ST. GEORGE – Revenge is sweet, but sometimes it comes with a price.
Desert Hills avenged its football semifinal loss to Spanish Fork with a 55-48 victory over the Dons on the hardwood. However, the Thunder lost team leader Ty Rutledge in the process of defeating the previously undefeated and No. 1 ranked team in 3A.
Rutledge, who already missed the first two games of the season due to an ankle injury suffered against Spanish Fork in football, had to leave the game in the second quarter after re-aggravating the injury.
“That was a big blow,” coach Wade Turley said. “It’s looking pretty sore. He may be out for another month. We won’t know for sure until we get it X-rayed on Monday.”
With the team in need of a lift after seeing its leader go down, junior Jordan Hokanson was there to save to the day for Desert Hills. Hokanson exploded for a season-high 23 points, more than doubling his season average, to provide a much-needed spark for the Thunder.
Josh Anderson added 12 points and seven rebounds as the Thunder ramped up the defensive intensity to hold the top-ranked Dons to their lowest scoring output of the season.
“We [had] the No. 1-ranked team in 3A in our Thunderdome,” Turley said. “The kids were pretty motivated to come out and prove themselves. There was lot of good energy in there tonight.”
Desert Hills out-rebounded the Dons 39-25. Spanish Fork, 7-1, made just 4 of 20 3-pointers in the game.
The Thunder, 5-2, make the crosstown trip to Dixie on Wednesday for another try at their first region win of season.
Pine View 63, Juab 53
Leading-scorer Dallin Milne bounced back from a quiet performance against Timpview with 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double and the Panthers got four points and 10 boards from sophomore center Kody Wilstead.
Pine View exploded for 24 points in the second quarter, with Bangerter finding the touch from deep to aid the Panthers’ cause. PV led 41-24 at intermission.
Up next, the Panthers, 5-2, host Hurricane to open their region season.
Dixie 54, Salem Hills 50
Dixie managed to outlast Salem Hills despite shooting only 60 percent from the free-throw line. The Flyers missed 11 freebies, but a strong defensive effort through the first three quarters set the stage for the victory.
Kyler Smith had a breakout game to lead Dixie with 19 points and Blake Barney added 11 points to propel the Flyers to victory.
Dixie (3-4) resumes region play on Wednesday at home against Desert Hills.
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