Boys basketball: Hot hoops action at Burns Arena in Walker Classic

Desert Hills vs. Ridgeline, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The holiday season means different things to different people. For hoops fans, it means the annual Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic in Burns Arena. Four Region 9 teams took to the hardcourt at Dixie State Thursday with mixed results. Two unbeatens, Pine View and Desert Hills, tasted defeat. Dixie won a close one and is still undefeated and Hurricane played a great second half in a blowout win. Here’s our report:

Hurricane 72, Manti 55

The Tigers opened the second half with 12 straight points and never looked back in the 15-point win.

hurricane-logoHand it to the Templars, a 2A team that keeps taking on bigger schools. In Manti’s second try against a Region 9 school (0-2 in those two), things were going well in the first 16 minutes. Led by Dillon Wathen, the Templars led 31-27 at the half.

But the Tigers came out of intermission on fire. Josh Parker had two three-point plays and Nate Ben and Jackson Last started to warm up as Hurricane took a 39-31 lead behind the three-minute run. A trey by Manti’s Matt Nelson cut it to 39-34, but the Tigers scored two quick baskets by Parker and Last to push the advantage to 43-31 and Manti would not challenge again.

Hurricane's Josh Parker (21), Hurricane vs. Manti, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Hurricane’s Josh Parker (21), Hurricane vs. Manti, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Parker finished with 26 points to lead all scorers, 18 of those after halftime. Last wasn’t far behind with 24 points and Ben finished with 14. Hurricane had 27 points in the first half and 29 in the third quarter alone.

Wathen and Nelson led Manti (4-3) with 13 points each. The Templars lost to Pine View by 31 and Hurricane by 17.

The Tigers hit exactly half of their shots (31 for 62) and made 6 of 14 3-pointers. Hurricane also owned the glass, outrebounding the Templars 37-22.

Last had eight rebounds, four assists and four steals to go with his 24 points, while Parker had four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Hurricane forced 13 turnovers. The Tigers also were 7 of 9 from the line.

Hurricane, 5-2, is off Friday and plays Maple Mountain Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Walker Classic. The game will be played at Pine View Middle School.

Stats: Hurricane 72, Manti 55

Ridgeline 64, Desert Hills 52

The first year 3A school from Cache Valley, comprised mostly of former Mountain Crest players, had a great second half, pulling away from the Thunder in the fourth quarter.

desert-hills-logoDesert Hills led most of the first three quarters and the game was tied at 45-45 after a mid-range jumper by DH’s Tucker Peterson with 2:16 to go in the third quarter. But the Riverhawks finished the third with seven straight points.

Jaxon Brenchley scored inside, then Landon Jenson buried a 3-pointer. After a Thunder miss, Dallan Larsen hit two free throws with no time on the clock to finish the run.

Desert Hills' Tucker Peterson (31), Desert Hills vs. Ridgeline, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Desert Hills’ Tucker Peterson (31), Desert Hills vs. Ridgeline, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Peterson hit a 3-pointer to keep the Thunder close at 56-51 with just over three minutes left in the game. But Logan Hokanson was called for a technical foul after a no-call by the officials and the Riverhawks would outscore DH 8-1 the rest of the game.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well, but most of them were good shots that just weren’t falling,” DH coach Wade Turley said. “But the kids need to understand that when we’re struggling a little bit like that from the outside, we need to get to the rim and get some easy baskets, maybe get to the foul line. And I think we lost our composure a bit in the fourth quarter.”

Desert Hills was just 5 for 25 from 3-point territory and 18 of 47 overall in the game.

The Thunder led by as many as nine in the first half and held a 32-23 lead with 4:15 to go in the second quarter after a jumper by Sam Kunzler. A Jeron Hansen 3-pointer and a two by Larsen helped the Riverhawks to within 36-31 at the half.

Brenchley opened the third quarter with a deep 3 and Ridgeline chipped away until finally taking its first lead since early in the game on a three-point play by Landon Brenchley at 45-42 with 2:45 to go in the third. Landon is Jaxon Brenchley’s younger brother.

Desert Hills, 5-1, was led in scoring by Jacob Mathews, who had 12 points, but fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. He also had four assists and three steals. Cam Clayton had seven points and Tanner Turley had six points and eight rebounds.

The Thunder play in the Walker Classic with a 6:30 p.m. game against Maple Mountain Friday at Burns Arena. Ridgeline improves to 5-2 with the win and will play at 9:30 p.m. against Snow Canyon.

Stats: box-score-dhhs-rhs-12916

Maple Mountain 57, Pine View 55

The Golden Eagles led by as many as 11 points in the first half and were hitting lights out from deep. When they cooled down, Pine View caught and passed them in the third quarter. But the 4A Maple Mountain didn’t panic and pulled out the close win.

pine-view-logoThe Eagles made four treys in the first quarter and finished on a 7-0 run to take a 19-9 lead. Behind Trey Farrer and Dylan Hendrickson, Pine View began to climb back into the game, pulling to within 33-28 when Jackson Wadsworth hit a baseline 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.

It would serve as a momentum builder for the Panthers, who opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 35-33 lead with under six minutes to go in the third on a basket by Kade Moore.

But MMHS responded with a couple of 3-pointers and by the end of the third, the Eagles had built the lead back up to 48-42.

Hendrickson and Taylor Tobler hit baskets to help Pine View close to within 54-52 with under three minutes to play. But Maple Mountain answered with a basket inside to make it 56-52 with under two minutes to go.

Two Moore free throws made it 56-54, and Pine View was forced to foul with time running out. Tyler Boyack made one free throw to make it a 57-54 game.

With under 30 seconds to go, Pine View worked for a 3-pointer, but ended up going in to Farrer, who was fouled with three seconds left. He made the second free throw, leaving it at 57-55. The Eagles missed a free throw with 2.1 seconds left, but PV couldn’t get a shot off after the miss and the game ended with a Maple Mountain win.

Farrer finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Hendrickson had 15 points and seven boards, and McKay Lambert made three treys for nine points.

It’s the first loss of the year for Pine View, 7-1, which made just 5 of 19 3-pointers and 6 of 13 free throws. PV was also outrebounded 27-23. The Panthers play Friday at 8 p.m. against Viewmont in more Walker Classic tourney play.

Maple Mountain, 2-4, plays Desert Hills at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Burns Arena.

Stats: box-scores-for-maple-mountain-male-pine-view-male

Dixie 61, Viewmont 59

The Flyers stayed undefeated – barely – as Sam Stewart hit a hotly-contested layup with three seconds left to lift them to victory.

dixie-logoDescribing the winning shot is not easy as it was a twisting, leaning, finger roll right through the teeth of the Vikings defense. He made it after Viewmont had just tied the game seconds earlier on a 3-pointer by Josh Mordue.

“After they hit that shot, Kaden (Elzy) was pushing sideline and he passed it up to me and I had some space on my guy,” Stewart said. “I heard someone – I’m not sure who – say ‘Push,’ so I just kind of put my head down and took it to the rack and it went in. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was just kind of rushing it and that’s what ended up happening.”

Dixie elected not to take a timeout after the tying 3-pointer by Mordue, though Flyers coach Ryan Cuff said it crossed his mind.

Dixie's Sam Stewart (24), file photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Dixie’s Sam Stewart (24), file photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“They took a timeout before they made that 3 and we had already discussed what we were going to do,” he said. “I was only going to use a timeout if we had trouble getting the ball in or got trapped.”

Cuff said the winning shot was vintage Sam Stewart.

“The shot that Sam made is a Sam Stewart shot,” Cuff said. “He does that all the time in practice, so for him to shoot a shot like that, in or out, I was pleased with the shot.”

It was a fitting ending to a great game. Viewmont led by 10 in the first quarter and Dixie held an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, but mostly it was a really close game. Mordue hit a couple of treys and made three free throws after being fouled on a 3 to help the Vikings rally from that late deficit.

Still, Dixie could have put the game away with good free throw shooting down the stretch. Richard Guymon and Ty Curtis both missed big freebies in the fourth quarter.

“Viewmont is a very good basketball team and we are very happy with the win, but we also found out a lot of little things we need to work on,” Cuff said. “They beat us the last two years in a row by one point, so it was good to get one back. And this will help us as we grow and learn as a team.”

Elzy made three 3-pointers and had 20 points to go with five rebounds and three assists. Dixie shot a blistering 58.8 percent from the floor, often getting back-door layups against the gambling Vikings defense. The Flyers were 5 of 9 from deep and 16 of 23 from the line (72 percent).

Guymon added 13 points and six rebounds for the Flyers, who are 7-0 and will face Manti at 5 p.m. Friday at DSU’s Student Activities Center (the “Old Gym”).

Jared Stringham led the Vikings with 16 points and nine boards. Viewmont, 3-4, plays Pine View at 8 p.m. in Burns Arena Friday.

Stats: viewmont-vs-dixie-final-box

Coach Walker Memorial Classic
Thursday’s results
Hurricane 72, Manti 55
Ridgeline 64, Desert Hills 52
Maple Mountain 57, Pine View 55
Dixie 61, Viewmont 59

Friday’s games
5 p.m. – Dixie vs. Manti (Student Activities Center)
6:30 p.m. – Desert Hills vs. Maple Mountain (Burns Arena)
8 p.m. – Pine View vs. Viewmont (Burns Arena)
9:30 p.m. – Snow Canyon vs. Ridgeline (Burns Arena)

Saturday’s games
1 p.m. – Dixie vs. Ridgeline (Pine View Middle School)
1 p.m. – Snow Canyon vs. Viewmont (Pine View High School)
2:30 p.m. – Hurricane vs. Maple Mountain (Pine View Middle School)
2:30 p.m. – Desert Hills vs. Manti (Pine View High School)

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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

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