Boys basketball roundup: Flyers dominate D-Hills, take driver’s seat in Region 9

ST. GEORGE — A couple of road wins raised some eyebrows around Region 9 Wednesday night, with Dixie dominating from the opening moments of the game against Desert Hills and Hurricane stunning Snow Canyon. Pine View, however, did a much better job of defending its home court with a blowout of Cedar. Here’s a wrap of Wednesday night’s prep sports action:

Dixie 71, Desert Hills 58

Defense was the name of the game for the Flyers, who held the Thunder to 20 first-half points and never looked back in a key region road victory.

dixie-logodesert-hills-logoThe only lead of the night for Desert Hills came at 1-0 after a pregame dunk cost Dixie a technical foul. After a defensive stop, Tyler Bennett gave the Flyers the lead with a three-point play and Dixie didn’t trail again the rest of the game.

“We wanted to come out fired up after the technical,” said Dixie center Richard Guymon. “We actually really like starting the game out on defense and we were able to lock them up.”

Dixie's Richard Guymon (11), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 20, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Dixie’s Richard Guymon (11), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 20, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

It was the first meeting between the two teams since last year’s state semifinal game — a game that went quadruple overtime — and Dixie came out on top once again.

“I was proud of our guys because they stepped up and let the kid know that (got the technical) that he shouldn’t feel bad, that we had his back,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “We got out and got a lead and never let our guard down.”

Dixie would lead by as many as six in the first quarter and held a 20-15 lead three minutes into the second.

Just before halftime, the Thunder cut it 22-20 after a basket and two free throws by Marcus McKone. But Bennett scooped in a layup from the right side and Dixie back-up point guard Kaden Elzy hit a 3-pointer just before the half to push the advantage to 27-20 at intermission.

“I get a little nervous sometimes,” said Elzy, who has been gaining more and more playing time as the season progresses. “But when it comes down to the game, I just want to help the guys win and so I try to be ready at all times coming off the bench.”

McKone’s basket two minutes into the third quarter made it 31-28, but Bennett and Guymon would lead an 18-8 run the rest of the third to push the lead out to double digits at 49-36.

Despite an impressive performance from junior guard Logan Hokanson (26 points, four 3-pointers), Desert Hills was never able trim the lead under eight points in the final quarter.

“Hokanson was spectacular, but we were able shut down and contain their other guys,” Cuff said. “We know that singlehandedly, you can’t beat a team with one guy.”

Bennett, averaging 22 points a game, stepped up his performance as well, pouring in 25 for the Flyers, including a one-handed throwdown late in the game. Guymon had 13 points and also had a big jam in the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t play that well early in the game, but I got better as the game went on,” Guymon said. “As long as the end result was what it was for us, I’m happy. Feels great to get a win in here. They’re a great team.”

Dixie's Tyler Bennett (5) and Desert Hills' Logan Hokanson (23), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 20, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Dixie’s Tyler Bennett (5) and Desert Hills’ Logan Hokanson (23), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 20, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Otis and James Eardley added 10 points each and Elzy finished with eight, including two treys.

For the Thunder, McKone was the only other player in double figures after Hokanson’s 26. McKone had 13 points, six of those coming in the fourth quarter.

Dixie, 13-3 overall, holds a one-game lead on both Desert Hills and Pine View in Region 9 and has beaten both teams.

The Flyers have won seven of their last eight games, the one loss in there coming to nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman. Dixie hosts Snow Canyon Friday night.

Desert Hills, 12-2 and 2-1, had its six-game winning streak snapped with the loss. The Thunder will host Pine View Friday night.

Stats: Dixie 71, Desert Hills 58

Hurricane 67, Snow Canyon 62

The Tigers outscored the Warriors 12-4 over the last three minutes of the game to come away with a huge road win at The Jungle.

Reagan Hinton had a monster night, scoring 16 points, snagging 10 rebounds, handing out five assists and swiping five steals for Hurricane, which desperately needed a win after starting region play 0-2.

Kobe Tupu’s basket with 3:12 left put Snow Canyon ahead 58-55. But the Tigers caught fire after that.

Reagan Hinton
Reagan Hinton

Riley Ballard hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up just a few seconds later, then Josh Parker hit a shot in the lane to put Hurricane ahead 60-58.

A pair of free throws by Parker made it 62-58 with 1:36 to go, but the Warriors pulled to within 62-60 on a leaner by TJ Taimi.

With under a minute to go, Hinton hit a big bucket on a Parker assist to push the lead to 64-60. After a miss by the Warriors, Parker hit two free throws to ice the game with 21 seconds left.

The Tigers had actually held an eight-point lead after baskets by Jackson Last and Hinton to start the fourth quarter made it 49-41.

But Snow Canyon went on a 17-6 run behind the sharp shooting of Tupu and Hunter Barney. But it was Hurricane that finished strong to get the win.

Parker had 14 points and Ballard finished with 14 for the Tigers, who improve to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in region.

Tupu ended up with a game-high 18 points and Justin Loveless had nine points and four rebounds for SC, which fell to 5-8 overall and 1-2 in region.

The Tigers host Cedar Friday night, while Snow Canyon will play at Dixie.

Stats: Hurricane 67, Snow Canyon 62

Pine View 64, Cedar 45

It was never a game at The Pit Wednesday night as Cody Ruesch scored 21 points and Kade Moore nailed three 3-pointers in the Panthers rout of the Redmen.

pine-view-logocedar-logoCedar made all 12 of its free throws, but not much else in the lopsided game. The Redmen were 1 for 15 from beyond the arc and 16 of 46 overall (35 percent).

Pine View, on the other hand, made 25 of 42 shots in the game (60 percent) and owned a 28-17 advantage on the boards.

A lot of that good fortune was due to Ruesch, the 6-foot-4 senior who was 9 of 11 from the floor and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. He’s averaging 15 points and eight rebounds a game for the Panthers.

Cedar actually led 3-0 after an opening trey by Keenan Nielson. But Tyler Johnston matched it with a deep ball of his own to tie the game and PV outscored Cedar 15-4 the rest of the first quarter.

Cody Ruesch
Cody Ruesch

Ruesch scored back-to-back baskets in the post to start the second period, making it 19-7. At halftime, the lead was 30-19.

The Redmen pulled to within nine at 34-25 midway through the third quarter, but a Ruesch bucket started an 8-2 run to close the third and put the game away.

Moore had 13 points and four assists for Pine View, while Johnston added 10 points as the Panthers improve to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in region play. Pine View plays at Desert Hills on Friday.

Cedar was led by Nielson’s 17 points. Mason Fakahua added 12 points and seven boards, but the Redmen fell to 5-8 overall and 0-3 in region play. Cedar is at Hurricane Friday night.

Stats: PV 64, Cedar 45

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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