Girls basketball preview: Cedar the team to beat in Region 9

File photo by Robert Hoppie

ST. GEORGE – The Region 9 basketball season is taking off this week. The girls teams in the region are welcoming back much of last year’s talent. A poll was conducted by the region’s coaches as to predicted order of finish and to who the impact players would be in Region 9 this year. Cedar was picked to repeat as region champions by four of the six teams. Snow Canyon finished second in the balloting. Below are the results of the coaches’ picks:

1. Cedar 33 (4)
2. Snow Canyon 29 (2)
3. Desert Hills 23
4. Pine View 21
5. Hurricane 13
6. Dixie 7

In the ballots for players, coaches were asked to select five players in any order not on their team. Three girls were listed on each of the opposing coaches ballots. Below are the results of the player ballots:

1. Ashley Beckstrand, Desert Hills (5)
2. Courtney Morley, Cedar (5)
3. Madison Mooring, Snow Canyon (5)
4. Tayvia Ah Quin, Pine View (3)
5. Shana Foley, Cedar (3)

Others receiving votes: Claire Newby (Pine View) (2), Ellie Williams (Desert Hills) (2), Dream Weaver (Cedar), Morgan Myers (Cedar), Nikenna Durante (Snow Canyon). McKenzie Done from Desert Hills also received two votes but has decided not to play this year.

Below is a small preseason capsule for each team.

cedar-logoCedar Lady Reds
Coach: John Elison
2014-15 record: 19-4 overall; 12-0 in region (1st)
Postseason result: Lost to Morgan in quarterfinals, 50-43
Returning players: Courtney Morley, Shana Foley, Morgan Myers, Prescilla Ziegler, Jessica Whetman.
New impact players: Carly Davis, Dream Weaver, Maisie Elison
Outlook: Cedar dominated region last year, finishing unscathed. The Lady Reds return a powerful nucleus from that squad and add more talent. It is hard to pick against them to win the region this year with so much depth and experience.

snow-canyon-logoSnow Canyon Warriors
Coach: Dan Roden
2014-15 record: 10-13 overall; 7-5 in region (3rd)
Postseason result: Lost to Juab in first round, 59-32
Returning players: Madison Mooring, Nikenna Durante, Natalie Coulam, Shaylee Reed
New impact players: Lindsy McConnell, Sedale Sanden, Jaime Brown, Sydnie Hoskins, Sydney Bott
Outlook: Coach Roden has a senior-laden (8) and experienced roster. Snow Canyon’s strength is its backcourt. Mooring and Durante can both get to the basket. After a rough start last season, the Warriors finished strong, winning eight of their last 11 games.

desert-hills-logoDesert Hills Thunder
Coach: Ron Denos
2014-15 record: 15-8 overall; 8-4 in region (2nd)
Postseason result: Lost to Juan Diego in quarterfinals, 73-58
Returning players: Ashley Beckstrand, Rylee Jensen, Kylie Williams
Other impact players: Ellie Williams
Outlook: Two years removed from a state championship and a year removed from a tumultuous season that saw a coaching change midyear, the Thunder rebounded and won eight of their last nine heading into last year’s playoffs. Three-year starter Beckstrand returns, but Desert Hills will not have McKenzie Done back. Done is graduating early and is moving on. Coach Denos prioritizes defense and the Thunder get the ball up and down the floor quickly. The Thunder have several juniors on the team with good varsity experience.

pine-view-logoPine View Panthers
Coach: Chris Brinagh
2014-15 record: 10-9 overall; 6-6 in region (4th)
Postseason result: Lost to Carbon in first round, 50-48
Returning players: Tayvia Ah Quin, Claire Newby, Natasha Fiame, Sarrah Pierce, Stafanie Gleave, Brooklynn Kauvaka
New impact players: Breana Moeai
Outlook: The Panthers were picked in the top half on three of the ballots. They return vast amount of experience and depth. Four out of five starters return, including Ah Quin, who recently signed with Dixie State. Newby impressed many last year as a freshman. The Panthers are fundamentally sound and play disciplined. They will be strong inside with four players above 5-foot-10.

hurricane-logoHurricane Tigers
Coach: Franci Homer
2014-15 record: 3-18 overall; 1-11 in region (7th)
Postseason result: None
Returning players: Morgan Huntsman, Carrie Marshall, Taylor Anderson, Jayden Langford
New impact players: Lexy Lyons, Kylie Stevens, Holland Steglich
Outlook: The Tigers went through some growing pains last year and are maybe one or two years away, even still. This year’s team has four seniors and one junior. A talented sophomore class will get a bulk of the minutes.

dixie-logoDixie Flyers
Coach: Jaime Araiza
2014-15 record: 11-10 overall; 3-9 in region (6th)
Postseason result: None
Returning players: Taylor Whitson, Kelsie Barker, Grace Killian
New impact players: Jessie Webb, Lexie Paxton, Kiesha Jones
Outlook: Dixie lost Alexis Estridge and Aubrey Challis to graduation. Coach Araiza believes this year’s team will have more balanced scoring. The Flyers plan to go 9-10 players deep and utilize a full-court press on defense and and up-tempo full-court offense.

GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL MASTER SCHEDULE

***All times are 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

November 24-Water Canyon @ Hurricane, Beaver @ Dixie

December 1-Hurricane @ Beaver, Cedar @ Canyon View

December 2-Pine View @ Kanab

December 4-Centennial @ Cedar (5:00), Hurricane @ North Sanpete, Springville @ Pine View, Salem Hills @ Desert Hills

December 5-Springville @ Cedar (4:00), Hurricane @ Manti (5:00), Dixie @ Canyon View (5:00)

December 8-Canyon View @ Hurricane, Cedar @ Enterprise, Snow Canyon @ Virgin Valley

December 10-Canyon View @ Snow Canyon, Enterprise @ Pine View (PVMS)

December 11-Juab @ Hurricane, Richfield @ Pine View, Green Valley @ Dixie (DMS-5:15)

December 12-Wasatch @ Dixie (DMS-9:00), Richfield @ Hurricane (3:00), Spring Valley @ Dixie (DMS-5:00)

December 15-Hurricane @ Enterprise, Canyon View @ Cedar, Bryce Valley @ Pine View

December 17-Snow Canyon @ Richfield, Desert Hills @ Pine View (PVMS)

December 18-Cedar v. Delta (Richfield-4:00), Hurricane v. South Sevier (Richfield-5:30), Cyprus v. Pine View (Grantsville-6:15), Dixie v. Foothill (Virgin Valley), Desert Hills v Stansbury (Tooele), Snow Canyon v. Tooele (Richfield)

December 19-Hurricane v. Delta (Richfield-10:30), Grantsville v. Pine View (Grantsville-10:30), Cedar v. Juan Diego (Richfield-1:30), Stansbury v. Pine View (Stansbury-3:00), Snow Canyon v. Stansbury, Snow Canyon v. Ben Lomond, Dixie v. TBD (Virgin Valley), Desert Hills v. Tooele (Tooele)

December 22-Dixie @ Richfield

December 28-Hurricane v. South Summit (Cedar-1:00), Cedar v. North Sanpete (Cedar), Snow Canyon v. Juab (Cedar), Woods Cross v. Pine View (Cedar)

December 29-Hurricane v. Tooele (Cedar-8:00AM), Cedar v. Panguitch (Cedar-5:00), Snow Canyon v. Woods Cross (Cedar), North Sanpete v. Pine View (Cedar), Dixie v. North Sevier (Enterprise)

December 30-Hurricane v. Stansbury (Canyon View-2:00), Cedar v. Woods Cross (Cedar-3:30), Snow Canyon v. North Sanpete (Cedar), Pine View v. Canyon View (Cedar), Dixie v. TBD (Enterprise)

January 5-Enterprise @ Snow Canyon

January 7-Cedar @ Richfield

January 8-Desert Hills @ Arbor View (Las Vegas)

January 12-Desert Hills @ Hurricane, Cedar @ Snow Canyon, Dixie @ Pine View

January 14-Hurricane @ Dixie, Cedar @ Desert Hills, Snow Canyon @ Pine View

January 19-Snow Canyon @ Hurricane, Pine View @ Cedar, Desert Hills @ Dixie

January 21-Hurricane @ Cedar, Dixie @ Snow Canyon, Desert Hills @ Pine View

January 26-Hurricane @ Pine View, Cedar @ Dixie, Snow Canyon @ Desert Hills

January 28-Hurricane @ Desert Hills, Snow Canyon @ Cedar, Pine View @ Dixie

February 2-Dixie @ Hurricane, Desert Hills @ Cedar, Pine View @ Snow Canyon

February 4-Hurricane @ Snow Canyon, Cedar @ Pine View, Dixie @ Desert Hills

February 9-Cedar @ Hurricane, Snow Canyon @ Dixie, Pine View @ Desert Hills

February 11-Pine View @ Hurricane, Dixie @ Cedar, Desert Hills @ Snow Canyon

February 19-INTER REGION

February 25-27-STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

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