Cedar gets revenge, trip to state championship game with OT win over SC (updated with interviews, highlights)

The Cedar Redmen celebrate their overtime semi final victory over the Snow Canyon Warriors during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – It was a Battle Royale between big men and this time Dustin Staggs emerged with a big, cheesy grin as his Cedar Redmen beat Nate Gottfredson’s Snow Canyon Warriors 63-51 in overtime Friday night in the semifinals of the 3A State Tournament at SUU’s Centrum Arena.

cedar-smsnow-canyon-smWith the win, Cedar earned the right to play in Saturday night’s state championship game, where the Redmen will battle Morgan for the classification’s championship at 7:30 p.m..

“Nate and I have been battling against each other since we were freshmen and he’s a great player,” Staggs said. “We know how each other play and we just had a great battle. It felt great to win. They got us by two and three points in region.”

Dustin Staggs (33) and Nathan Gottfredson during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Dustin Staggs (33) and Nathan Gottfredson during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Staggs was clutch in the extra period, hitting two baskets in the first two minutes with Gottfredson playing soft defense after picking up his fourth foul. The Redmen outscored the Warriors 15-3 in the OT, with Kordan Nielson and Staggs scoring most of the points. Nielson, who had a huge night after a sub-par quarterfinal against Juan Diego, had seven of his 27 points in the extra frame.

For the record, Staggs had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Gottfredson finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.

To no one’s surprise, this game between Region 9 rivals came down to the final possession of regulation. Cedar actually had a shot to win it with 40 seconds left, but Nielson missed a hotly-contested layup from the left side. Snow Canyon took two time outs and ran the clock down to 11 seconds. SC ran a play for Tanner Sampson or Jacob Frei to curl off a screen and shoot, but the Cedar defense did a good job of denying both shooters the ball.

Instead, Warriors point guard Chase Jenkins was forced to toss up a contested shot from 19 feet that was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.

“I was nervous and hoping he’d miss because I missed that layup right before that,” Nielson said. “It actually looked pretty good.”

After a Snow Canyon miss to start OT, Cedar went right to Staggs, who rewarded them with a bucket inside to make it 50-48. On the other end, SC pulled to within 50-49 as Hayden Anderson hit 1 of 2 free throws. Cedar went right back to Staggs, who showed some range and buried a 16-foot jumper to make it 52-49 with 2:12 left in OT. Nielson then scored off a steal to make it 54-49.

Frei, who had a nice game for Snow Canyon with 15 points, made two free throws with 1:28 left to cut it to 54-51. But that was the last hurrah for the Warriors, who would either turn the ball over or miss contested shots the rest of the way and would not score again.

Cedar made 7 of 10 free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Snow Canyon held the advantage most of the first three quarters, leading by as many as eight points. Ben Brown hit a couple of treys in the game to help Cedar climb back into it. The Redmen finally caught the Warriors late in the third quarter. With SC up 33-29, Nielson hit a 23-footer to cut it to 33-32 behind a screen from Staggs.

After Snow Canyon missed a bucket inside, Cedar rushed upcourt and Brown hit a layup just before time expired to make it 33-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

Cedar forged a 45-41 advantage with under three minutes to go, but Frei and Warner Rigby had big baskets to tie the game with 2:10 left. Behind free throws from Staggs, Cedar led by two with under a minute to go, but Jenkins hit a driving layup over Staggs and friends to tie the game with 55 seconds left, setting up the final 40 seconds of action and eventually the OT.

Videocast by Bryce Griffin and Amber Green, St. George News

 

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 


3A State Tournament Boys Bracket

————————–

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

The Cedar Redmen celebrate their overtime semi final victory over the Snow Canyon Warriors during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
The Cedar Redmen celebrate their overtime semi final victory over the Snow Canyon Warriors during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Cedar City, Snow Canyon, Sports, Top Sports StoriesTagged , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.