ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills started hot and stayed hot Thursday night, creating a real mess at the top of Region 9’s girls basketball standings.
The Lady Thunder opened the game on a 14-0 run against Snow Canyon en route to a 54-33 blasting in the Thunderdome. That forces a three-way tie for first as the Thunder, Warriors and Cedar’s Lady Reds all have two region losses with two games to go.
The quick start seemed to rip any fight out of the Warriors, who never did cut the deficit under 10 points. The closest SC would get is 20-8 in the second quarter and 46-33 with 3:07 left in the game. In the first instance, DH answered with an 8-0 run. In the second case, the Warriors wouldn’t score again as DH rattled off eight straight to close the game.
“I kept waiting for them to make a run,” DH coach Chris Allred said. “I was glad when they didn’t. To our girl’ credit, they came out and executed offensively and defensively. We did what we needed to to win.”
Haley Bodnar was incomparable, scoring at will in the low post, finishing with 21 points. She scored the first six points of the game and had 11 by the end of the first quarter. Bodnar sat most of the fourth quarter in the blowout.
“It took a hard su,” Bodnar said. “I had a crazy summer schedule. I actually played with GSB Nike Elite in Phoenix. We played against the top players and the top teams in the country. Me going against the best players in the country … it just really helped me get where I am. Also, my guards are really awesome at getting me the ball inside.”
Blair Bliss was also sharp, scoring 13 points and bottling up Snow Canyon star Amy Harris.
“(Harris) is a good shooter and we know that,” Bliss said. “I felt I had to play tighter on her because she can shoot the ball far and good. I just knew I had to keep her in front of me.”
The Lady Thunder are coming off a disappointing loss at Cedar and were especially fired up for this game.
“After that loss at Cedar the team came together and decided that feeling sucks of losing,” Bliss said. “It’s a lot more fun not having to play from behind, just coming out of the chute on top.”
Desert Hills is now 17-2 overall and 8-2 in region and has just two games in the next two weeks. The Lady Thunder play fifth-place Hurricane at home Tuesday, then last-place Pine View, also in the Thunderdome, Feb. 13.
Barring any shocking results in those two games, DH will be at least tied for first place.
Snow Canyon, 13-5 overall and 7-2 in region, got 10 from Harris and Grace Walton chipped in eight, including a pair of 3-pointers. Warriors posts Madie Gubler and Megan Leavitt were non-factors in the game.
It took Snow Canyon more than six minutes to score its first basket in the contest. Most possessions they Warriors weren’t even getting shots off as they suffered a rash of turnovers. By the time that first bucket, a baseline runner by Walton, went in, it was already 14-0. Bodnar hit two free throws with three seconds left in the quarter to make it 16-2 after one.
SC made a mini run in the third quarter, cutting a 36-14 lead to 38-22. But with Bodnar ruling the paint, Snow Canyon ran out of time and options.
The Warriors, who tallied their lowest point total of the season, finish the regular season with a game at Dixie Tuesday, a home match-up with Hurricane next Thursday, then a crucial outing at Cedar Feb. 13. SC had been riding a four-game winning streak.
The Lady Reds, who beat Hurricane tonight, finish at Pine View next Thursday and then have the Snow Canyon game Feb. 13..
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