TWIR9: Days are numbered as teams make run for playoffs

COMMENTARY — Two weeks? Two weeks really?

It’s true, that’s the time remaining in the regular season for Region 9 basketball. That means four games left for some teams, three for others. It is, by all accounts, crunch time.

r9hoopsOn the boys side, Pine View is the only team that has clinched a playoff spot outright, though Snow Canyon has clinched, at the very worst, a play-in game and Hurricane, unfortunately, is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Here are the best/worst case scenarios for the boys teams heading into the home stretch:

Pine View (Current record: 8-1; Best record possible: 11-1; Worst record possible: 8-4) — The Panthers have just three games left with two of them on the road. Pine View plays at Canyon View Wednesday and at Cedar on Friday. PV’s last game is next Wednesday at home vs. Desert Hills. Likely record: 10-2. Interesting fact: The Panthers also had a bye in the last region game of the year in football and went on tot he state championship game. Reserve/crowd favorite: Malachi Otis.

Snow Canyon (Current record: 6-2; Best record possible: 10-2; Worst record possible: 6-6) — The Warriors have a pretty favorable schedule with two home games (Dixie Wednesday night and Desert Hills on the season’s final night (Feb. 14), plus road games at last-place Hurricane this Friday and a big one at Cedar next Wednesday (Feb. 12). Likely record: 9-3. Interesting fact: Snow Canyon had never scored as many points as its did vs. Canyon View in Friday night’s 89-75 win. SC’s previous high was Dec. 7, 2001, an 84-49 win over Moapa Valley — Nick Hammer had 20 in that game and the Warriors won state later that season. Reserve/crowd favorite: Kade Potter

Cedar (Current record: 5-3; Best record possible: 9-3; Worst record possible: 5-7) — Cedar has some tough games left, but are home for the PV and SC. The Redmen start with a roadie at Hurricane Wednesday night, then get Pine View at home Friday. Snow Canyon visits Cedar next Wednesday, then the Redmen finish the regular season on the road at Dixie. Those two home games could give CHS a chance at the league title or send them to fourth place. Likely record: 8-4. Interesting fact: Five of Cedar’s eight region games have been decided by five points or less. It seems the Redmen play up (or down) to their competition. Reserve/crowd favorite: Ben Brown.

Desert Hills (Current record: 5-4; Best record possible: 8-4; Worst record possible: 5-7) — That double-overtime game at Cedar was a gritty effort, but still a big loss for DH, which has a tough finish in region. The Thunder are off Wednesday night and then play at home against Canyon View Friday night. That’s the good news. The brutal last week has DH at Pine View next Wednesday and Feb. 14’s region finale is at Snow Canyon. It will take a surprising road win to avoid a 6-6 region season. Likely record: 6-6. Interesting fact: DH didn’t have its first home game this season until Jan. 8 and the Thunder are just 3-2 at home in the Thunderdome. Reserve/crowd favorite: Sam Messinger.

Dixie (Current record: 3-6; Best record possible: 6-6; Worst record possible: 3-9) — The Flyers quick start in region is a distant memory, but a quick finish could still get them a playoff spot. Dixie has to win out and it won’t be easy. The Flyers have a road game at Snow Canyon Wednesday night and a bye Friday night. Next week, Dixie closes the year with a road game at Canyon View Feb. 12 and the region finale at home against Cedar. Likely record: 4-8. Interesting fact: It had been two years since Dixie beat Snow Canyon before DHS’s 59-57 victory a couple of weeks ago. Reserve/crowd favorite: Raheim Page.

Canyon View: (Current record: 2-6; Best record possible: 6-6; Worst record possible: 2-10) — Believe it or not, the Falcons are still alive. But like the Flyers, they cannot lose again. CV starts with a home game against league-leader Pine View Wednesday night. They gave the Panthers a pretty good game in St. George last month. CV is at Desert Hills Friday night and finishes the last week of the season with a home game vs. Dixie Feb. 12 and a roadie at Hurricane to end the regular season. Likely record: 3-9. Interesting fact: The Falcons average nearly 53 points a game, but have no individual scoring 10 points a game. Koy Huxford is the closest at 9.7 ppg. Reserve/crowd favorite: Derek Dunnell.

Hurricane (Current record: 1-8; Best record possible: 4-8; Worst record possible: 1-11) — The Tigers are playing for pride and possibly as spoilers. Hurricane has three games left, all at home. And the Tigers are hanging in with just about everyone. Hurricane hosts Cedar Wednesday, then SC visits the windy valley Friday night. After a bye Feb. 12, the Tigers close the season out with a home game vs. Canyon View. Likely record: 2-10. Interesting fact: Hurricane actually has eight seniors on the roster and most of them play. Reserve/crowd favorite: Mitchell Vaifanua.

Boys Region 9 Standings
Pine View   8-1   16-2
Snow Canyon   6-2   11-6
Cedar   5-3   10-7
Desert Hills   5-4   10-8
Dixie   3-6   10-8
Canyon View   2-6   5-13
Hurricane   1-8   5-14

This week’s games

Cedar at Hurricane
Dixie at Snow Canyon
Pine View at Canyon View

Canyon View at Desert Hills
Pine View at Cedar
Snow Canyon at Hurricane

Girls Basketball

Of course, the girls face the same timeline as the boys, with just two weeks left and counting. The girls teams play on Tuesday and Thursdays, so tonight’s action will decide lot of things.

girls basketballOne thing we know for sure, Desert Hills, with its 12-game winning streak and undefeated region record is on the cusp of clinching a region championship. The dominant Lady Thunder play at last place and winless Pine View tonight and will clinch at least a tie for the region crown with a win. If Hurricane beats Snow Canyon tonight, then the Thunder are outright champs. The Lady Tigers and Warriors battle in a key game that will determine which team will get a first-round playoff game at home.

The Lady Warriors (6-2) had a little hiccup in region play, a loss to fifth-place Dixie, after losing starter Grace Walton to injury. But SC has put it together since then and has won two straight. Meanwhile, Hurricane (6-3) was rolling along with four straight region wins until it hit the buzz saw that is Desert Hills. SC does have the advantage of a 10-points (48-38) victory over the Tigers three weeks ago and they Warriors are at home, but expect a great game tonight.

Meanwhile, Canyon View, Dixie and Cedar are in a dogfight for that fourth and final playoff spot. All three teams have three region wins, though CV hasn’t had a bye yet and has just five losses. The other two teams have six losses. Only one of the three teams will get into the playoffs. The Falcons play at Dixie tonight. Cedar has a bye.

Girls Region 9 Standings
Desert Hills   9-0   18-1
Snow Canyon   6-2   10-6
Hurricane   6-3   11-7
Canyon View   3-5   8-9
Dixie   3-6   8-9
Cedar   3-6   9-10
Pine View   0-8   0-15

This week’s games

Canyon View at Dixie
Desert Hills at Pine View
Hurricane at Snow Canyon

Hurricane at Canyon View
Pine View at Dixie
Snow Canyon at Cedar

A couple of scheduling notes: The 3A wrestling Divisional Tournament is this Friday and Saturday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. The state 3A Wrestling Tournament is Feb. 14-15 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City … Wednesday is Signing Day for college football. So far, local press conferences we’re aware of are at Dixie High (7:45 a.m.) and Pine View (11:15 a.m.). We will update if we learn of more.


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