ST. GEORGE – Honoring former coach Ken Robinson, Dixie High hosted the first day of the Ken Robinson Holiday Classic with the Flyers and the Desert Hills Thunder each winning at DHS. Pine View and Hurricane both got wins down in Arizona Friday night. And Cedar struggled on the road against 4A Salem Hills. Here’s our report:
Ken Robinson Classic
Dixie 64, Spanish Fork 50
A huge third quarter – 27 points – turned the game around and helped lift the Flyers to the home win.
Spanish Fork’s Tanner Argyle hit a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to put the Dons ahead 27-23. But instead of giving Spanish Fork the momentum in the second half, the shot seemed to awaken a sleepwalking Dixie team.
“That 3-pointer fired us up,” Dixie guard Kaden Elzy said. “We knew they were a good team, but we just needed to come out with more intensity and play our game. We’re a second-half team anyway.”
The first three minutes of the third quarter was like a highlight reel for the undefeated Flyers. Dixie outscored Spanish Fork 15-2, with Elzy, Ty Curtis, Kannen Dye and the rest of the Flyer guards causing havoc with the Dons ball handlers.
“We wanted to come out and increase the intensity and grab the momentum in the third quarter,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “I was really proud of the way our guys responded. We played faster, and made Spanish Fork play faster, which they didn’t want to do.”
Elzy, who finished with 13 points, opened the third quarter with a driving layup. After a pair of SF free throws made it 29-25, Dixie scored the next 13 points. Richard Guymon started it with a move inside, then Elzy hit a 3-pointer. Guymon passed out of a double team and found Stewart for a layup and it was 32-29, prompting a Spanish Fork time out.
But the break didn’t slow Dixie a bit, with Ty Curtis scoring back-to-back breakaways after steals to make it 36-29. Dixie added a pair of free throws to complete the run and go up 38-29.
The lead ballooned to as many as 13 points in the third quarter, though the Dons did make a run on the Dixie reserves to pull within 48-42 late in the third.
With the starters back on the floor in the fourth, the Flyers pushed the advantage out to 15 points at 60-45 after a pair of 3-pointers by Elzy and Dixie coasted from there.
“We know and our coach always tells us that our best offense is playing great defense and that defense was what was going to get us back in the game,” Guymon said. “They were a really good team, but coaches prepared us well for them. It was a good test.”
Guymon led Dixie with 14 points, but the Flyers had six players with at least six points (Guymon, Elzy, Curtis with 10, Stewart with eight, Tanner Cuff with seven and Derek Cox with six). Dixie’s one weakness in the game: free throw shooting. The Flyers made just 4 of 14 freebies, including missing the front end of three one-and-ones in the fourth quarter.
Dixie, 5-0, will play its second game of the Robinson Classic Saturday at 5 p.m. against the Richfield Wildcats.
Ken Robinson Classic
Desert Hills 51, Richfield 45
Logan Hokanson looked a bit rusty. But the senior guard made his first appearance of the season coming off a sprained ankle sustained in the state championship football game and helped lift Desert Hills up and over a pesky Richfield team.
The Wildcats had a four-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Desert Hills got key baskets from Cam Clayton and Tanner Turley and Jacob Mathews hit a monster trey from the corner. Hokanson then nailed four free throws in a row to preserve the slim lead and the win.
The DH offense looked a bit stagnant with the return of Hokanson as players tried to adjust to their new roles. After all, Hokanson averaged 14 points a game last year and that will certainly take away shots from the team’s current top scorers, Mathews and Braxton Porter. But that duo did make some big shots in the game, with Porter hitting 3s early in the game to keep the Thunder in it and Mathews burying that pivotal 3-pointer late in the game.
The game was close the whole way and the Wildcats, who beat Snow Canyon earlier this week, had Desert Hills on the ropes in the fourth after Emmitt Hafen hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to give them a four-point advantage. Hafen led all scorers with 15 points. Richfield center Jaron Stewart added 14, but the Wildcats only managed seven points in the final quarter.
A couple of weird anomalies in the game: Desert Hills had no players reach double figures in scoring, though Hokanson and Tanner Turley had nine points each and Turley had 12 rebounds. And Richfield did not shoot a single foul shot in the game. The Wildcats only drew eight fouls and none of them were shooting fouls.
Mathews also made one of the biggest defensive plays of the game. With the Thunder nursing a small lead late in the game, RHS point guard Wyatt Jensen broke through the defense and appeared to be heading for a tying left-handed layup. But the athletic Mathews stayed with the play and blocked the attempt at the last second.
Desert Hills, 4-0, will play at 3:30 p.m. at Dixie High Saturday against Spanish Fork.
Pine View 62, Page (Ariz.) 58 (F/OT)
With a raucous home crowd, the Sand Devils almost pulled off the upset in the semifinals of the Lake Powell tourney, pushing the Panthers to the extra period.
But Pine View got back-to-back baskets from Dylan Hendrickson and Trey Farrer (on a monstrous dunk) in the opening seconds of the OT and hit just enough free throws to come away with the win. Defense was the key as the Panthers allowed just a late 3-pointer to the Sand Devils in the overtime, outscoring Page 7-3.
Both Hendrickson and Farrer sat big chunks of the game with foul troubles. Still, they were around to make the big plays in the overtime and both ended the game with four personals. Hendrickson led the team with 17 points and six rebounds and Farrer had 15 points and five boards.
Pine View shot poorly from the floor, hitting just 19 of 50 shots for 38 percent. But the Panthers made 20 of 30 free throws to hold on for the victory.
A pair of Farrer free throws midway through the fourth quarter put Pine View ahead 49-41 and seemed to put the game out of reach. But the Devils climbed back into it with a pair of 3-pointers (including a banking 25-footer and a four-point play) in the final 92 seconds.
Down 55-54 at the end of regulation, Page actually drew a foul and had two shots to win it. But the shooter made just one, tying the game. Hendrickson had a runner at the buzzer that was just long and sent the game into OT.
“We had no business winning that game, but somehow we pulled it out,” Pine View coach Ryan Eves said. “Their crowd was crazy and we had some phantom calls go against us, but this was good for us. We learned a lot about how to handle tough situations.”
Eves praised the play of sophomore point guard Gavin Bateman, who helped the Panthers handle the Page full-court press. He’s also the guy who set Farrer up for the monster overtime dunk on a sweet dish in the lane.
Pine View, 5-0, plays in the championship of the NGC Invitational Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Arbor View (Nev.). The Aggies beat Hurricane Thursday and dumped Bradshaw Mountain (Ariz.) Friday.
Hurricane 64, Monument Valley 52
Josh Parker and Jackson Last had big games as the Tigers got back to their winning ways by getting out and running against MVHS.
Parker scored 19 points, making four 3-pointers, to lead the way for Hurricane, which improved to 4-2 with the victory. Last also hit four treys and had an excellent line of 17 points, five assists, five rebounds and five steals.
Last’s trey to open the game gave Hurricane a quick lead and Parker followed with a three-point play as the Tigers ran out to a 9-2 lead. Last started the second quarter with another trey as Hurricane pushed the advantage to 14 early in the second. Last’s 3 just before halftime made it a 37-24 HHS lead at intermission.
The Mustangs rallied in the third, with a 13-0 run cutting a 19-point lead down to 48-42 heading to the fourth. After a Monument Valley basket cut it to 48-44, Hurricane got a key 3-pointer from Regan Marshall and then made a slew of free throws down the stretch for the win.
The Tigers were lights out from downtown, making 10 of 19 treys. Hurricane hit 14 of 22 free throws and outrebounded the Mustangs 28-24.
Hurricane will play for the NGC consolation championship at 12:30 p.m. Saturday before heading back to southern Utah.
Stats: HHS 64, MVHS 52
Salem Hills 66, Cedar 47
Brancen Webster scored 19 points for the Skyhawks, who blew the game open early with a 37-point first half. Salem Hills led by 13 at intermission, with Webster burying three 3-pointers.
The Redmen continue a tough preseason schedule with a road trip at Copper Hills Tuesday night before returning home for crosstown rival Canyon View Friday.
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