ST. GEORGE – Region 9 teams split Thursday night, going 2-2. The Desert Hills Thunder avenged last year’s loss to Pleasant Grove while Pine View nipped Kanab at home. Hurricane lost in overtime to Logan on a neutral court, while the young Snow Canyon squad lost to always tough Juan Diego. Below are game summaries of Thursday night’s action:
Desert Hills 60, Pleasant Grove 44
In a game that featured three future BYU Cougar teammates, Desert Hills’ Ashley Beckstrand will have bragging rights as the Lady Thunder overcame the play of Pleasant Grove’s twin towers Malli Valgardson (who is 6-foot-5) and Sara Hamson (6-foot-7) to win in convincing fashion, 60-44.
The Thunder game plan was to run, run, run. “I didn’t think we could beat them in a half-court game,” said Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos. “So we pressed full court and pushed the break at every opportunity.”
The early jump went to Pleasant Grove. Two consecutive 3-pointers from the Lady Vikings’ Sadie Nixon put PGHS up 6-2. The lead did not last long. The Thunder press paid dividends immediately. Morgan Myers stole a Viking pass and took it all the way for a layup to tie the score at 6. The Vikings would not see the lead again.
This was the first game as part of the Lady Thunder for Myers. She transferred from Cedar, but the transition seemed smooth.
“I play with Ash (Beckstrand) and Ellie (Williams) with the Raiders (club team),” said Myers. “But I had not played with the others. My first experience playing with them was at the open of practice this season.”
The momentum continued as six different Thunder players scored in the first quarter. A steal and assist from Madison Clark led to Beckstrand’s first points with 1:38 left in the first quarter and gave Desert Hills its first double-digit lead, 18-8. Valgardson and Hamson had two points each to finish the quarter and pull the Vikings to within 18-12.
A Viking bucket at the beginning of the second quarter pulled them within four. But the Thunder responded, again scoring on fast-break opportunities. Myers got another steal and layup with 5:24 remaining to put the Thunder up 23-14 at the 5:24 mark. Myers scored twice more, including the last bucket of the half, to give the Thunder a 31-20 lead at intermission.
At halftime, Myers already had 11 points while Pleasant Grove’s post players were shackled.
“Taylor’s defense clearly frustrated them,” said Denos. “Her offense has also improved, but tonight we just wanted her to key on their two bigs. She came through for us.”
The Thunder did not let up in the second half. The full-court defense lasted the entire 40 minutes as well as the fast-break tempo. The Thunder scored the first seven points. Another Myers steal led to a layup for Beckstrand that gave Desert Hills a 45-24 lead with 3:20 remaining in the third. After a timeout, the Vikings made an adjustment and had their post players assist in breaking the press. The momentum changed and Pleasant Grove would end the quarter on a 9-0 run. Two buckets by Nixon pulled PGHS to 45-33.
Ellie Williams started the fourth on a steal and coast-to-coast drive to put the Thunder up 47-33 just 10 seconds into the fourth. But the Vikings put together one last rally and got the lead back to single digits 49-41 with five minutes remaining. Hamson hit a bucket and then one of two free throws on two consecutive possessions to cut the lead to seven, 51-44, with 1:55 remaining. Denos then called a timeout.
“Coach told us to play smart, not to force it,” said Myers. “We knew they were going to have to start fouling us.”
Out of the timeout, the Thunder pulled the ball out to run clock. Pleasant Grove was forced to foul. Desert Hills responded in the final minutes by hitting 5 of 6 free throws and also getting two easy buckets for Williams by beating the press. The Vikings failed to score again.
Individually, the Vikings’ Nixon led all scorers with 22. Valgardson and Hamson were held to eight points apiece. For Desert Hills, Myers led the team with 18. Joining her in double figures were Williams with 15 and Beckstrand with 10. Williams led the team with six rebounds. Beckstrand dished out six assists.
Desert Hills goes to 1-0 and will host Salem Hills Friday night at 8:30 p.m.
Pine View 60, Kanab 59
The Lady Panthers overcame an early deficit to the Cowboys to come out with a one-point victory. Kanab led at the half 32-25. But Pine View chipped away at the lead, outscoring Kanab by four points in both of the final two stanzas.
Kanab outrebounded the Panthers 32-29, but Pine View forced Kanab into six more turnovers. Individually for Pine View, Milne led all scorers with 19. Mead and Allen joined her in double figures with 16 and 10, respectively. Milne also led the team with eight rebounds and three assists.
We just kept fighting and never gave up,” said Brinagh. “It was a total team win.”
The Lady Panthers move to 1-1 and will host Canyon View on Dec. 6. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Logan 46, Hurricane 42 (Overtime)
Hurricane led most of the game in regulation and had a nine-point lead to start the fourth quarter. But the Lady Grizzlies were able to come back and tie the game to send it to overtime, where they outscored the Lady Tigers 7-3.
Jayden Langford led the Tigers with 15 points. Lexy Lyons and Madi Hirschi scored eight and six, respectively. Tylee Brisk and Kylee Stevens had five rebounds apiece. Stevens also led the team with three assists and two steals.
The Lady Tigers fall to 1-1 and will face a tough Juan Diego team Friday afternoon at 5.
Juan Diego 58, Snow Canyon 37
The Lady Soaring Eagle was too much to handle for the younger Snow Canyon team. Juan Diego got out early and stayed in front through much of the contest.
Jasmine Lealao led the team with eight points and three assists. Allie Parr pulled down 14 rebounds. Snow Canyon falls to 1-1 and will play Logan tomorrow night. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Snow Canyon 56, North Sanpete 45
Braden Baker had 17 points and Kameron Webster chipped in 12 as the Warriors rallied for the win at the Bear River Winter Classic in Garland.
The Warriors trailed by as many as six early in the game, but gained a 24-21 lead by halftime thanks to the outside shooting of Baker and Webster. The two guards combined to hit five 3-pointers in the game as Snow Canyon outscored the Hawks 32-24 after halftime.
Sophomore post Joey Robertson added nine points for the Warriors, who are 2-0 on the young season under first-year coach Jamison Sorensen. Snow Canyon continues in the northern Utah tourney with a game Friday at 6 p.m. against South Summit at 6 p.m.
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