ST. GEORGE – The No. 1 ranked Desert Hills Thunder (1-0, 9-1) open the New Year with the No. 5 ranked Cedar Redmen (1-0, 8-2) at Desert Hills High School at 7 p.m. Both teams have been inside the 3A top five all season and this is a game that could be seen again in the State Championship.
The Thunder average a Region best 63.8 points per game, while the Redmen only give up a Region best 44.6 points per game. In a game that puts the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense it will be interesting to see which prevails. Many coaches say offense wins games, while defense wins championships.
The Desert Hills Thunder are led by UC Davis commit Tyler Ott. Ott is in the top 5 in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game. Ott is scoring 14.2 points per game, grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game and dishing out 2.9 assists per game.
However, the Thunder are not a one-man show. Guards Brandon Simister and Jaden Beckstrand are both averaging over 11 points per game.
Region 9-leading scorer Kyler Nielson, who is averaging 18.4 points per game, leads the Redmen. Forward Trent Snow pitches in 13.5 points per game as well.
The Redman get most of their points in the paint. The Redman have made the least amount of three-point baskets in the Region, and other the point guard John Urusa, the Redman don’t have any other guards averaging more than four points per game.
Two great matchups to watch tonight will be the Thunder’s Ott against the Redmen’s Nelson and the Thunder’s Simister against the Redman’s Urusa.
Ott and Nelson can do the job, yet get it done in different ways. Ott can score inside and out, off the dribble and get open without the ball. Nelson is more back to the basket and gets a lot of points off of offensive rebounds.
Simister is a pure point guard who won’t turn the ball over much, get his players open, run the team, and knock down the three-ball. Urusa is very fast and though he might turn the ball over more than other point guards his fast hands get him a lot of steals and the ball back. Urusa doesn’t have the shot that Simister has but can get to the basket easier than anyone in Region 9.
BLAKE’S TAKE – DESERT HILLS
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