Larry H. Miller Week 28 high school star athletes of the week

Boys Basketball

Jaden Desch, Rich (Sr.)

Rich will head into the 1A state tournament as the No. 1 seed, and the steady play all season of Jaden Desch has been one of the biggest factors in that success.

Desch leads the Rebels in scoring, rebounding and assists, and came up huge last week in Rich’s important 62-48 win over Manila as he scored a game-high 19 points. He’s averaging 11.3 points this season.

“After missing him for the first 5 games of the season, Rich has gone 13-1 since his return to the lineup.

Jaden is a fierce competitor who puts team success as the top priority in everything he does,” coach Lex Cornia said.

Desch was named a Deseret News all-state honorable mention in basketball last season, and this past fall he led Rich’s eight-player football team to a 1A state title and was named the Deseret News Player of the Year.

Girls Basketball

Elise Livingston, Ridgeline (Sr.)

Elise Livingston was a key piece in Ridgeline’s first-ever state championship a year ago, and she’s continued to be a big piece this season as the Riverhawks go for a repeat.

“Elise has had an incredible career at Ridgeline. Two weeks ago she scored her 1,000 career point. She is currently averaging 14.5 ppg and 2.6 apg. Elise is a fierce competitor who puts in a lot of extra time to become a better player. She works hard every time she steps on the court and inspires her teammates to do the same. We are lucky to have Elise as part of our program,” said Ridgeline coach Ainsli Jenks.

Livingston has scored in double figures in every region game this season, including 14 points last week in Ridgeline’s 73-12 win over Mountain Crest in the regular season finale. Ridgeline is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as state champs.

Boys Swimming

Robert Barton, Jordan (Sr.)

Jordan’s Robert Barton went out with a bang at the 4A state swim meet last weekend.

Barton won both of his individual races at BYU, and then helped his relay teams to a first- and third-place finish. After the meet he was named the 4A swimmer of the year by the coaches.

Barton won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.41, which currently ranks as the best 200 free swim in the entire state. His 100 butterfly time of 49.97 ranks second in the entire state.

A year ago in the 5A state meet as a junior, Barton had a top four finish at state in the 100 free and the 200 individual medley.

Girls Swimming

Lizzy Despain, Millard (Sr.)

Millard’s Lizzy Despain had a fantastic final swimming meet of her high school career at the 3A state meet last weekend.

The senior finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.42) and seventh in the 50 freestyle (26.27), the highest-finishing 2A swimmer in both races.

“Lizzy is one of the most competitive people I have ever met. She pushes herself to be the best she can be. She has done both drill team and swim team her four years of high school and been a great leader and example of hard work in both,” said Millard coach Chelton Spendlove.

Despain was voted the 2A girls swimmer of the year by the coaches after the meet.

Boys Wrestling

Brayden Robison, Westlake (Sr.)

Westlake’s Brayden Robison capped a perfect senior season last week at the 6A state tournament.

Robinson won all four of his matches in the 157-pound bracket by fall, including a third-period pin against Pleasant Grove’s Hixon Canto, as Robinson finished the season with a 44-0 record and an individual state title.

“Brayden is such a fun wrestler. He lets it fly and scrambles so well which is why he is so successful. We are going to miss his leadership on the team but are excited to see him continue competing on the next level,” said Westlake coach Jeff Newby.

Other notable wins this year for Robison included titles as the Rockwell Rumble, Richardson Memorial, Christmas Clash Invite and Tiger Grizz Invitational.

Girls Wrestling

Brooklyn Pace, Copper Hills (Sr.)

Brooklyn Pace wrapped up her career in the only place she’s ever known, the top podium. Pace won the 125-pound state championship at the 6A state tournament last week, finishing her high school career as a four-time state champion.

This season she also helped Copper Hills win the 6A team title after three-straight runner-up finishes to Westlake.

“This year feels like the perfect season to wrap it all up with a nice little bow,” said Pace after the meet. “I love the girls on Westlake’s team, and we travel nationally, but it does sting a little every year when all my (traveling) teammates are taking first as a team and I’m stuck in second. So, this year just feels amazing and I’m so happy to share this victory with my team, we worked so hard, and beating Westlake feels really good.”

Pace won all three of her matches at state by fall, including a second-period pin against Fremont’s Brooke Deeter in the final. She finished the season with a 35-0 record.

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