ST. GEORGE — With seven seniors back from last season’s state second-place team, the last thing the rest of the region wanted to see was the Desert Hills Thunder get any more help.
But more help is exactly what they got in the form of a pair of sharp underclassmen. One of those, freshman Ashley Beckstrand, hit four 3-pointers and had 16 points in helping DH blow past Cedar 57-42 Tuesday night in the Thunderdome.
“We love the fact that these younger players are stepping up and helping us get the job done,” said senior center Haley Bodnar, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. “They fit in our system so well and they are fun to watch. Hey, whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Despite the senior-heavy team, Beckstrand said she feels welcome as part of the team.
“The other girls have been great,” said Beckstrand, who attends Desert Hills Middle School. “I know a lot of teams don’t let freshmen play on the varsity, but they have welcomed me. I appreciate that. I feel comfortable playing with them.”
The balanced scoring has been impressive. Desert Hills has had five different leading scorers in six games, all victories, including Bodnar (16 in game one), sophomore Kenzie Done (18 in game two), Blair Bliss (13 in game three), Karlee Myers (15 in game four), Bliss again (16 in game five) and Beckstrand’s 16 in game six.
“I haven’t felt any jealousy or anything like that,” coach Chris Allred said. “The girls realize that a couple of younger players can help us get to our goal of winning a state championship. Besides, in region play, it’s all hands on deck.”
Allred said he was very happy with the defensive intensity in the first half. DH allowed just 11 points in the first 16 minutes and held a 28-6 lead late in the first half. But things got a little lax in the second half.
“I was very disappointed with our defense after halftime,” Allred said. “We got that big lead and then were just kind of going through the motions.”
Twice in the second half Cedar pulled to within 15, but never got closer than the final margin. The biggest lead of the game came after a 7-0 D-Hills run that made it 53-30 early in the fourth quarter.
Bliss continued her solid play with 10 points. She is averaging 11.3 a game, second only to Bodnar’s 12.3.
“It was a little strange playing a region game so early in the season,” Bodnar said. “It still felt a little like the preseason. But Cedar’s a good team and this is a very good region that we play in.”
The 6-0 and top-ranked Thunder head up north for a pair of games this weekend. Desert Hills plays at Timpview Friday night and at maple Mountain Saturday at 4 p.m.
Cedar, 2-3, was led by Javlyn Weaver’s 12 points and Courtney Morley’s 11. The Lady Reds have a home game vs. Uintah Thursday night.
Snow Canyon 53, Canyon View 43
“Amazing” Grace Walton had 18 points and 12 rebounds to help Snow Canyon to its fifth straight win to start the season.
It was a close game until the fourth quarter, with the Lady Warriors clinging to a 33-29 lead going into the final stanza. But Walton hit a 3-pointer to start a 6-0 run that pushed the lead to 10 in the blink of an eye. Lauren Smith also had a bucket in the run as SC was up 39-29.
The two teams played even the rest of the way, with Snow Canyon going up by as much as 13 at 47-34 and the Lady Falcons twice closing to within seven.
Sophomore Natalie Coulam added 14 for Snow Canyon, which takes a three-game road trip this week with Juan Diego Thursday, Maple Mountain Friday and Spanish Fork Saturday.
Canyon View 0-4 and 0-1, got 18 points from Jessica Platt and 11 from Jaycee Slack. CV plays at home vs. Uintah Saturday night.
STATS: SCHS 54, CVHS 43
Enterprise 50, Pine View 42
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