3A Boys State Basketball’s drive to the title: Desert Hills Thunder

Desert-Hills-smThe Desert Hills Thunder are 17-6 and currently ranked No. 3 in the state by the Salt Lake media.

First round: Defeated Juab 57-44

Quarterfinal match-up: DH vs. Juan Diego, 12:50 p.m. Thursday at the Maverik Center. Listen to the broadcast on SportsRadio 106.1 FM and at http://sportsradio1061.com.

Points for/against: DH averaged 60.4 ppg/52.3 papg

Quincy Mathews (23) and Head Coach Wade Turley, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Quincy Mathews (23) and Head Coach Wade Turley, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

DH stars: Quincy Mathews averages 20.6 points a game, best in Region 9 and second in the state. Long-distance specialist Marcus McKone is second on the team at 9.4 ppg. The Thunder have a couple of talented big men in Austin Adams (9.1 ppg) and Tanner Leishman, who can stretch the defense with a decent 3-point shot. Logan Forsyth averages four assists a game.

Streak/trend: The Thunder were 7-0 in region and riding high, but finished just 9-3. Two of those losses were at home. Still, this is a team with all the pieces in place to make a run, including the amazingly consistent Mathews, who has scored 20 or more 17 times this year.

Scouting the Soaring Eagle: Juan Diego (61.1 ppg/51.0 papg) is 20-4 and has only lost one game to a 3A team, Bear River on Jan. 9. Since then, the Eagle has won 10 straight. Gabe Colosimo leads the team with 18.8 ppg and is deadly from deep (44 treys). Junior Malik Fagan-Foster scores 12.8 ppg and Avery Ames is at 10.5 ppg. Juan Diego is the Region 10 champion and has made 111 3-pointers (Desert Hills has 101).

Perusing the bracket: If the Thunder can get past Juan Diego, they could meet an old friend in Dixie. The Flyers face an excellent Bear River team, so wither way, it won’t be easy. The semifinal for the lower bracket teams is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday. The 3A Championship game is 1 p.m. Saturday.

Bottom line: The late-season losses cost DH a shot at an easier draw, but a wise coach once said that you have to beat them all to become a champion anyway. Even with the home losses in mid-February, this D-Hills team should be the team no one wants to face, with Mathews being complemented by shooters (McKone and Max Mills), big guys and a smart point guard in Forsyth. It won’t be easy, but the Thunder could get it rolling.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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