ST. GEORGE – All three region-opening boys basketball games ended up in double-digit wins Wednesday night. But the three victors, Dixie, Pine View and Desert Hills, arrived at those wins in different ways.
For Dixie, which won at Hurricane, it was a fast start and a lot of free throws that filled the bill. For Pine View, which won at home vs. Snow Canyon, it was a dominant fourth quarter that did the trick. And for Desert Hills, the third quarter was the difference in a win at home vs. Cedar.
Here’s a look at the games:
Pine View 63, Snow Canyon 52
In fact, the Warriors actually held a 47-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter at Pine View’s “Pit” gymnasium.
Oh, but that fourth quarter was something to behold for the Panthers.
“They hit two 3s on us at the end of the third quarter and we just went down and said, ‘No more,'” PV center Trey Farrer said. “We just buckled down on defense and said ‘Hey, that’s it. We’re going to do what we have to do.'”
The Pine View defense did just that, holding Snow Canyon to just two points over the first seven minutes of the fourth period, turning a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead.
McKay Lambert started the run with a deep 3-pointer to tie it at 47-47. Dylan Hendrickson, who sat most of the first half with foul trouble, followed with a power move inside for a three-point play. Bryson Childs scored for SC to make it 50-49, but that would be the only points for the Warriors until late in the game. PV scored eight straight to push it to 58-49, including free throws by Farrer and a finger roll by Kade Moore.
Cade Thorkelson finally stopped the PV run by hitting a 3-pointer with less than a minute left, but by that time, it was all over at 59-52. Pine View made 16 of 18 free throws in the game, including 10 of 11 in the fourth quarter, to close it out.
“That’s Region 9 basketball,” Hendrickson said. “We weren’t surprised at all that Snow Canyon would come out and compete like they did. They’ve always had a good program. And this is the kind of game we expect in region play. It’s always a battle.”
Braden Baker hurt the Panthers in the first half, scoring 15 points and helping SC keep the game tight. Pine View led 30-27 at intermission, but Snow Canyon outscored PV 20-14 in the third. Though Baker was held scoreless in the second half, Christian Sullivan and Kameron Webster were hitting for the Warriors in forging their lead.
Down 42-37 late in the third, Snow Canyon closed that period on a 10-2 run, with Thorkelson and Sullivan hitting deep treys.
But Farrer (20 points, 10 of 11 from the line) and Lambert (14 points on four treys and a dunk) were too much for SC to handle.
Pine View, 11-2 overall and 1-0 in region, outrebounded Snow Canyon 25-19. Farrer had six boards and also blocked three shots.
Snow Canyon, 6-6 and 0-1, got 15 from Baker and 10 from Sullivan. The Warriors only turned the ball over eight times.
Friday’s matchups have Pine View traveling to Hurricane and Snow Canyon playing at home against Cedar.
Dixie 64, Hurricane 48
Dixie did two things right early on – the Flyers got out and ran and they fed the big dog, Richard Guymon.
“We really pushed the ball early in the game and that’s what helped us get out to that big lead,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Richard played very well early in the game and the guys did a good job of getting him the ball.”
Guymon, the 6-foot-7 senior center, scored seven of his 12 points in the first quarter. His three-point play made it 9-2 early and he scored on back-to-back possessions moments later to make it 13-6. Camden Flinders hit a 3-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer to make it 18-9.
Dixie continued the onslaught in the second period, with Korbyn Elzy’s four-point play making it 24-11 and Flinders’ two consecutive 3s pushing the advantage to 30-12.
“Camden Flinders is another one of those guys that can step up and make plays for us,” Cuff said. “These guys are so unselfish and that’s why it is so fun to coach them. They don’t care who hits the big shot or steps up and makes the big play.”
Dixie led by as many as 22 in the second quarter and held a 38-19 advantage at halftime. The Tigers fought back to make a little bit of a game of it in the second half, pulling to within 56-46 on the strength of some sharp shooting from Jackson Last in the fourth quarter.
But Dixie closed the game on an 8-2 run, making six straight free throws at the end. The Flyers ended up 17 of 21 from the line (81 percent). They were also 21 of 38 from the floor, for 55 percent.
Dixie had three players in double figures, with Kaden Elzy scoring 13, Guymon 12 and Sam Stewart with 11. Flinders added nine points and Guymon had eight rebounds and three blocks.
The Flyers are now 14-0 overall and 1-0 in region with a home game against Desert Hills Friday night.
Hurricane, 10-5 and 0-1, got 15 from Last and 11 from Graden Cahoon. The Tigers host Pine View Friday.
Stats: DHS 64, HHS 48
Desert Hills 56, Cedar 46
“We really played great defense all night,” Desert Hills coach Wade Turley said. “(Keenan) Nielson still got his 20 points, but I thought we really made him work for them. And when we started driving the lanes and hitting shots in the third quarter, that’s when we got some separation.”
A Cam Clayton 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Jacob Mathews just before halftime helped the Thunder to a 22-18 advantage at intermission. It was 28-24 midway through the third when Sam Kunzler buried a 3-pointer and Braxton Porter converted on a three-point play.
Logan Hokanson hit consecutive mid-range jumpers to close out the third with a 38-26 Desert Hills lead.
In the fourth, DH pushed the lead to 15 with another Kunzler jumper (to make it 44-29). Nielson and Parker Haynie helped the Redmen close to within 10 a couple of times, but they could get no closer.
“We settled for outside jumpers way too much in the first half,” Turley said. “We got some stops in the third quarter and stopped settling. And I thought Sam Kunzler did some good things – hit some big shots.””
Hokanson finished with 14 points and Mathews had 10 for DH. Kunzler had seven points in six minutes of play, while Porter had seven rebounds and six points.
Nielson led Cedar with 20 points and seven rebounds. Haynie added 12 points, but the Redmen had to play the second half without forward Mason Fakahua, who reinjured his knee late in the first half. No word on the seriousness of the injury, however it is the same knee he has injured twice while playing football for CHS.
“Them being without Mason in the second half helped us a lot,” Turley said. “It opened things up a bit. I hope he’s OK. It didn’t look like he got hit or anything. He just went down.”
The biggest team stat differential was in turnovers, with Cedar committing 11 and D-Hills just five.
The Thunder improve to 11-3 overall and 1-0 in region with the home win and will travel to Dixie High Friday night. Cedar, 8-6, had its seven-game winning streak snapped and is 0-1 in region. The Redmen are at Snow Canyon Friday night.
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