ST. GEORGE — Three weeks is a long time to chew on a bad piece of meat.
“It was good to win the game on the defensive end this time,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “We did lose on the defensive end (against Desert Hills) when Quincy Mathews hit the big shot against us. So this was big.”
It was exactly three weeks ago that Mathews buried that jumper as time expired to hand the Flyers their first region loss. With no region games since then, Dixie has had to sit and stew about the home region loss, but this time the D made the play at the end.
The Panthers had led most of the fourth quarter, but Tyler Bennett hit a crucial bucket with under a minute left to cut it to 43-42. After a Pine View turnover, Jake Hawes drove in the lane and buried a bank shot to give Dixie its first lead since the third quarter at 44-43.
After an exchange of possessions and a missed Dixie free throw, Pine View set up a final play with six seconds to go. Clearly the plan was to get a shot for either Chaz Peterson or Kody Wilstead. But Dixie jumped the passing lanes and reserve guard Carter Milne was forced to throw up a runner with a second left that was no good. A tip try by Wilstead was well off the mark and the game ended on a loose ball.
“It was all heart,” Hawes said. “Sometimes your shots aren’t going to fall, but hustle never going to not fall. You’ve always got to hustle.”
It was a game that was destined for a close finish or overtime. Dixie led by eight in the first quarter, it was tied at halftime and Pine View led by five early in the fourth. In the end, it came down to a final possession or two.
“We played really good defense and hustled really hard,” Bennett said. “We were prepared for the situation if we didn’t shoot good. Coach just told us we gotta win on defense.”
The Panthers made a living in the paint, scoring two-third of their points there. Dixie, meanwhile, countered with the long ball and the mid-range game.
Bennett was the beneficiary of that style, pouring in 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting. He also made 5 of 8 free throws, while Hawes had 13 points (with two 3-pointers) and RJ Wilgar added 12.
“We can’t just rely on the 3-point shot,” Cuff said. “For us to go to the foul line more, to set or defenses, is a huge key for us.”
The win is huge for Dixie in many ways. The Flyers made up for that home loss to Desert Hills, plus pulled themselves into a tie with Pine View for second place heading into their first region bye this Friday. Plus, Dixie was able to hand the No. 1-ranked Panthers their first loss of the season after an 11-0 start.
Dixie started strong with Wilgar hitting both his treys in the first five minutes of the contest to stake the Flyers to a 12-4 lead. Pine View cut it to 15-14 early in the second quarter after a 10-3 run as Garrett Bowker had a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the stretch.
It stayed tight into the locker room as Bennett’s two free throws made it 25-25 heading into intermission. Wilstead and Cody Ruesch sent PV on a 6-0 late in the third and in the first seconds of the fourth to give the Panthers a 37-32 lead.
The Flyers climbed back by forcing turnovers (Pine View had 16 in the game) and with the trio of stars (Bennett, Wilgar and Hawes) all making shots. Hawes hit a trey with under two minutes to go that cut a 40-36 lead down to 40-39.
For the Flyers, the next region action will be next Wednesday as play at Cedar. Dixie will face the Bishop Gorman JV Saturday. Dixie is 9-3 overall and 2-1 in region.
Pine View, 11-1 and 2-1, was led Wilstead’s 12 points and 10 from Garrett Bowker. The Panthers shot just seven free throws in the game, making five. Pine View was 18 for 42 from the floor (43 percent), while Dixie was 13 of 44 (30 percent). Dixie hit 14 of 21 free throws and turned the ball over just five times in the game.
Snow Canyon 69, Hurricane 53
Jake Frei and Kade Potter combined for 40 points as the Warriors put the game away in the fourth quarter.
But that’s when the Warriors got hot. Frei started a run with a pair of free throws and ended it with a shot in the lane as Snow Canyon scored 14 of the next 16 points to turn the game into a blowout at 64-50. Potter had a trey and Justin Loveless scored twice in the run.
Frei’s big night included 12 rebounds and Potter added boards. Loveless chipped in 12 points and 8 rebounds as well. All 18 of Potter’s points came from beyond the arc on six made treys. Buy Hurricane won the 3-point shooting contest, canning nine to SC’s eight.
The Warriors, 6-5 overall and 2-1 in region, owned the glass, out-rebounding the Tigers 37-25. SC was 13 of 19 from the line.
Hurricane, 3-10 overall and 0-3 in region, got 18 points and 6 assists from Langston and James Bennion chipped in 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Snow Canyon hosts Cedar Friday night while Hurricane will play the second of four straight home games against Canyon View Friday.
Stats: SC 69, HHS 53
Cedar 57, Canyon View 44
Kyle Wood was phenomenal with 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Redmen overcame a slow start to the game to win easily.
The Falcons opened the contest with three straight baskets in the first 90 seconds. The 6-0 lead, on tallies by Ty Nielson (twice) and Keaton Kringlen made it 6-0, but Cedar answered with 11 straight points, beginning with a layup by Jace Wilkerson.
It was 11-6 to start the second quarter when CV’s Brantzen Blackner hit a 3-pointer. The 11-9 game was about as good as it would get for the Falcons. Cedar would outscore the Falcons 17-5 the rest of the half and take a 14-point lead into intermission.
Wilkerson finished with 10 points for Cedar, which improved to 6-4 overall and 1-1 in region. Josh Boyer added 9 points and 5 assists.
For Canyon View, Sterling Barnes had 9 points and 5 rebounds, though the Falcons fell to 6-5 overall and 0-2 in region play.
Cedar travels to Snow Canyon Friday while Canyon View is at Hurricane.
Stats: Cedar 57, Canyon View 44
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