ST. GEORGE – It really is the most wonderful time of the year – for basketball fans. Desert Hills and Dixie finished up play in the Ken Robinson Classic, while Pine View clinched yet another NGC Lake Powell Invitational championship and Hurricane got in some fierce action in Arizona as well. Here’s a look at the action:
Ken Robinson Classic
Desert Hills 73, Spanish Fork 52
The Thunder got their offense kicked into high gear against the Dons, with five different players reaching double figures in the blowout win Saturday afternoon at Dixie High School.
Desert Hills led a by a slim 27-25 edge midway through the second quarter and the Dons were within 34-31 after a bucket buy Brady Lewis with 3:10 to go in the half. That’s when the Thunder went on a 9-0 run.
It started with a bucket inside by Braxton Porter. After a free throw, Logan Hokanson hit a 3-pointer off the dribble to make it 40-31. Jacob Mathews then took a drive to the hole, scored and drew a foul. His three-point play made it 43-31 with 35 seconds left in the half.
“We got a better start today, that’s all there is to it,” Mathews said. “Logan (Hokanson) helps with that. He really gets us going. He’s got that mentality that if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to, he’ll get on you. So that helped us start out faster and carry it throughout the game.”
Spanish Fork looked defeated once the lead reached double-digits and the Dons never did make a serious run in the second half. The closest they would get is eight and the lead ballooned to as many as 24 in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve been getting off to some slow starts and we finally came out firing and it was good on all sides of the ball,” Porter said. “Would could play a little better defense, but I fell like it was a lot better all around.”
Tanner Turley led the way with 14 points, but it was a balanced attack for DH, with Porter, Mathews and Hokanson each scoring 12 and Cam Clayton adding 10 points. That’s five players in double figures after having none in double figures in Friday’s close win vs. Richfield.
“Our first four games, we had a tough time getting started,” DH assistant coach Will Hokanson said. “Today we made a good spurt at the start, so that was good to see.”
D-Hills led 7-0 to start the game and used a sharp shooting eye to keep the lead throughout the game. The Thunder, 5-0, made 8 of 18 3-pointers in the game, including two each by Hokanson and Porter.
Desert Hills next plays Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. against Ridgeline at DSU’s Burns Arena as part of the Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic.
Ken Robinson Classic
Dixie 52, Richfield 29
The Flyers only allowed four points in the third quarter and 10 in the entire second half in shutting down the Wildcats Saturday evening.
Dixie’s lead was just 24-19 at the half, and the Wildcats stayed to within 26-22 after a 3-pointer by Reggie Hinck. But the Flyers then closed out the third quarter on a 13-1 run. Ty Curtis and Kannen Dye each had steals that led to layups and Kaden Elzy hit a 3-pointer as Dixie blew the game open with smothering defense.
“We have some good guards on defense – I can’t even imagine playing against us,” Dye said. “I’d have to really work on my ball-handling skills. Our guards have always been so explosive and that’s part of the unselfishness, being willing to get a steal and then push it ahead for an easy basket.”
The four-guard group of Dye, Elzy, Curtis and Sam Stewart combined for 33 points and 10 steals in the game, a perfect compliment to big men Richard Guymon and Derek Cox. The two centers (both checking in at about 6-foot-7) played side by side for a time in the second half of this game.
“Richfield wasn’t very big and so we thought we might test it out a bit,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “There are teams in our region that we feel we might have an advantage here, so I wanted to give those guys a chance to play together. And I saw some good things.”
Elzy had a team-high 13 points, with Guymon pouring in 12. Dixie didn’t allow Richfield to get any closer than 14 after that big third quarter run.
The Flyers, still perfect at 5-0 on the season, will play Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. at Burns Arena in the first round of the Coach Walker Classic. Dixie also plays Friday at 5 p.m. against Manti (in DSU’s “Old Gym”) and Saturday at 1 p.m. against Ridgeline at Pine View Middle School.
NGC Lake Powell Invitational
Pine View 71, Arbor View (Nev.) 47
After a close home game against the host school Page Friday night, Pine View left no doubt about things Saturday. It is the fourth straight NGC Invitational championship for the Panthers, who never trailed against the Aggies.
Lambert opened the game with a 3-pointer and made two more in a first period in which Pine View ran out to a 14-2 lead. Arbor View went on a 12-0 run to tie the game early in the second, but Lambert and Moore hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back out to six at 20-14 with two minutes gone in the quarter. A pair of Trey Farrer free throws and another Lambert trey completed an 11-0 Panther run and the Aggies never recovered after that.
PV led 37-21 at the half and AVHS didn’t get closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Farrer continued his phenomenal season, scoring 25 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. He was named the NGC Invitational MVP and is now averaging 23 points and seven rebounds per game. In three games in Page, Farrer had 78 points and 30 rebounds.
Lambert and Dylan Hendrickson were also named to the all-tournament team. Lambert made six 3-pointers in the game and has 20 treys this season. He also grabbed 11 rebounds against Arbor View.
“We knew his sophomore year Lambert was going to be a great player,” Eves said. “He won the 3-point shooting contest in Page, and Kade Moore finished second.”
Hendrickson chipped in 14 points for Pine View, which improves to 6-0 with the victory. The Panthers host Canyon View Tuesday night before hosting the Coach Walker Classic Thursday-Saturday.
NGC Lake Powell Invitational
Tuba City 71, Hurricane 61 (F/2 OT)
The Tigers were tough-luck losers after losing a late lead in both regulation and in the first overtime.
“We shouldn’t have lost that game,” said Hurricane coach Todd Langston. “We had so many opportunities to put it away. We shot poorly from the line and that no doubt cost us. We make our free throws, we win.”
Hurricane led 49-48 late in regulation, but fouled Tristan Yazzie on a 3-pointer with 52 seconds to play. He made all three free throws for a 51-49 Tuba City lead, but the Tigers tied it with a basket by Nate Ben at the other end. Yazzie had two shots at a game-winning 3-pointer, but missed them both.
In the first OT, the Tigers held a 54-51 lead with 1:01 to play. Jackson Last was called for a charge, giving the ball back to the Warriors. Terrell Arizona scored inside, cutting it to 54-53 and Tuba City fouled quickly, putting Last at the line with 27 seconds left.
He made both freebies, but Yazzie buried another trey to tie the game and a last gasp shot by the Tigers was no good.
Yazzie opened the second OT with another trey. Hurricane missed two free throws and Yazzie made two to make it 61-56. Joe Mathias hit back-to-back buckets to complete a 9-0 run to start the OT and the Warriors cruised home from there.
“They were a small, quick team that can really shoot the ball,” Langston said. “They liked to drive in the lane and then kick it out and anything from 26 feet in was a good shot for them.”
Hurricane was playing without leading scorer Josh Parker, who returned home early to take the ACT test. Last had 27 points and nine rebounds in his absence. Regan Marshall had 16 and 7 as well, but the Tigers drop to 4-2 with the loss.
Hurricane plays Thursday and Saturday in the Coach Walker Classic. The Tigers battle Manti Thursday at 5 p.m. at Burns Arena and then take on Maple Mountain Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Pine View Middle School.
Stats: TCHS 71, HHS 61
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