ST. GEORGE – For a tournament dubbed “The Red Rock Rumble,” there really hadn’t been a whole lot of excitement.
Going into the tourney’s last day, there had been no overtime games, no buzzer-beaters and very few heated exchanges.
Dixie and Maple Mountain took care of that trio of basketball firebombs all in one tightly-contested donnybrook Saturday afternoon.
And while the Golden Eagles came away with the 60-58 win, the game was a testament to modern basketball. It featured a marvelous comeback (Dixie had trailed by 15 in the first half), clutch free throw shooting (Dakota Bair hit two charity shots to tie the game at 58-58 with 6.1 seconds left in the second overtime), a superstar performance (MM’s Nate Guymon had 30 points) and a gutsy and exciting buzzer-beater ending (Guymon’s driving layup over Kyler Smith) settled through the hoop as time expired.
“What a game,” Maple Mountain coach Jimmy Averett said.
Indeed. The Flyers may have won the game easily if they could have waited to start keeping score until the second quarter. Dixie looked awful in the first seven minutes, falling behind 21-6.
Mitch Wilkinson finally snapped the Flyers out of their funk with a 3-pointer with a minute left in the first quarter. His trey was followed by a free throw each from Blake Barney and Drew Batchelor to make it 21-11 after one period.
Guymon had all seven of the Eagles points in the second quarter as Dixie was able to pull within 28-20.
The Flyers continued to chip away and were within 39-32 to start the fourth. A quick 5-0 burst on a bucket by Kyler Smith and a trey by Barney made it 39-37 with 6:10 to go. Guymon hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game a moment later to make it 42-37, but Maple Mountain wouldn’t score again for four minutes.
In the meantime, Dixie got a bucket by Smith and four points from Barney to take a 43-42 lead with 2:23 left in the game. It was the Flyers’ first, and as it turns out, only lead of the game.
The Eagles regained the lead on a 3-point play by Josh Phelps with 1:05 to play. Smith tied it for Dixie with an inside shot with 50 seconds left. MM held for the last shot, but a leaning 3-pointer by Phelps wasn’t close.
In the first overtime, Phelps again gave his team the lead late with a rebound bucket with 1:10 to go. Dixie got a two to go in traffic by point guard Jordan Hall to make it 54-54 with a minute to go. Again Maple Mountain held ofr one shot and again the Eagles missed a bad 3-pointer.
In the second overtime, Drew Bates scored to make it 56-54 and the Eagles pushed it to 58-54 on a bucket by Phelps with 1:11 to play.
Undaunted, the Flyers got a 15-footer by Cole Critchfield with a minute to go, then forced a turnover. After a missed shot, Dixie’s Bair emerged with a loose ball and fired a 10-footer that just missed. But the senior forward was fouled on the play and he hit both free throws to tie the game at 58-58.
That set up the games ultimate moment. Guymon, who had done most of his damage from outside in the game, caught a pass in the high post, faked, then drove past his man all the way to the basket. His finger-roll layup just cleared Smith’s hands and caromed off the glass and into the basket, giving Maple Mountain its fifth win of the season (with three losses).
For Dixie, which fell to 3-8, it was a rough ending to the tourney. Dixie has lost four straight.
“Wins are hard to come by sometimes,” Wilkinson said. “We learned a lot, like playing team defense. We didn’t do that early in the game, but when we did it later in the game we did well. We also need to be better conditioned. If you’re better conditioned, you make better decisions late in games.”
The Flyers play next Friday at home against Westlake before resuming Region 9 play Jan. 4 against Cedar.
Timpview 75, Hurricane 44
The T-Birds may be the unofficial champs of the Red Rock Rumble as they won with three impressive blowouts in a row in St. George.
Leo Roese had 22 points as Timpview blew the game open in the second half. Rose hit four 3-pointers, as did teammate Riley Corbin, who finished with 14 points.
Jayce Housley made three treys for the Tigers, but no Hurricane player had more than nine points and Hurricane dropped to 1-8 on the season.
The Tigers play at Juab Jan. 2 in their final preseason game and then resume region play Jan. 4 with a home game against Desert Hills. It will be the first meeting of the two teams since last year’s state championship game, a contest won by Hurricane 52-49.
Viewmont 51, Pine View 43
Viewmont rolled to a 20-point lead, then watched it shrink in the second half. However, the Panthers couldn’t get closer than eight as Viewmont improved to 5-5.
McKay Richins had 15 points and center Jarom Tye had 12 for the Vikings.
Pine View was led by Dallin Milne, with 17 points. Sharpshooter Jack Bangerter had 12, but Pine View fell to 8-3.
The Vikings beat Desert Hills and Pine View on consecutive nights.
Snow Canyon 64, Northridge 61
The trio of Brendan Truman, Nate Gottfredson and Chandler Gines led the Warriors to their second straight win and stopped the Knights’ winning streak at four.
Truman, an outside shooting specialist, made five 3-pointers and had 20 points, while Gottfredson pounded the paint for 19 points and five rebounds. Gines, still fighting ofa serious knee injury from last summer, had 17 points and nine boards.
The Warriors evened their record at 4-4 on the season and won two of three games at the Red Rock Rumble. Snow Canyon out-rebound the 5A Northridge squad 30-28 and the Warriors overcame 16 turnovers by hitting half their shots (22 of 44), including 6 of 12 from beyond the arc.
Snow Canyon next plays Jan. 4 in a key region game at home against Pine View.
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