Boys 3A State Tournament: Falcons go deep to defeat Pine View

CEDAR CITY – Brantzen Blackner never gets nervous.

The Canyon View sophomore showed just how cool he is by scoring 25 points and helping to lift his Falcons to a 60-56 victory over Pine View Thursday in the 3A State Quarterfinals at SUU’s Centrum Arena.

canyon-view-logopine-view-logoHe made three 3-pointers, hit 6 of 7 free throws and was clearly the best player on the floor on this day.

“Brantzen doesn’t get nervous, he just doesn’t,” Canyon View coach Rob Potter said. “I don’t know what it is about him. He just out there and gets the job done, and he’s especially cool for a young guy.”

Canyon View's Brantzen Blackner (30) and Pine View's Dylan Hendrickson (24), Pine View vs. Canyon View, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Boys Basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 25, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Canyon View’s Brantzen Blackner (30) and Pine View’s Dylan Hendrickson (24), Pine View vs. Canyon View, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Boys Basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 25, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Blackner, who averages about 12 points a game, was hot from the beginning, hitting a bucket in the first minute of the game. As it turns out, he was just getting warmed up. He hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Falcons erased a six-point Pine View lead to take a 32-30 advantage at the half.

“You know, you just treat every game like it’s the same thing,” Blackner said. “You just get out there and go to work, just like it’s another game.”

Kenneth Lambeth hit his only basket of the game at the halftime buzzer to lift the Falcons to the advantage.

The game stayed very tight through the third quarter, with Blackner and Job Huxford hitting treys for the Falcons and Brandon Yates and Kade Moore burying long bombs for the Panthers.

When Dylan Hendrickson nailed a triple from the baseline late in the third, the Panthers held a two-point advantage. But Blackner converted a 3-point play and Xavier Stoker scored on an open back-door cut and the Falcons had the lead back. Stoker was also a big factor on the offensive glass and he ended up with 11 points for CVHS.

Canyon View's Xavier Stoker (21), Pine View vs. Canyon View, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Boys Basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 25, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Canyon View’s Xavier Stoker (21), Pine View vs. Canyon View, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Boys Basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 25, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Coach always told me that rebounding was about who wanted it more,” Stoker said. “Yeah, their guys were bigger than me, but had the greater desire.”

Early in the fourth, Blackner and Stoker scored baskets to give Canyon View its biggest lead of the afternoon of six points. Pine View cut it down to two twice down the stretch, but could never quite get over the hump.

With the score 66-60 and under a minute to go, Moore hit his third 3-pointer of the game to pull Pine View to within 66-63. After a turnover by Canyon View, Pine View squandered the offensive opportunity, turning the ball back over.

The Falcons then nailed the free throws to clinch the contest, with Blackner and Cord Johnson hitting 6 of 7 in the final minute.

“This was about respect for us, even though we’re not in Region 9 anymore,” Potter said. “We wanted to show that we have a quality program and to do it against an old region rival makes it that much better. Pine View made us work to the very end, but we’re happy with the result.”

The Falcons, who also got nine points from Lorenzo Camba, advance to the state semifinals. Canyon View, 18-7, will play Juan Diego at 9:10 p.m. Friday with the winner advancing to the state championship game.

Pine View, 14-9, was led by Brandon Yates with 13 points and Moore added 12. Pine View falls to the consolation bracket and will face Region 9 rival Desert Hills at 2:30 p.m. at SUU.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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