Leapfrog: Lady Thunder go from fourth to second with win over Snow Canyon; STGNews videocast

ST. GEORGE — It was a good night for the Desert Hills girls basketball team. Not only did the Lady Thunder beat Snow Canyon 62-54, but they also got a helping hand from Canyon View, which beat Pine View 59-52 in overtime. The sequence of events moves D-Hills from fourth to second in the region standings and gives the Lady Thunder the inside track for a home playoff game that goes with being the No. 2 seed.

Desert-Hills-smsnow-canyon-smA pair of sophomores, Ashley Beckstrand and Elly Williams, made a great Batman and Robin super-team for Desert Hills against the Lady Warriors. Beckstrand had 21 points and 8 assists and Williams had 17 points and 7 rebounds as the Thunder pulled away in the third quarter and survived a Madison Mooring-led Snow Canyon rally late in the game.

“I thought Ashley’s floor game tonight was tremendous,” DH coach Ron Denos said. “She got everybody involved. We played really well tonight as a team and it’s going to be tough for people to have to guard all of us.”

Thunder G Ashley Beckstrand (24) grabs the ball from Warrior G Madison Mooring (21), Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Thunder G Ashley Beckstrand (24) grabs the ball from Warrior G Madison Mooring (21), Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Beckstrand hit a basket in traffic just before the halftime buzzer to put the Thunder ahead 29-25 at the break. Desert Hills then opened the second half with a 9-3 spurt, with Williams scoring twice and Beckstrand hitting a 3-pointer, to push the lead to double-digits at 38-28. By the end of the third, the margin had grown to 46-33 and it looked like an easy win for the Thunder on Senior Night.

But Mooring, who had nine of her 21 points in the final period, led a charge that would bring Snow Canyon to within three at 52-49 with under two minutes to play. Williams answered the charge with a layup, followed by free throws from Beckstrand and Kenzie Done to push the lead back out to seven at 58-51 with under a minute left and that would take the wind out of the Warriors sails.

“We’ve been really focusing in on defense and practicing boxing out,” Beckstrand said.

Nikenna Durante drives the lane and puts up a layup for Snow Canyon, Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Nikenna Durante drives the lane and puts up a layup for Snow Canyon, Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Williams was very complimentary of her teammate and point guard Beckstrand.

“I just know always be ready, because just never know when she’s going to hit you with a pass,” Williams said. “We’re definitely learning to work together as a team and we’re getting a lot better.”

Done had 12 for Desert Hills, which has won three straight games since Denos took over as head coach. On the night, the 6-4 Thunder moved from a half-game behind both Snow Canyon and Pine View to a half-game ahead of the two teams, who are both 6-5 in region.

Against SC, Desert Hills was sharp at the line and made major ground in that category. The Thunder made 19 of 23 free throws (83 percent), while the Warriors were just 11 of 25 for 44 percent. DH also out-rebounded Snow Canyon 47-31.

Desert Hills, 12-7 overall, closes out the season with two games next week, Tuesday at fifth-place Canyon View and Thursday at seventh-place Hurricane.

Shaylee Reed was the second-leading scorer for SC, which fell to 9-12 overall. The Warriors close out the regular season with a home game Tuesday vs. Dixie.

Stats: scdhgirls2515

Cedar 67, Dixie 45

The region champs had an easy time of it at home Thursday night, blowing the game open with a 7-0 run at the end of the first half.

cedar-smdixie-smDixie hung close for a quarter and half of the second, but with a 25-20 lead, Cedar held the Flyers scoreless the final three minutes of the second quarter. McKenna Collins and Javlyn Weaver hit buckets and Jessica Whetman nailed a 3-pointer as the Lady Reds went into intermission ahead 32-20.

Cedar streaked again late in the third, turning a 39-26 lead into a runaway margin of 53-29 by quarter’s end. Morgan Myers was all over that run, with three rebounds, a couple of steals and nine points, including a three-point play.

She finished the game with 18 points and Courtney Morley was her usual consistent self with 16. Myers also had seven steals in the game.

Cedar, 16-3 overall and 10-0 in region, has already clinched the league crown and the top seed from Region 9. The Lady Reds will close out the regular season with two games next week, Tuesday at Hurricane and Thursday at home vs. Pine View.

Dixie, which got 15 from Alexa Estridge and 9 from Kaylee Hansen, dropped to 10-9 overall and 3-7 in region and will likely miss the playoffs. Dixie is at Snow Canyon Tuesday and home for Canyon View Thursday.

Stats: Cedar 67, Dixie 45

Canyon View 59, Pine View 52 (F/OT)

The Lady Falcons got hot in the extra period, scoring 17 points to just 10 for the visiting Panthers.

canyon-view-smPine-view-smShontae Clark was red-hot in the game, hitting five 3-pointers and lighting up the scoreboard for 29 points. She got a lot of those points off of Pine View turnovers and had seven steals of her own. Hailee Torres contributed with 11 points and 7 rebounds.

Canyon View, which trailed by five at halftime, outscored Pine View 38-26 after intermission. The Falcons, 6-14 overall and 4-6 in region, still have slim hope of making the playoffs. They’d have to sweep both games next week (Tuesday vs. Desert Hills and Thursday at Dixie) and hope Pine View and Snow Canyon both have bad weeks.

Tayvia Ah’Quin had 11 points and 6 rebounds for Pine View, while Natasha Fiame added 10 points and 8 boards. The Panthers fell to 10-7 and 6-5 with the loss. But PV is still in a position to make the playoffs with a win next Thursday at Cedar.

Stats: pvcvgirls2515

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Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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