ST. GEORGE — Coach Wade Turley didn’t have any magic words for his Desert Hills team in the fourth quarter of a hotly contested game with Pine View. He just told them to fight.
And fight they did, to the very end, to pull out a 52-44 win over the Panthers Friday night in the Thunderdome.
Senior forward Quincy Mathews said his coach calmed the team down, then fired them up.
“Our mentality changed,” he said. “We saw that we were getting down and started taking better shots. Coach said to just keep fighting — we don’t want to lose this game.”
Pine View had just gone on a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter and erase a 38-32 deficit. When the dust had cleared with 3:24 minutes to play, Pine View had taken a 42-40 lead on a shot by Chaz Peterson and the Panthers had all the momentum.
But after the time out, Desert Hills dominated, outscoring the Panthers 12-2 the rest of the game. Logan Hokanson tied the score on a leap-and-leaner from the free throw line, then Mathews put DH ahead 44-42 on a pair of free throws.
The biggest play of the game came with 34 seconds left. Nursing that 44-42 lead, D-Hills played a game of keep-away with the Panthers in the forecourt. Just when it looked like Pine View was going to have to foul to extend the game, Tanner Turley found Marcus McKone wide open in the left corner. The senior guard didn’t hesitate, burying the dagger of a 3-pointer to put the Thunder up five.
“I realized when I faded to the corner that I was open,” McKone said. “I have the confidence to make those kind of shots and the coaches have confidence in me. As long as I didn’t think about it, I just went up and did it. I knew it would go in.”
Turley said his team could have held the ball a little longer and waited for the Panthers to foul, but under the circumstances, it was the perfect play.
“If it was anybody else I’d be yelling ‘Don’t shoot it,'” he said. “But when Marcus has his feet set, which he did there, he’s pretty deadly. That’s almost as good as a a free throw there. When he let it go, I felt that it was a great shot for him.”
Desert Hills led by as many as 10 in the first half (27-17), but had to settle for a 28-23 lead at the break as Carter Milne and Kody Wilstead hit last baskets for PV.
The Thunder and Panthers traded baskets in the third period, with Hokanson’s free throw making it 38-32 heading into the fourth. That’s when Wilstead, Peterson and Newby elevated PV to the lead with close buckets in the lane, setting up Turley’s momentum-changing time out.
For the game, the Thunder ruled the glass with a 41-31 advantage. D-Hills also got to the line much more, making 16 of 24 free throws to Pine View 4 of 7.
Mathews finished with 22 points and was 8 for 10 from the line. McKone had 10 points and was 3 for 4 from beyond the arc.
“We love beating Pine View,” Mathews said. “Kody WIlstead is one of my best friends and so is Jed (Newby) and Chaz (Peterson), so beating them and being so close to their school where I live, it’s just a lot better, too.”
The Thunder, 10-3 overall and 3-0 in region, shot just 32 percent in the game (16 of 50), but took care of the ball with just nine turnovers. DH sits atop the region as the only undefeated team, a game ahead of Dixie and Cedar. The Thunder have beaten both the Redmen and the Flyers. D-Hills hosts Snow Canyon Wednesday.
After winning 11 straight games, Pine View has now lost two straight. The Panthers are 11-2 and 2-2 in region. PV made 19 of 51 shots (37 percent), but hit just 2 of 10 3-pointers. Wilstead had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. Peterson had 11 points and Garrett Bowker had 10.
Pine View plays at Canyon View Wednesday night.
Canyon View 59, Hurricane 47
A huge second quarter lifted the Falcons to the win on the road Friday night.
Trailing 9-5 heading into the second stanza, the Falcons turned things around in a hurry. Sparked by a 3-pointer from Brantzen Blackner, Canyon View dominated the second by a 23-12 advantage and led 28-21 at intermission.
The lead stretched to 45-32 after three and the teams traded baskets in the fourth for the final.
Ty Nielson had 15 points to lead the Falcons, while Sterling Barnes chipped in 12 and Blackner had 10.
Hurricane got a nice line from Austen Beatty, who had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Reagan Hinton chipped in nine points.
The Falcons, 7-5 overall and 1-2 in region, host Pine View Wednesday night.
The Tigers, 3-11 and 0-4, have lost four straight. They host Cedar next Friday.
Stats: CV 59, Hurricane 47
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