ST. GEORGE — The Dixie Flyers escaped — barely — against Snow Canyon to remain atop Region 9, while Desert Hills was able to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss to beat Pine View. And in Hurricane, the Tigers fell victim to two buzzer-beaters from Cedar’s Keenan Nielson. All in all, it was an eventful night of boys basketball Friday. Here’s a look at the action:
Desert Hills 63, Pine View 50
Logan Hokanson scored from all over the court Wednesday, but Friday the Thunder guard needed just one spot on the floor to record most of his points — the free throw line.
“That’s a shame because we would have liked to have beaten them with their best players on the floor,” DH coach Wade Turley said. “He got called for his fourth foul and then he yelled something — I don’t know what — and the ref T’ed him up.”
Pine View led 37-36 at the time. The two technical free throws gave Desert Hills the lead with 32.9 seconds left in the third quarter. Thirty seconds later, Hokanson hit Jayce Jones under the basket for a buzzer beater to put the Thunder ahead 40-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
A 5-0 run to start the fourth gave the Thunder an 8-point lead and PV never led again.
“It was important for us to bounce back and get this win, especially against a rival like Pine View,” Jones said. “We weren’t very focused Wednesday. But tonight we came out with much more intensity, and that started with practice yesterday. We were focused.”
As for Hokanson, his shot was off from the floor, but the kid couldn’t miss from the charity stripe.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it,” Turley said. “It’s a good lesson. If your shots aren’t falling, get to the line. And then, my goodness, wow. He made them all. That’s pretty amazing. But he’s the kind of kid that puts the time in.”
Tyler Johnston and Kade Moore led a 10-0 run for Pine View in the third quarter that rallied the Panthers from 9 points down and into the lead. Pine View also ruled the boards during that stretch, a stat that improved for D-Hills in the fourth quarter.
“We expected it to be physical,” DH’s Marcus McKone said. “They’re one of the biggest teams in the region. Coach really talked to us a lot about it in practice, saying we’ve got to get a body into someone so we can win the rebounds. Rebounding is all about desire and who wants the ball the most.”
The Thunder outscored the Panthers 23-13 in the fourth quarter with Hokanson making six straight free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead. McKone added 10 points and Tanner Turley had 9.
For Pine View, Johnston was tops with 14 points. Steve Bangerter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The game was sloppy at times, with the teams combining for 39 turnovers and only 34 made baskets. PV ended up winning the rebounding battle 27-22.
The Thunder improve to 13-2 overall and 3-1 in region play and will hit the road twice next week with games Wednesday at Snow Canyon and Friday at Hurricane.
The Panthers fall to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in region and will play at Hurricane Wednesday before a home date with Dixie Friday night.
Dixie 68, Snow Canyon 63
The Flyers got a balanced effort, getting double-figure scoring from four different players, in the win at home Friday night.
Tyler Bennett led the way with 20 points in a game that was close throughout. The underdog Warriors, led by center Justin Loveless’s 26-point effort, led much of the first half.
It was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way, with Dixie holding a 3-5-point lead in the final quarter. Dixie made enough free throws in the closing minutes to ice the game and the win.
“Free throws were big for us,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Snow Canyon was well-prepared and definitely didn’t quit. We were fortunate enough to get to the line and hit them in the fourth quarter.”
Dixie was 12 of 16 from the line in the game. SC hit just 4 of 7.
Loveless, the 6-foot-6 center for the Warriors, made a couple of 3-pointers in the game and was money in the post.
“Loveless just kicked our tails tonight,” Cuff said. “He had a phenomenal game. I was worried about a letdown after the high of Wednesday’s win (over Desert Hills). But it was more that Snow Canyon came out on fire and they were ready to go.”
Along with Bennett’s 20 points, Dixie got good scoring from Malachi Otis (13 points), Richard Guymon (12) and James Eardley (10).
The Flyers, 14-3 overall and 4-0 in region, will hit the road for two games next week. Wednesday they’re at Cedar and then Friday at Pine View.
Snow Canyon, which got 8 points each from TJ Taimi and Kobe Tupu, slipped to 5-9 overall and 1-3 in region play. The Warriors will try and get back on the winning track next week with home games against Desert Hills and Cedar Wednesday and Friday.
Cedar 73, Hurricane 72
Keenan Nielson hit a leaner in the lane with just a few seconds left to complete an amazing comeback for the Redmen at the Tiger’s Den.
The junior guard, who made a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to pull Cedar within 3 points, finished the night with 31 points. Cedar overcame a slow start (down 35-24 at halftime) by outscoring the Tigers 49-37 in the second half.
Hurricane led by 8 with three minutes left in the game, but Nielson took over, scoring 11 of his team’s final 13 points as the Redmen closed the game on a 13-4 run.
The loss was a tough pill to swallow for the Tigers, who got 16 points each from Reagan Hinton and Riley Ballard. Kirt McDaniel and Jackson Last chipped in 11 each as Hurricane made 10 of 23 3-pointers in the game. Last had three of them and McDaniel and Ballard had two each.
Cedar shot the ball well, making 25 of 44 shots for 57 percent. The Redmen were 7-12 from deep. Mason Fakahua also played well, scoring 15 points and snagging 12 rebounds.
Cedar, 6-8 overall and 1-3 in region, hosts Dixie Wednesday and then travels to Snow Canyon Friday.
Hurricane, 8-9 and 1-3, hosts Pine View Wednesday and then has a home game against Desert Hills on Friday.
Stats: Cedar 73, Hurricane 72
Canyon View 61, Richfield 52
The Falcons blew the game open in the third quarter and grabbed sole possession of first place in Region 12 with the key road win.
Spencer Jensen and Brantzen Blackner added 7 points each as CV improved to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in region play. The Falcons have a big week next week, playing at North Sanpete Wednesday and then hosting Juab on Friday.
Matt Griffin led the Wildcats with 17 points as Richfield fell to 9-7 and 2-1.
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