ST. GEORGE – The Southern Nevada all-stars held off a furious rally from the region 9 all-stars to hold on to a 100-94 victory in the March Mayhem Boys All-Star Game Saturday night.
The first half began with both teams delivering punches. Midway through the half, the score tipped slightly with the Nevada boys who held a 22-21 advantage. The host region 9 team could not stay hot though, as Nevada went on a 32-13 run to close the half, leading 54-34.
Brannon Cresento from LV Foothills High School led all scorers in the first half with 16 points.
When asked at halftime about the predicament the Utah boys found themselves in, assistant coach Nate Staheli replied, “We got them right where we want them.”
The first four minutes of the second half saw a significant shift in momentum as the duo from Cedar delivered their inside-outside dominance they had shown to region 9 foes this past year. Kordan Nielson and Dustin Staggs triggered an 18-7 run to open the half. Trey Tanner also had four during the run.
Tanner could have cut the lead to seven points on a breakaway, but the Desert Hills center who finished second in the slam dunk contest, had this dunk blocked—by the rim. “I got some good-natured ribbing from my teammates on that one,” Tanner said.
At the 16:02 mark, the Utah squad had closed the score to 61-52. The boys from Nevada responded with a 20-13 run.
Again it was Cresento doing most of the damage, hitting three 3-pointers. Cresento, who led all scorers with 31 points, went nine for 12 from the arc. Cresento also won the pre-game 3-point contest, outshooting Nielson 15-14.
But Eddie Davis’s bucket with less than eight minutes to go put the Nevada squad up 81-65. The last eight minutes saw scrappy hustle full-court defense by the Utah boys and excellent outside shooting on both ends of the floor. The tandem of Nielson, Tanner Sampson and Jordan Hokanson for Utah began to dominate, scoring 20 points in a 27-17 run. Getting stops on the defensive end began to turn the game around as the region 9 talent took fire. Sampson missed a layup that would have cut the lead to four. Jayvion Brown was fouled and hit both free throws to extend the lead to 100-92. Justin Prisbrey from Enterprise High School finished the scoring with two points for the final tally of 100-94.
Cresento was named the MVP. Joining him in double figures for Nevada were Davis with 13, Brown with 12 and Mitch Fulfer with 11 points. Brown also won the slam-dunk contest with a perfect 50 score on his last dunk.
For the region 9 squad, Nielson led with 16 points. He was joined in double figures by Sampson and Prisbrey with 13 apiece, Tanner with 12 and Staggs with 10.
Region 9 All-Stars 61, Southern Utah All-Stars 38
The region 9 girls broke open a close game in the third quarter going on a 16-6 run. Dixie’s Liz Empey was named the game MVP with 14 points. She was joined in double figures by Pine View’s Sela Filo with 13 and Snow Canyon’s Grace Walton with 12.
The Southern Utah All-Stars were led by Enterprise’s Jaycee Reber and Delta’s Malori Howell with 10 apiece.
Empey also added more hardware taking home the 3-point contest trophy.
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