Wilstead, Panthers hammer Richfield, head to Saturday’s title game

WEST VALLEY CITY – Pine View center Kody Wilstead didn’t get to play much in Thursday’s quarterfinal, so the senior was determined to make up for it Friday night.

Pine-view-smrichfield-sm“You could see it in his eyes at shoot-around earlier today,” Panthers coach Darrell Larsen said. “We kind of thought he was going to have a big night.”

Wilstead had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and played like a man among boys as Pine View beat Richfield 56-42 Friday night to earn a trip to the 3A Championship.

Kody Wilstead glides the hoop for a dunk late in the contest, Pine View vs. Richfield, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Kody Wilstead glides to the hoop for a dunk late in the contest, Pine View vs. Richfield, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“I felt really bad that I let my team down,” Wilstead said about Thursday’s contest. “I only played 13 minutes and I really wanted to make a difference in today’s game. It feels really good right now.”

The Panthers broke open a close game with a 10-2 run in the second quarter. Leading 18-16 with 2:40 to go in the first half, Wilstead started the run with a post move for two. Garrett Bowker followed with a jumper. After a Ryder Rippstein bucket for the Wildcats, Steve Bangerter converted a three-point play and Bowker followed with his first 3-pointer of the game, making it 28-18 with 44 seconds left in the half.

Everyone in the building expected Richfield to make a run behind star Brandon Willardson. And though Willardson played pretty well, the run would never come.

In fact, Pine View would stretch the lead out in the third quarter. Behind a motivated Wilstead, the Panthers started the second half by pushing the lead to 38-21. Wilstead had two three-point plays during the stretch.

“We just knew we had to play hard,” Larsen said. “Our defense has gotten us this far and it did it again. Willardson is a great player and he played well. We just tried to limit him.”

Willardson finished with 24 points and 5 rebounds, but got little help from his teammates. No other Richfield player scored more than five points.

Wilstead did get help, with Chaz Peterson scoring right and dishing out six assists. Bowker and Bangerter scored seven each.

PV outscored Richfield 12-5 in the second quarter and 14-9 in the third quarter. The Wildcats never got the deficit smaller than 12 points in the second half.

Pine View, 22-2, will play Dixie in Saturday’s 3A State Championship game at 1 p.m. here at the Maverik Center. The two teams split two games this season, each coming down to a last-second shot. Pine View missed the game-winner early in the season, but Bowker swished the game-winner in February.

Stats: pvrich22715

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

 

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