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Guest sports columnist

The college basketball season here in Utah has held more than a passing interest for local cage fans as several players on various teams have ties to the Carbon area. As the teams move into the March Madness of conference tournaments local eyes will focus on the likes of Tyler Kepkay of the University of Utah, Tyler Newbold of Utah State and Morgan Warburton of the Lady Utes of Utah U.

Kepkay moved into the Utah starting line up at the beginning of the season as the point guard under new coach, Jim Boylen. Coming off an All American Junior College performance at the College of Eastern Utah last season, Kepkay has fallen on hard times in recent games as Boylen has been shuffling his lineup in an attempt to revive a late season losing streak. He likely will play a reserve role as the Utes open play in the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas, this week.

Newbold attended elementary school in Price as his father was a coach, teacher and counselor at Carbon High. After the family moved to Payson Newbold won state all-star recognition as a member of the Payson High team. He later enrolled at Utah State and worked his way into the starting lineup of the Aggies under Coach Stewart Morrill. Utah State is involved in the WAC conference tournament this month.

Then there is Carbon High graduate Morgan Warburton, one of the poster players featured in the University of Utah Lady Utes advertisements.

Morgan is in her third year as a memeber of the Lady Utes and one of the leading scorers on a team that has gone undefeated in conference play, a winning streak of over 20 games and has only lost three times all season. It was Morgan who pulled the Lady Utes out of a possible loss earlier this season at Wyoming. With the Lady Utes, trailing by two points Morgan grabbed a rebound high off the rim the basket and dropped in a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the game to preserve the team's winning streak.

As a freshman Morgan was vital cog in the Lady Ute team of two years ago that came within seconds of going into the final four of national collegiate women's basketball. The Lady Utes, as odds on favorites, are participating in the Mountain States Conference tournament in Las Vegas, this week with the hope of duplicating or even surpassing the performance of the Lady Ute team of two years ago.

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