ST. GEORGE – Region 9 girls basketball opened with an as-expected tight contest between Snow Canyon and Cedar and blowouts in the other two games. Here’s a closer look at Tuesday night’s action:
Snow Canyon 56, Cedar 53
Down by two, 52-50, with 57 seconds remaining, Cedar’s leading scorer and preseason all-region pick Courtney Morley went to the line to shoot a one-and-one to tie the game. Morley’s free throw came up short, bouncing off the front of the rim.
The Lady Reds were forced to foul in the remaining seconds. Snow Canyon hit four out of six in the last minute, including three from Natalie Coulam.
“Coach Roden makes us practice free throws all the time,” said Coulam. “I was nervous because the game was still pretty close. It was nice to see them fall.”
Morley hit a 20-footer at the buzzer to get to the final three-point margin, 56-53. The top two pre-season favorites brought impressive pre-region resumes with combined records of 19-4 between them.
“We wanted to set the tone tonight,” said Warrior post Shaylee Reed. “Cedar is a great team. We wanted to get this win and get that early edge.”
Neither team could pull away early in the game as they traded baskets. With 3:50 remaining in the first, Morley drained a trey to put Cedar up 10-8. Snow Canyon then finished with a 10-0 run. Six of those points came from Madison Mooring’s two shots from distance.
“That run at the end of the first quarter was pivotal,” said Cedar head coach John Elison. “We had several shots in the paint that we normally hit rim out on us.”
The Lady Reds chipped away at the Snow Canyon lead in the second, but they still faced a six-point deficit, 29-23, going into halftime.
To begin the third, Cedar pressed on the gas and did not let up. CHS repeatedly broke Snow Canyon’s press and scored the first 10 points. Eight of those came on open layups. Morley scored six points during the run.
“At halftime we felt that we had not played as well as we should have,” said Morley. “We came out more determined to start the third.”
Roden said his team needed to stop the bleeding.
“We had to make a quick adjustment,” he said. “We pulled out of our full-court press and played man-to-man.”
Reed’s rebound and put back broke the 10-0 run. Two minutes later, Sydnie Hoskins’ basket gave the Lady Warriors the lead again, 37-35. Snow Canyon maintained that lead going into the final quarter, 41-39.
Another Cedar run opened up the fourth. Cedar post Carly Davis hit a free throw and a basket to cap a 5-0 run and give the Lady Reds a 44-41 lead.
Snow Canyon responded in kind as Mooring hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to give the Lady Warriors a two-point advantage with 4:51 remaining. Sydney Bott extended the lead to 50-46 with a 3-pointer from the left side.
“Last year we would lose leads like this and our girls would cave,” said Roden. “This year they have shown more maturity. They regroup and get stops.”
Mooring extended the lead to 52-47 with a rebound and put back with 1:55 remaining. Morley pulled the Lady Reds to within two with a 3-pointer from right-center to set up the final moments.
Cedar’s defense forced Snow Canyon into a season-high 21 turnovers.
“Their half court trap defense is so effective,” said Roden. “(Morgan) Myers at the point is so quick and gets a lot of deflections.”
Coulam said one teammate in particular helped the Warriors deal with the pressure.
“Shaylee Reed is so important in our half-court offense,” she said. “She just makes great decisions at the high post. Whether it is taking it to the hole, hitting Lindsy (McConnell) in the low post or finding us on the wings, she sets us up well.”
Morley led all scorers with 27 points. Dream Weaver scored eight. Carly Davis and Morgan Myers contributed seven and six, respectively. For Snow Canyon, Mooring led four players in double figures with 17. Reed scored 12 points. Bott and Coulam each scored 11. Reed also snared 12 rebounds for a double-double.
Snow Canyon improves to 12-1 (1-0 region). The Warriors will travel to Pine View on Thursday. Cedar falls to 9-4 (0-1). The Reds will travel to Desert Hills Thursday. The Thunder won on the road at Hurricane. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Desert Hills 60, Hurricane 33
The Lady Thunder came out strong in their first region contest.
Opening up on the road, Desert Hills took no chances and built a big lead early. The lead was 18-5 after one and at halftime had climbed to 29-12. The Lady Tigers stayed with Desert Hills in the third, but were outscored 20-12 in the final stanza.
Individually, Ashley Beckstrand led all scorers with 24 points. She was joined in double figures by Kylie Williams with 13. Elly Williams scored eight. For Hurricane, Halli Gubler and Morgan Huntsman scored eight apiece. Taylor Anderson chipped in six.
Desert Hills improves to 6-6 (1-0). The Thunder will host Cedar on Thursday. Hurricane falls to 6-7 overall, 0-1 in region. The Lady Tigers will travel to Dixie on Thursday. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Pine View 52, Dixie 25
The Lady Panthers defense continues to stymie opponents.
Individually, Stefanie Gleave and Tayvia Ah Quin scored 15 and 14, respectively. Ah Quin added 12 rebounds for a double-double. Breanna Moeai chipped in eight points. For Dixie, Taylor Whitson led the team with five points. Kelsie Barker and Ayla Klungervik each scored four.
Pine View improves to 9-3 (1-0). The Lady Panthers will host Snow Canyon on Thursday. Dixie falls to 2-10, (0-1). Dixie will host Hurricane on Thursday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
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