CEDAR CITY – Canyon View’s full-court press led to frustration from Cedar and a 49-40 win for the Falcons Friday night at Cedar High School.
The game was tied at halftime, but within the first four minutes of the second half, the Falcons were up by 11. Cedar clawed back to get within five points, but Canyon View’s stellar defense and slow-paced offense kept the lead for the win.
“I just told them (at halftime), ‘We’re hovering. We’re not playing terrible, but we haven’t turned it up to the level we should,'” Potter said. “I just said ,’We need that energy back that we play with.’ We have to play with (intensity) because we are so small. I thought they brought that up in the third quarter.
CV guard Brantzen Blackner struggled offensively, but helped his team with steals, blocks and assists.
“It’s a big game — the whole town comes,” Blackner said. “We wanted to bring a lot of energy and just play our best. I try to translate defense into offense, help me get some steals, help me get some easy buckets in transition. I struggled on the offensive end and couldn’t buy a bucket. You gotta help your team win other ways, so I was just trying to live on the glass, get some rebounds, anything to bring some energy to help my team.”
Cedar cut it to five points with 4:47 to play in the game, but Canyon View kept drawing fouls and was able to make enough free throws to keep the game out of reach.
“I thought our defense was still pretty effective (in the fourth),” Potter said. “My concern was free throws. They’ve kind of plagued us in other games this year. Cord (Johnson) looked at me and said, ‘Coach, I want the ball. Let me shoot free throws.’ I think they all kind of took that attitude, and when they needed to, they made them.”
Canyon View had nine players score, led by Johnson and Xavier Stoker with 13 each.
“It’s a satisfying win, because we’re coming off a few tough losses,” Stoker said. “It’s nice to bounce back and get that momentum back going our way as we’re getting into region play. Coach just told me to get on the boards and we worked on it yesterday in practice. That’s what my goal and skill is for this team — get rebounds, kick it out, put it back up or pass it to guys that can shoot.”
Cedar’s Keenan Nielson led all scorers with 14, and Potter wanted to focus on keeping the ball out of his hands.
“You have to play to your strengths and try to play against your team’s weaknesses,” Potter said. “We just don’t want Keenan to touch it and be the ball handler, and I think that’s a compliment to him; he’s a great player. Outside of him, I think they are still developing as ball handlers. We tried to take advantage of that because our lack of size and our speed and athleticism.”
Cedar next plays in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic Dec. 28-30. Canyon View plays at Delta Tuesday before playing in the SHCC also.
“We have some really good games scheduled in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, so we needed to get a nice win to get ready for Skyline and Spanish Fork,” Potter said. “Ultimately, we’re preparing for Region 12. We love these wins. I’ll love to get another notch, I’m only 1-7 going into this game, so I’ll take it, because they don’t come very often.”
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