HURRICANE – All Pine View coach Darrell Larsen wanted from his team for his birthday was a win. His wish was granted Friday as the Panthers gutted out a physical, and sometimes ugly, 53-39 victory over Hurricane.
“We’re going to take them any way we can,” Larsen said. “The kids came out and played really hard. It was the best birthday present ever because I haven’t had this kind of birthday present for a long time.”
The Panthers gift to their coach was both useful and cost-efficient. The much-needed victory gives Pine View momentum as it gears up for the second go-round of a tough region schedule, where victories are a necessity from here on out if the Panthers want a shot at playing in the postseason. And the best part — it didn’t cost the team a single penny. All it had to do was give blood, sweat and tears for 32 minutes.
Dallin Milne spearheaded the Panthers attack and kept Hurricane on its heels throughout the game, pushing the tempo at every opportunity. Milne finished with a game-high 12 points to go with six assists and three steals.
“It was definitely an ugly game,” Milne said. “But we win ugly and that’s fine. We’ll take the win. It was a win that we needed for sure. Our goal is to make the playoffs this season.”
But desperate for its own win, Hurricane refused to go down without a fight. The Tigers hung close and didn’t trail by double-digits until the fourth quarter. Garet Cahoon scored 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds as the home team fought to stay in the game. However, Pine View had an answer for each Tigers run and used stingy defense to grind out the win.
Other than Cahoon, the Tigers shot an ice-cold 27 percent from the field and their leading scorer, Cody Lebaron, struggled to find a rhythm from behind the arc. Lebaron finished with just three points, all in the fourth quarter.
“Coach Shaw got after us to play better defense,” Pine View guard Chaz Petersen said. “It all starts with defense and that will transition to offense. We did a lot better with that (in the second half).”
Offensively, Petersen was a shot in the arm for the Panthers in the first half with the game tight and scoring taking place at a slower pace. His nine points ultimately proved to be a big difference in a game where Pine View won by 14 points.
Pine View has now won two of out its last three games after losing four straight contests. The Panthers improve to 3-4 in the region and prepare to host Snow Canyon on Wednesday in a grudge match of the barnburner just a few weeks ago.
Hurricane has now lost 13 consecutive games and falls to 0-8 in region play. The Tigers travel to Desert Hills on Wednesday.
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