FARMINGTON — The Heights Middle School eighth-grade boys basketball team put together an amazing season.
The Knights wrapped up a perfect 17-0 year on Feb. 22 with a 37-point win in the Basin Tournament Championship game at Mesa View Middle School.
Heights dominated the competition throughout the season, winning the 17 games by an average of 33 points.
Defense played a major role in the Knights' success.
The team implemented a full-court, trapping style that held opponents to and average of just 24 points per game.
"There would be games where the other team couldn't get the ball past half court," said Heights eighth-grade coach Lee Marret. "They had good players and good athletes, but couldn't match our intensity."
This was the second consecutive season this group of players finished unbeaten. They also went 17-0 as seventh graders in 2013.
"They have a really good blend of players and have worked together for so long," Marret said.
Many of the boys have been playing together since third grade under coaches Jeff Graham and Donnie Pigford, who both served as assistants on the eighth-grade team this season.
Graham said the players' knowledge of the game sets them apart from their opponents.
"They have a knack for understanding the game of basketball," he said.
The only bump in the road to a perfect year came just prior to the Basin Tournament, as the team struggled in the first half of a few games.
"We got a little relaxed toward the end of the season," Graham said. "We weren't taking it serious enough. We regrouped before Basin though and turned it up a notch."
The Knights won their three games in the Basin Tournament by a combined score of 192-66, closing out their undefeated year.
"That was by far our best performance of the year," Graham said of the tournament.
Most of the kids will move on to Piedra Vista High School next season, and Marret hopes they'll stay together and continue their basketball success.
"This is a great bunch. Some are baseball and football players as well," Marret said. "I know some will eventually only play one sport, but in my 40 years of coaching, I've never seen a group with the talent and athleticism that this group has."Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.