junior Kendra Kitchen.

So far this season she is averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.7 steals and 3.6 blocks. Last week in the Darts’ 54-44 win over Syracuse she recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

“Kendra is a competitor who has improved her overall game each year. She has worked extremely hard in the weight room and on the court to improve her weaknesses and to also refine her strengths. Kendra is durable and one of our best defensive players,” said Davis coach Anne Jones. “She is very skilled and can shoot the 3, can attack the basket from the perimeter or score on the block. She is one of our team captains this season and her leadership and example have inspired the rest of the team to be better each day. It’s fun to have a front row seat to watch her every day.”

Davis wraps up the season this week with games against Clearfield and Fremont.

Boys Swimming

Will Jones, St. Joseph (Sr.)

Will Jones wrapped up a tremendous high school career with an outstanding performance at the 3A state meet last week.

Jones won both the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke at BYU, both in dominant fashion. In the backstroke he won by three seconds and in the medley he won by a whopping 18 seconds.

His time of 1:50.03 in the medley is the best in the entire state season and the third-best ever in Utah. He 100 back time of 49.37 is also the best in Utah this year and the third-best ever.

“The past few days I’ve been a bit sick, so I guess it could’ve gone better, but for the circumstances went well,” said Jones, who has signed to swim at the Naval Academy. “The culture they have in their swim team made me pretty excited.”


Girls Swimming

Chesney Bonner, Desert Hills (Fr.)

Desert Hills freshman Chesney Bonner made a hug splash in her first season swimming in high school.

At last weekend’s 4A state meet at BYU, Bonner won both the 100 butterfly (58.42) and 100 backstroke (58.99).

Her time in the 100 fly is the fourth-fastest in the entire state so far, and her 100 back time is the fifth-fastest.

“Chesney is a hard worker. She has drive and determination and trains hard to meet her goals both in the pool and out. She always comes to practice with a smile, is supportive of her teammates, and is never one to give up when the training gets tough,” said Desert Hills coach Kate Greenwood.

Bonner also swam a leg in two of Desert Hills’ runner-up relay teams at the 4A state meet.


Boys Wrestling

Sam Rasmussen, Millard (Jr.)

Millard junior Sam Rasmussen took another step last week at becoming one of the most decorated wrestlers in state history.

Rasmussen won all four of his matches by fall last weekend at the 2A state tournament in Richfield as he secured his third straight individual state title. He’ll have a chance to 4 for 4 next year for the Eagles.

Rasmussen finished the season with a 49-5 record.

“Sam is that athlete that every coach hopes for. Hhe is good person on and off the mat. He’s a 4.0 student, a great teammate, a good leader, he keeps everything fun and lighthearted. Helps bring underclassmen along and a great representation of Millard wrestling,” said Millard coach Brenden Turner.


Girls Wrestling

Anja Hansen, Crimson Cliffs (Sr.)

Anja Hansen won her 4A Divisional bracket at 125 pounds last weekend to secure a top seeding heading into this week’s 4A state tournament in Richfield.

The Crimson Cliffs senior won her semifinal by fall and then edged Mountain Crest’s Kaitlin Lofthouse, 7-6, in the championship match.

Hansen owns a 30-3 record heading into the state tournament this Friday and Saturday.

“The girl works harder than anyone in the room and is a professional. She exemplifies leadership, discipline and tact. I am extremely proud of Anja and excited to see her grow throughout her collegiate career,” said Crimson Cliffs coach Michael Bishop.

Hansen was a 4A runner-up a year ago at 115 pounds and she figures to be one of the top contenders once again. She’s signed to wrestle at Ottawa University in Arizona.

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