3A Championship: Panther party as Pine View outlasts Dixie; STGNews videocast

WEST VALLEY CITY – As close as Region 9’s top three teams were this season, it’s a fitting ending that the final game of the year came down to the final possession of the year and one final rebound for Pine View star Kody Wilstead.

Pine-view-smdixie-smWilstead rebounded a missed free throw, hugged the basketball and froze as time expired. And with the expiration of the clock, the Pine View Panthers were on top of the 3A Basketball world.

“I’m just overcome with emotion for Coach Walk,” Wilstead said. “He was like a second father to me. We called him Papa Walk and he really was. This was for him.”

walker
Darrin Walker

Darin Walker was a long-time assistant for Pine View in baseball and basketball who passed away last year. The team dedicated the season to him, even hosting a preseason tournament in his name.

“Coach Walk told us when he went into the hospital that if we won a championship, he would walk out and meet us at the center circle after the game. And that’s what just happened,” Panthers coach Darrell Larsen said.

Pine View led virtually the entire game, but Dixie made a run late in the third quarter behind spectacular play from Tyler Bennett. With the 14-0 run, the Flyers turned a 35-22 deficit into a 36-35 lead with Bennett scoring 12 of the 14 points, including a three-point play less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Kody Wilstead secures a rebound to seal the win for the Panthers, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Kody Wilstead secures a rebound to seal the win for the Panthers, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The lead went back and forth in the final period, with Jake Hawes putting Dixie up 43-42 with 1:11 to play. Less than 15 seconds later, Wilstead powered through contact and scored, drawing a foul in the process. His free throw made it 45-43 with 56.5 seconds left.

The Flyers committed a turnover, but took advantage of a missed free throw by Wilstead to take one more shot at it, coming out of a timeout with 15 seconds to go. Bennett, who had 14 points in the game, tried a spin move at the top of the key, but Garrett Bowker picked his pocket and was fouled with 5.6 seconds to go.

The Pine View senior made the first free throw to put the score to 46-43. His second charity shot caromed to the right off the rim. Wilstead, who had 14 rebounds in the game, tipped the ball high, corralled the tip in the corner in front of the Panthers bench and the clock expired.

Jed Newby attempts a dunk over Richard Guymon, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Jed Newby attempts a dunk over Richard Guymon, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“I’ve been working on a new way to try and get rebounds,” Wilstead said. “I just try to push them forward so they’re under the basket so it bounces outside to me, and I was able to do that.”

Chaz Petersen was the star in the first half, providing a wealth of slashing moves in the lane that led to 16 points in the first 16 minutes. He also hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter. The second one gave Pine View its biggest lead of the game at 25-10 with 4:07 to go in the half.

“I just came out and was pretty aggressive like the coaches told me to,” Peterson said. “I felt like I could get into the key and beat my guy off the dribble and get my teammates involved.”

Dixie started the long climb back into the game with a 3-pointer by Izaic Blazzard and a trey at the halftime buzzer by Hawes, which made it 30-19 at intermission.

To no one’s surprise, the Flyers made their big push in the second half, erasing the double-digit deficit in about six minutes of play time.

Bennett was the main catalyst, but Richard Guymon and Blazzard both helped with the third-quarter run. Eventually, the Panthers got their offense restarted before it was too late, with Wilstead throwing down a two-handed slam early in the fourth. Peterson hit his only bucket of the second half following an RJ Wilgar trey for Dixie. Peterson’s basket tied the game at 39-39, setting up the exciting finish.

Tyler Bennett (5) with a big dunk in the second half of the contest, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Tyler Bennett (5) with a big dunk in the second half of the contest, Pine View vs. Dixie, 3A State Basketball Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“I’m all over the place right now,” PV senior Jed Newby said. “Words can’t even express how happy I feel. All the hard work paid off and I’m so happy for our team and our school.”

This is Pine View’s third basketball state championship, the last one coming in 2007, also against Dixie. Trey Ping led that team to a 45-38 win over the Flyers in Burns Arena.

Wilstead finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots and was named the game’s MVP.

Pine View, 23-2, has seven seniors on this championship team.

Dixie, 20-6, will see the return of Bennett, Guymon and Malachi Otis for next year.

Stats: dixpv22815

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Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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

 

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