ST. GEORGE – This Dixie High defense is starting to turn some heads. In fact, defense was the theme of the night around Region 9.
The Flyers held the region’s top-scoring team without a point for more than seven minutes of the fourth quarter in a come-from-behind win at Canyon View. And that’s after recording games of 27 and 32 points allowed in the past couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, Hurricane’s defense was spectacular in the first half against Pine View, though the Tigers had to hold on tight in a closer-than-expected win at The Pit.
And Snow Canyon played excellent defense in the last 20 seconds of the game to escape Cedar with a two-point win over the Redmen. Here’s a look at Friday’s action:
Dixie 49, Canyon View 44
The Falcons led most of the game and held a 39-36 edge after a basket by Mason Lyman with 7:30 left in the contest. For the next 7:10, the Flyers put on a clinic on how to play defense, going on a 9-0 run and barely allowing Canyon View a peek at the basket.
“We were behind, but we were just trying to stay calm and focus on our defense,” said Dixie swingman Tanner Cuff. “We knew we had to get stops to win this game and we all bought into that. We just talked and worked together and we got those stops.”
Brody Henderson started the run with a coast-to-coast drive that culminated in a twisting layup and a foul. His three-point play tied the game at 39-39. After forcing a turnover, Dixie took a 41-39 lead on a fast-break layup by Carson Bottema with six minutes left.
Once again, Canyon View tried to work the offense. But with Jace Bennett hounding Brantzen Blackner and the rest of the Dixie defense clamping down, the Falcons came away empty-handed again. Dixie then worked the offense for more than a minute before Bottema forced his way inside and scored to make it 43-39 with 4:35 to go.
After an exchange of turnovers, including a charging foul called on Blackner, Dixie pushed the lead to 45-39 with 1:15 left in the game on yet another hoop by Bottema.
Blackner finally broke free with a basket on the interior with 20 seconds left to make it 45-41, but Bottema and Cuff combined to go 4 for 4 from the line in the closing seconds to seal the road win for Dixie. Joey Lambeth hit a trey as time expired for the final margin.
“Man, they’re such a a great shooting team and we got behind early,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Canyon View hit some big shots early on. Our goal was to hold them to four 3s or less and that went out the window in the first four minutes. But our defense was so much better in the second half. We changed some things and we were able to keep guys in front of us and make them take some tough shots.”
The Falcons came out on fire to start the game. Canyon View led 8-0 after treys by Trevor Farrow and Toby Porter and a layup by Parker Holmes. A deep trey in the second quarter by Blackner gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the night at 20-11. But the Flyers fought back in the second quarter, starting with a 3-pointer by Henderson and five quick points by Bottema that made it a 22-19 game with 4:15 to go in the first half.
It was 28-25 at intermission, and Blackner’s trey early in the third quarter pushed the CV lead out to 33-25 two minutes into the third quarter. A nice backdoor dish from Blackner to Potter made it 35-27 with five minutes left in the third.
But that’s when Dixie started to climb back in it. And it didn’t take long as the Flyers went on a 9-0 run spanning three minutes to take their first lead of the game. Bottema and Cuff hit shots inside to make it 35-31, then Bottema made a difficult catch on a full-court pass and laid it in to make it 35-33 with 2:45 left in the third. Bottema then nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to make give Dixie a 36-35 lead.
Holmes hit a pair of free throws for Canyon View to give the Falcons a 37-36 lead heading into the fourth. Lyman’s bucket inside made it 39-36 to start the fourth, but that would be the Falcons’ last basket for more than seven minutes.
“Credit to the kids, because in order to make a run like that, you have to have consecutive stops,” Coach Cuff said. “It’s just getting down, getting low, getting in a stance, and then getting in a position to get the rebound. And then the big momentum buster was the charges. We were able to take three charges. That really shifted the momentum.”
Bottema led all scorers with 21 points. He made a pair of 3-pointers, plus went 5 for 7 from the line. Dixie, now 8-0 in region play and 16-3 overall, outscored Canyon View 24-16 in the second half. Payton Wilgar added nine for Dixie, with Henderson adding eight and Cuff seven.
The Falcons, now 5-4 in region and 10-11 overall, made four 3-pointers in the first quarter, including one each by Blackner, Lambeth, Potter and Farrow. Blackner finished with three treys and 11 points. Lambeth, who had 22 on Wednesday, ended up with nine points and Holmes chipped in eight.
Dixie has a two-game lead on Desert Hills and a three-game lead on Hurricane with four games remaining for most teams. The Flyers play host to Hurricane next Wednesday night.
Canyon View, which had its five-game winning streak snapped with the loss, will travel to Snow Canyon Wednesday night to take on a Warriors team that has won two out of the last three.
Hurricane 50, Pine View 45
Hurricane raced out to a 27-12 halftime lead and held a 12-point edge early in the fourth quarter. And then things got dicey.
“I tip my cap to Pine View,” Tigers coach Todd Langston said. “They played well in the fourth quarter and fought back with everything they had. Fortunately, we had some guys hit a couple of big shots late in the game. But Pine View hung in there and battled and they were very determined.”
Down 44-32 with just over five minutes to play, the Panthers started to rally. Hunter Moore hit a trey to make it 44-35 and an offensive foul on the Tigers gave the ball right back to Pine View. Moore made them pay again with another deep ball to make it 44-38 and Jack O’Donnell turned a Hurricane turnover into a 44-40 game with a driving layup with 4:35 to play.
After an exchange of turnovers and a Hurricane miss, O’Donnell converted on the fast break to make it a 44-42 game with the clocking ticking down under three minutes.
Perhaps the biggest shot of the night and maybe the game saver came just seconds later. Hurricane sophomore Brice Thomas drained a 3-pointer from the angle left with 2:19 left on the clock to halt the 10-0 Pine View run and make it 47-42.
“That was a big shot for us,” Langston said. “He stepped up and hit the 3 when we really, really needed it.”
An O’Donnell bucket in the last minute of the game pulled Pine View within 49-46. Hurricane turned the ball over and the Panthers had a pair of treys in the final 20 seconds that would have tied it, but the deep balls by O’Donnell and Tayler Tobler wouldn’t go down.
Britton Esplin made one free throw with three seconds left to seal the win for Hurricane, which improved to 11-7 overall and 5-3 in region play.
“We survived,” Langston said. “It wasn’t pretty, but anytime you can get a road win in Region 9, it’s a big deal.”
Jackson Last had a quiet 18 points to lead the Tigers. The senior guard, who leads the state of Utah in scoring at 26 points a game, also had eight rebounds and four steals, despite battling foul troubles all game long. The trio of TJ Minor, Russell Neild and Matt Meyers had six points each for Hurricane, which was playing without injured Reagan Marshall. The trio also combined to snatch 17 rebounds, while Adam Heyrend had six assists.
O’Donnell led Pine View with 19 points, four boards and three steals. Moore had eight points and Gavin Bateman added seven. The Panthers fall to 6-12 overall and 2-7 in region play with the loss. Pine View made just 4 of 26 3-pointers.
Hurricane is at first-place Dixie Wednesday, while Pine View travels to Desert Hills.
Snow Canyon 51, Cedar 49
“They started pressing and we had some errant passes and we were also jacking up some quick shots,” Snow Canyon coach Jamison Sorenson said. “Tonight was a night where we got up big, then we found a way to blow it, but we still found a way to win. We’re growing and learning, slowly, but surely.”
Against the Redmen, Snow Canyon had the game in its hip pocket with a 38-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Game over, right? Um, not exactly.
Cedar came storming back behind the outside shooting of Ethan Boettcher and some timely baskets from freshman Dallin Grant.
Boettcher, who had been held scoreless in the first half, made three 3s after that and the Redmen forced five turnovers in the fourth quarter to turn the blowout into a highly competitive game. When Grant rebounded his own miss and put it back in the hole with 58 seconds left, the Redmen had their first lead since early in the game at 49-48.
Kade Guerisoli came up big just a few seconds later. The Snow Canyon junior got a pass in the lane from Bryson Childs and banked in the go-ahead basket in heavy traffic. He was fouled on the play and his free throw gave the Warriors a 51-49 lead with 34.3 seconds left.
“Kade Guerisoli came up big again off the bench,” Sorenson said. “You take one look at Kade and he doesn’t look like much. But he’s as fast as can be and he has the highest vertical on the team. He might be 5-foot-9, but he plays like he’s 6-3. You can barely get a word out of him, but he works his tail off and he’s fearless.”
Cedar still had a chance to tie or win. A near turnover prompted a timeout with 20 seconds left. The Redmen then worked to get Boettcher a shot, but the senior shooter couldn’t get open. He had to give up the rock and a desperation trey at the buzzer by Grant was well off the mark.
“Our goal was to have a chance to go to the postseason and that is still alive,” Sorenson said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have a chance. This win was crucial if wanted to have any chance at the postseason. We had to have it.”
Austin Staheli had his best game of the season. The senior point guard had 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also made all four of his free throws as the Warriors hit 17 of 24 as a team (70.3 percent).
“We didn’t do anything but shoot free throws and run in practice on Thursday,” Sorenson said.
Braden Baker added 13 points and Brooks Sampson had nine for SC, which improved to 7-12 overall and 3-6 in region play.
Cedar was led by Grant’s 11 points and Boettcher’s nine. Jesse Clark added eight for the Redmen, who dropped to 8-12 overall and 1-8 in region games.
The Warriors are at home for Canyon View Wednesday night, while Cedar has a bye Wednesday and plays its next game Friday at Pine View.
Dixie 49, Canyon View 44
Hurricane 50, Pine View 45
Snow Canyon 51, Cedar 49
Region 9 Standings
Dixie 8-0, 16-3
Desert Hills 6-2, 13-5
Hurricane 5-3, 11-7
Canyon View 5-4, 10-11
Snow Canyon 3-6, 7-12
Pine View 2-7, 6-12
Cedar 1-8, 8-12
Next Wednesday’s games
Canyon View at Snow Canyon
Hurricane at Dixie
Pine View at Desert Hills
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