ST. GEORGE – If Cedar’s win over Dixie was compared to Valentine’s chocolates, it would be an old Hershey’s Kiss. No one is going to pass up a 58-46 win, or chocolate for that matter, but it was no heart-shaped Whitman’s sampler by any stretch.
“Offensively we had lulls where we just stood and watched,” Cardon said. “Defensively we got beat off the dribble a little bit. We didn’t rebound particularly well, even though we had a height advantage. It was just a lot of little things that mounted up to big things.”
The Cedar-Dixie rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in Utah, and definitely the oldest in Region 9. After a first quarter of tight action, the teams were tied 8-8. Cedar started heating up early in the second with an 11-2 run, finishing out the first half with a nine-point lead. The second half brought many fouls and a slew of free throws for both teams, the difference being Dixie tallying only 53 percent of its free throws while Cedar scored 75 percent.
The Redmen spent most of the second half at the line, it seemed, shooting a total of 36 free throws in the game. Cedar made 27 of those, with Kordan Nielson hitting 12 all by himself. Dixie shot just 15 freebies, making 8.
The Flyers got within six at 50-44 with just over three minutes to play in the game on a jumper by junior Jake Hawes, but Dustin Staggs scored just a few seconds later to start a 6-0 Cedar run that salted the game away.
Dixie had two players in double-digits, combining for 27 points: Sam Guymon and Ryan Wilgar. Guymon, a senior, had 14 points, while the junior Wilgar had 13. Top scorers of the game were Redmen Nielson with 26 Staggs 16.
“We didn’t play with much energy,” Nielson said. “Solid enough on defense to get the win. I think we need to play with more intensity and feed the hot hand more.”
Cedar will head into next week’s first round of the playoffs on a high note with a win. Staggs said they are prepared for the playoffs and ready to play.
”We could have been more intense and everything but we came out with a victory,” he said. “That’s all that matters. It was definitely important. If we would have lost we probably would have come out a little stagnant at the playoffs, so this is just a good win.”
Despite the win, Cedar will enter the playoffs as the fourth seed from Region 9, though it is in a three-way tie for second place with Pine View and Desert Hills. The Redmen will travel to Grantsville to play the Cowboys, 18-3, most likely Saturday night. Cedar beat Grantsville in the preseason six weeks ago in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic at CHS 50-43.
Stats: CHS 58, DHS 46
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