Tigers, Warriors win big as Walker Classic concludes

Desert Hills vs. Maple Mountain, Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic, St. George, UT, Dec. 16, 2017 | Photo by Andy Griffin, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The lights were a little brighter and the court a little longer as 13 teams got to experience the thrill of playing on an NCAA basketball court the last three days in the Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic at Dixie State’s Burns Arena.

Late Coach Darin Walker is the inspiration for this weekend’s basketball tournament.

“It was an awesome tournament and it was managed well by Dixie State,” said Pine View coach Ryan Eves, who was the official host of the tourney. “The Walkers do way more for us than we could ever do for them, but it was nice to honor Coach Walker and his family. There were some good teams here and the games were pretty competitive.”

Darin Walker was a longtime assistant coach in baseball and basketball at Pine View and was a big supporter of local sports for underprivileged youth.

In all, 18 varsity games were contested with all but one of those played at Burns Arena, which measures 94-feet long (compared to a regulation high school court that is 84-feet long). There were also 18 junior varsity games, 18 sophomore games and six freshman games.

There were 13 teams at the Walker Classic, with 6A Fremont emerging as the only team to win three games over the three days, The Silver Wolves (7-2) defeated Alta on Thursday, beat Maple Mountain on Friday and then edged Pine View on Saturday.

Region 9 teams Dixie and Snow Canyon won both games they played in at the Classic, while Manti, Logan, Hurricane, and Green Canyon all went 2-1 over the three days.

Alta, Roy and Maple Mountain won one of their three games, while Desert Hills went 0-2 and Pine View and Uintah dropped all three of their games.

Here’s a recap of Saturday’s action as well as the final Walker Classic results and standings.

Snow Canyon 49, Uintah 24

The Warriors captured their third straight victory heading into next week’s region opener vs. Pine View by stifling the Utes offense. Uintah managed just eight points in the first half and 14 in the first three quarters as SC built a 24-point lead and then emptied the bench.

“The guys are slowly, but surely coming together,” Snow Canyon coach Jamison Sorenson said. “When we take care of the ball and defend we feel like we can play with anybody.”

Joey Robertson continues to dominate in the low post for the Warriors. The 6-foot-7 center had 15 points and five rebounds – and even hit a 3-pointer in the game. Braden Baker had nine points and four boards and Bryson Childs had eight and six.

“Joey (Robertson) is a force to be reckoned with in the post,” Sorenson said.

Robertson has scored 154 points in 10 games this season averaging 15.4 per contest. He hit the game winner against Richfield and Manti with a post basket in the closing seconds. Those two wins, along with the blowout of Uintah, have the Warriors on a win streak and have helped them move their record to 4-6 on the season.

From here on out, Snow Canyon plays nothing but region games, beginning with a home contest next Wednesday against Pine View. The Warriors have lost seven in a row to the Panthers, dating back to December of 2013. After Wednesday’s game, Snow Canyon is off until Jan. 5.

Hurricane 61, Roy 43

The third day on the road, playing on a longer court than usual, seemed to have taken it out on the 5A Royals as they wilted under the Tigers’ defensive pressure in this one. Roy managed just 16 points in the first half and finished a dismal 12 for 47 from the floor in the game, 26 percent.

Meanwhile, Jackson Last continues to play transcendent basketball. The senior guard scored 29 points with five rebounds and three assists in the game, bumping his season average up 23.2 points per game, third in 4A behind Brantzen Blackner of Canyon View (23.8) and Bridger Noles of Spanish Fork (23.3).

Roy’s only lead of the game came at 2-0 when Ben McBride scored inside in the first minute. But Last’s onslaught began shortly after that. He nailed a 3-pointer and then buried three straight free throws to quickly make it 6-2. An Adam Heyrend layup and a Last jumper pushed it to 10-2.

Late in the first period, Caleb Koski’s 3-pointer pulled the Royals to within 10-7, but Last matched it on the other end just before the buzzer to make it 13-7.

Roy pulled to within 19-15 midway through the second quarter, but Last and Russell Neild led a charge that put the game heavily in Hurricane’s favor as the Tigers closed out the half on a 9-1 run.

Last’s third trey of the game midway through the third quarter made 39-20 and the rout was on from there.

The Tigers moved to 2-3 on the young season with the Royals having an identical 2-3 record. Hurricane plays at Canyon View next Wednesday in the two schools’ region opener, then the Tigers participate in the Tri-State Holiday Classic in Las Vegas Dec. 27-29.

Fremont 61, Pine View 59

With the 3s falling all night, the Panthers needed just one more to fall. It didn’t.

Hunter Moore hit a high-arching baseline 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer and Panthers coach Ryan Eves was hoping Moore could do it again at the end of the game.

“It looked good when it first left his hands,” Eves said. “We didn’t have much time to work with. But as it went through the air, I could see that it was going to be just short.”

The Panthers trailed by as many as six in the third quarter, with 6A Fremont using its size advantage and sharp shooting to claim the edge. But Moore’s trey at the buzzer to end the third made it 47-44 and baskets by Dallin Brown and Michael Moten to start the fourth had the game tied at 48-48.

Roy led 58-55 with a minute to go when Tayler Tobler drove the lane and got a bank shot to rattle home. A pair of free throws by the Silver Wolves made it 60-57, but Brown cut it to one at 60-59 on a driving layup with 11 seconds to go.

Pine View vs. Fremont, Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic, St. George, UT, Dec. 16, 2017 | Photo by Andy Griffin, St. George News

A quick foul put Cade Hadley at the line and the senior guard made 1 of 2 with 6.7 seconds left to make it 61-59. After a timeout, Pine View inbounded to Moore, who had a contested look from the corner, right in front of the Panthers bench. The trey try hit the front rim and caromed off, leaving Pine View with its fifth straight loss.

“I’m happy with our effort tonight,” Eves said. “We competed hard tonight and we played some really good teams in the tournament. I thought we got better every game and even though we lost, I think the boys are playing with more confidence.”

Jack O’Donnell had 17 points and was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc for Pine View. Tayler Tobler had 16 points and two treys as the Panthers made 10 of 20 from deep.

“One guy that gets overlooked on our team is Connor Brooksby,” Eves said. “He competes and gives his all on both ends of the court on every possession. He had two big 3-pointers to jump start our offense tonight.”

The Panthers, 4-5, are at Snow Canyon next Wednesday for the region opener for the two squads. Pine View then takes the holidays off and will resume region play Jan. 5 at home against Dixie.

Maple Mountain 75, Desert Hills 61

Injuries have become a major factor for the young Thunder. Star guard Tucker Peterson is out with a broken wrist and sixth man Alex Sampson missed the game with a sprained ankle. Early in the game, Taylor Cox went down hard, hitting his head on the court and suffering a concussion.

Things went from bad to worse for Desert Hills when starting center Ryan Marz picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter.

The Golden Eagles jumped on the Thunder at that point, pushing a slight edge into a 36-30 halftime advantage. But for D-Hills, the wheels came off in the third quarter.

Desert Hills vs. Maple Mountain, Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic, St. George, UT, Dec. 16, 2017 | Photo by Andy Griffin, St. George News

Nathaniel Hales starting raining down treys and guard Marcus Krommonhoek started to take it to the hole and the Thunder had no answer for the dynamic duo. The two combined for 32 points (and seven 3-pointers) as the Maple Mountain extended the lead to 59-43 in the third. Braxton Tanner added a couple of buckets in the run and finished with 12.

Both teams substituted liberally in the fourth quarter as the lead ballooned all the way to 22 points before DH made a mini-run late in the game for respectability.

Tyler Webber finished with a team-high 12 for Desert Hills, while Ryan Marz added 11. Josh Wilkins came in and scored the first points of his high school career, notching nine points on 4 for 4 shooting.

Maple Mountain shot well in the game, making 26 of 48 shots (54 percent) and burying 8 of 12 3-pointers. D-Hills was 21 for 43 overall (48 percent) and 9 for 20 from deep.

After opening the season with four wins, the Thunder have lost two straight. DH goes to Cedar next Wednesday in the region opener for the two teams. The Thunder will then participate in the Utah Autism Holiday Classic in Northern Utah Dec. 27-29.

Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic Results (@ DSU’s Burns Arena)
THURSDAY
Snow Canyon 58, Manti 56
Hurricane 61, Uintah 37
Dixie 56, Maple Mountain 35
Green Canyon 71, Roy 64
Logan 57, Pine View 40 (@ PVHS)
Fremont 59, Alta 54

FRIDAY
Green Canyon 82, Uintah 51
Manti 58, Hurricane 44
Alta 48, Desert Hills 37
Roy 70, Pine View 63
Dixie 54, Logan 51
Fremont 72, Maple Mountain 50

SATURDAY
Manti 70, Green Canyon 62
Hurricane 61, Roy 43
Snow Canyon 49, Uintah 24
Logan 58, Alta 38
Fremont 61, Pine View 59
Maple Mountain 75, Desert Hills 61

Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic STGNews All-Tourney team
Nathaniel Hales, Fremont (MVP)
Jackson Last, Hurricane
Tanner Cuff, Dixie
Joey Robertson, Snow Canyon
Carter Berish, Green Canyon
Matt Nelson, Manti
Jared Bagley, Logan

Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic Records
Fremont 3-0
Dixie 2-0
Snow Canyon 2-0
Green Canyon 2-1
Hurricane 2-1
Logan 2-1
Manti 2-1
Alta 1-2
Maple Mt. 1-2
Roy 1-2
Desert Hills 0-2
Pine View 0-3
Uintah 0-3

Region 9 Preseason Records
Dixie  6-0
Desert Hills  4-2
Cedar  4-3
Pine View 4-5
Snow Canyon  4-6
Hurricane 2-3
Canyon View  2-6

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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