3A Boys State Basketball’s drive to the title: Pine View Panthers

Pine View wins the Region 9 championship, Cedar vs. Pine View, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Pine-view-smThe Pine View Panthers are 20-2 and currently ranked No. 1 in the state by the Salt Lake media.

First round: Defeated North Sanpete 69-46

Quarterfinal match-up: PV vs. Uintah, 11:15 a.m. Thursday at the Maverik Center. Listen to the broadcast on SportsRadio 106.1 FM and at http://sportsradio1061.com.

Points for/against: PV averaged 57.8 ppg/48.8 papg

Garrett Bowker (23) and Panther Head Coach Darrell Larsen, Cedar vs. Pine View, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Garrett Bowker (23) and Panther Head Coach Darrell Larsen, Cedar vs. Pine View, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

PV stars: Kody Wilstead averages 14.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg and also blocks more than three shots per contest. Garrett Bowker is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 ppg, but was suspended due to rules violations against North Sanpete. Bowker is second in 3A in 3-pointers made. Chaz Peterson and Cody Ruesch both score about eight points a game with Peterson dishing out four assists a game as well, but word out of Pine View camp is that Ruesch injured his ankle and may be unavailable for the tournament.

Streak/trend: The Panthers haven’t lost since Jan. 9, although they had a stretch of close games late in region play, with four straight games coming down to the final moments or overtime. PV is region champ because it won all four of those close ones.

uintahScouting the Utes: Uintah (averaging 57.8 ppg and 54.2 papg) is 13-10 and took Juan Diego to overtime before falling in the regular-season finale. The Utes beat Tooele 65-50 in the 3A first round. Uintah is 1-1 vs. Region 9 this season, beating Hurricane, but losing to Canyon View. Jordan Cushing is the Utes leading scorer at 12.4 per game, but two of his teammates, Hayden Bunderson and Max Mansfield, both average in double-figures as well. Cushing is the top 3-point shooter with 33 this season. The team has 71 (PV has made 105).

Perusing the bracket: If Pine View gets past Uintah, the Richfield Wildcats are the likely up next. Richfield has upped its game since going 3-4 against Region 9 teams in the preseason. The Wildcats haven’t lost in more than a month and beat Cedar by 17 in the first round. The semifinal for the upper bracket teams is scheduled for 5:50 p.m. Friday. The 3A Championship game is 1 p.m. Saturday.

Bottom line: Pine View will be favored in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals (and perhaps the championship), so anything less than a run to the title game will be surprising. However, the Panthers have had to deal with some personnel issues with Bowker’s suspension. Word is that he will play in the quarterfinals, but that could change.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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

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