COMMENTARY — Looking at the boys and girls basketball season as if it was a college term paper, I’d we’re at the first draft stage. The ideas are on paper and even developed somewhat, but we have a lot of refining and editing to do before it is ready to present to the state as a finished product.
With that in mind, here’s a look at each team and where they’re at (with a little Christmas theme as we approach that special holiday:
Pine View (10-0 overall, 2-0 in region) — The Panthers have had several close games and have been able to pull them all out, including a 56-55 win in the NGS Invitational championship game vs. Arizona power Tuba City. Nice: PV has plenty of scorers, so it’s nice that point guard Chaz Peterson, a potentially high scorer, has taken a pass-first mentality. Stocking stuffers: PV has 59 3-pointers (6 per game) and is 102-153 from the line this season (67 percent).
Desert Hills (7-3 overall, 2-0 in region) — The Thunder played four games in four days and got blown out on the fourth one by Viewmont last week. Excepting that game and the Centennial loss, DH has played very well. Nice: The road win at Dixie was very nice and is a key road win that the other contenders will have to try and match. Stocking stuffers; DH has 37 3-pointers (4 per game) and is 129-213 from the line this season (61 percent).
Dixie (6-3 overall, 1-1 in region) — More than half of the Flyers games (5 of 9) have been decided on the last possession or in overtime and Dixie already has two OT contests this season. The Flyers are competing every night out. Nice: Jake Hawes carried the scoring load early in the year, but Tyler Bennett and RJ Wilgar are really stepping it up and sophomore Richard Guymon is a diamond in the rough. Stocking stuffers: Dixie has 52 3-pointers (6 per game) and is 106-156 from the line this season (68 percent).
Snow Canyon (5-2 overall, 1-1 in region) — With basically a whole new cast of characters in 2014-15, Snow Canyon took a little while to figure out who it was. But things are coming together for Jacob Frei, Kade Potter and the rest of the Warriors. Nice: The emergence of Justin Loveless in the post is extremely nice for Snow Canyon as the Warriors truly need a post presence to compete in Region 9. Stocking stuffers: Snow Canyon has 33 3-pointers (5 per game) and is 111-154 from the line this season (72 percent).
Hurricane (2-6 overall, 0-2 in region) — Offense has been the biggest issue as the Tigers are only averaging 46.4 points a game and have only topped 60 once. Austen Beatty and James Bennion make a good inside-out tandem. Nice: Kaden Langston played a little before the break and should start looking like his old self soon in coming off the ankle injury. Stocking stuffers: Hurricane has hit 27 3-pointers (3 per game) and is 67-122 from the line this season (55 percent).
Cedar (2-4 overall, 0-1 in region) — Like Hurricane, the Redmen’s biggest problem has been finding points. The defense has been decent, with only one team topping 56 points, but the O has struggled. Nice: Kyle Wood is a legitimate scorer, averaging 15 a game, while three others are around 7 ppg, so the potential is there. Stocking stuffers: Cedar has made 19 3-pointers (3 per game) and is 81-126 from the line this season (64 percent).
Canyon View (2-4 overall, 0-1 in region) — Unlike Cedar and Hurricane, the Falcons problem is not offense, but defense. Five of six opponents have scored 59 points or more, a bad thing considering CV averages just 57 per game itself. Nice: Keaton Kringlen is having a nice season (15 ppg) and eight different Falcons have hit at least one 3-pointer this season. Stocking stuffers: Canyon View has hit 22 3-pointers (4 per game) and is 64-123 from the line this season (52 percent).
Pine View (6-1, 2-0) — What a difference a year makes as PV is playing good basketball and has won its two region games after going ohfer last year. Nice: There are a lot of tough games ahead for this young Panthers team, but balanced scoring makes them tough to stop. Stocking stuffers: Pine View has made 12 3-pointers (2 per game) and is 77-212 from the line (38 percent).
Cedar (5-2, 1-0) — This team plays some serious defense, holding four opponents under 40 points. Nice: Courtney Morley is tough to guard, but has six other teammates capable of lighting it up: Stocking stuffers: Cedar has made 19 3-pointers (3 per game) and is 68-127 from the line this season (54 percent).
Canyon View (2-5, 1-0) –– The Lady Falcons have been pretty consistently scoring about 45 a game, with Shontae Clark as a legit scorer. Nice: Clark is one of the top deep threats in the region with 24 treys. Stocking stuffers: Canyon View has made 33 3-pointers (5 per game) and is 80-135 from the line this season (59 percent).
Desert Hills (7-4, 1-1) –– The Thunder are on a hot streak, having won five straight since their two-point loss at Cedar. Nice: Ashley Beckstrand is leading 3A in scoring and Kenzie Done is top 10 in scoring, rebounds and assists. Stocking stuffers: D-Hills has made 48 3-pointers (4 per game) and is 132-214 from the line this season (62 percent).
Dixie (6-3, 1-1) — Seniors Aubri Challis and Alexa Estridge have been an impressive duo, averaging 30 ppg combined. Nice: Six seniors provide a wealth of experience for the Lady Flyers. Stocking stuffers: Dixie has made 11 3-pointers (1 per game).
Snow Canyon (2-8, 0-2) — The Warriors are still struggling to find themselves, but a couple of non-region wins in December should help. Nice: Nikenna Durante and Madi Morring can both hit from outside. Stocking stuffers: Snow Canyon has hit 18 3-pointers (2 per game) and is 126-215 from the line this season (59 percent).
Hurricane (1-7, 0-2) — The Tigera are struggling to slow other teams down, allowing 53 points a game overall and more than 60 in region games. Nice: London Steglich is averaging 12 points a game. Stocking stuffers: Hurricane has made 13 3-pointers (2 per game) and is 91-139 from the line this season (65 percent).
There are no prep game scheduled this week as the UHSAA has a moratorium on games and practices. Look for a holiday tourney schedule next week.
Merry Christmas prep sports fans!!!
“This Week in Region 9″ is a weekly column written by Andy Griffin exploring the happenings in Region 9 at all sports venues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. George News.
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