ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills and Pine View both won Thursday night to set up huge clash on Tuesday night to determine who will emerge from the first half of region play at the top of the standings.
The Lady Thunder were expected to be here as they were picked by region coaches as the preseason favorite. Not expected to be here were the Lady Panthers. After losing several players to graduation, Pine View received the fewest points in the exact same preseason poll. Hurricane also won Thursday to pull even with Cedar and remain one game behind the two frontrunners. Below are summaries of Thursday night’s games:
Desert Hills 56, Snow Canyon 42
In the first quarter, Snow Canyon had the Lady Thunder’s number. They were breaking the press with ease and playing good defense at the other end. The Lady Warriors’ two floor leaders, Lindsy McConnell and Jasmine Lealao, put up 12 first-quarter points. First it was McConnell. After going one for two at the line for the first point of the game, the senior post got two great feeds from Tylei Jensen and put in two quick buckets. Lealao followed with a 3-pointer and a jumper in the lane.
“Lindsy (McConnell) is getting better and better,” said Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden. “She has always been good at defense, rebounding and the intangibles,. But this year her shooting has improved. She is an offensive threat.”
At the other end, Desert Hills was getting one shot at the most – none of which fell. Coach Ron Denos had to go to his bench to find the player to break the drought. Megan Wiscombe’s basket at the 3:30 mark got Desert Hills on the board. Morgan Myers followed that with a steal and a layup to get the score to 10-4. Snow Canyon ended the period with another basket from McConnell and a free throw from Jensen.
“We played so passive in the first quarter,” said Denos. “We can’t have quarters where we only score one or two baskets. Tonight we were not aggressive at the defensive end and we were walking the ball up on offense. That is not our game.”
In the second, Desert Hills’ press began to pay dividends. Myers and Elly Williams each had a basket and hit one of two free throws to open the quarter and pull the Thunder to within three, 13-10. After two free throws from Jensen pushed the lead back to five, the Thunder’s Ashley Beckstrand reentered the game.
Beckstrand was scoreless in the first period, but atoned for that in the final three minutes of the second quarter. She scored nine of Desert Hills’ last 11 points of the half. Her 3-pointer with 45 seconds left gave the Thunder its first lead, 19-17. After McConnell tied the score at the other end, Beckstrand drove the lane from the right side and laid the ball in for the last points of the half and a 21-19 Desert Hills lead.
In the second half, the pressure continued to hurt Snow Canyon. Whether the Thunder applied full-court or half-court pressure, the Lady Warriors turned the ball over several times.
“(Morgan) Myers has such length,” said Roden. “We are smaller and not as experienced. Unfortunately, you can’t rush experience.”
The Lady Warriors stayed within striking distance, however. It was not till the final minute of the third that Desert Hills expanded the lead to double digits. Beckstrand’s driving layup put the Thunder lead at 40-29. Natalie Gunn’s trey with 10 seconds left in the third ended the scoring for the quarter and brought the lead back to single digits, 40-32.
In the fourth, the Warriors began to apply pressure. Though it produced few turnovers, it did effectively slow down the Thunder’s break. They were able to keep pace with Desert Hills through the first four minutes. With 3:20 on the clock, Olivia Harris chopped the lead to 47-40 with a basket. Shortly thereafter, Lealao fouled out for Snow Canyon.
“Jasmine (Lealao) is vital to what we do both offensively and defensively in the backcourt,” said Roden. “When she has been in foul trouble this season is when we have struggled without her on the floor.”
Desert Hills ended the game on a 9-2 run with seven of those points coming from Beckstrand.
Beckstrand led all players with 28 points. She was joined in double figures by Williams (12) and Myers (11). For Snow Canyon, McConnell led the way with 17 points. Lealao scored seven. Allie Parr and Harris had four apiece.
With the win, Desert Hills slides into a first-place tie with Pine View. The Lady Thunder are 3-1 in region play and 11-3 overall. They will play Pine View at home Tuesday night to determine who will emerge from the first half of region play in first place. Snow Canyon falls to 1-3 in region play and 8-7 overall. The Warriors will travel to Hurricane on Tuesday night.
Pine View 49, Dixie 43
The Lady Flyers found themselves in front at halftime behind a hot-shooting second quarter, 23-20. Pine View was able to create turnovers in the third quarter, though, and entered the fourth quarter with a seven-point advantage, 35-28. They held the lead the entire fourth quarter to pull out the win and move into a first-place tie with Desert Hills in Region 9 standings.
“This was a tough loss,” said Dixie head coach Jaime Araiza. “We had a decent first half, but by the end of the game our turnovers hurt us.” Dixie committed 25 turnovers to only 14 by the Lady Panthers.
Dixie outshot Pine View from both the floor and the line and outrebounded the Panthers 29-22. But ultimately the turnovers cost Dixie the game. Individually for Pine View, Saraven Allen led the team with 16 points. Claire Newby scored 12 and led the team with five rebounds. Dawn Mead and Maycee Hayes scored eight and five points, respectively.
“Saraven Allen had a monster game for us,” said Pine View head coach Chris Brinagh. “Dawn Mead played a great game as well. Overall, great team win with overall great effort. Our region is tough and it just gets tougher as the season progresses. Hats off to Dixie. They played scrappy tonight.”
For Dixie, Kelsea Barker led the way with 15 points and three assists. Ilah Wallace scored 12 and led the team with eight rebounds. Joslyn Bundy scored six. Sina Schwalger and Grace Killian scored four apiece.
Pine View moves to 3-1 and a first-place tie with Desert Hills. Overall Pine View is 6-5. The Lady Panthers travel to Desert Hills Tuesday night. Dixie falls to 1-3 in Region 9 and 5-8 overall. The Lady Flyers will travel to Cedar on Tuesday night.
Hurricane 49, Cedar 43
Hurricane rebounded from its loss Tuesday night to clip Cedar at home. After taking a slim 22-20 lead into the locker room at the half, the Lady Tigers got more separation in the third. Going into the fourth quarter, their lead had grown to 38-31. The Lady Reds won the fourth quarter, but could not make up the deficit and lost their second game in a row.
“This was a team win,” said Hurricane head coach Franci Homer. “The girls played well together at both ends of the floor.”
Hurricane was led by Madi Hirschi with 11 points. Alexa Christensen had eight points. Tylee Brisk scored six. Kylee Stevens led the team with four assists. Jayden Langford led the team with six rebounds. Stevens and Langford shared the team lead with three steals apiece.
For Cedar, Carly Davis led the team with 11 points. Courtnie Lamb and Japrix Weaver scored six apiece.
Hurricane improves to 2-2 in region play and 9-6 overall. The Lady Tigers will host Snow Canyon on Tuesday night. Cedar falls to 2-2 in region and 11-4 overall. The Lady Reds will host Dixie on Tuesday night.
REGION 9 STANDINGS
Desert Hills 3-1 (11-3)
Pine View 3-1 (6-5)
Cedar 2-2 (11-4)
Hurricane 2-2 (9-6)
Snow Canyon 1-3 (8-7)
Dixie 1-3 (5-8)
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