ST. GEORGE – After the Region 9 teams compiled an impressive winning percentage (.644) and record (38-21) against non-region teams, the much-awaited, most-important time of the season has arrived. Region 9 play began Tuesday night, with two of the initial contests undecided until the end, while the battle of the two preseason favorites had a different conclusion. Below are game summaries of Tuesday night’s action:
Snow Canyon 57, Pine View 54
After a tense first quarter, the Lady Warriors got a little breathing room going into halftime by taking a 27-23 lead over visiting Pine View. But the Lady Panthers reversed that in the third and took a 37-36 lead going into the fourth. Snow Canyon saved its most productive quarter of the night for the very end by putting up 21 points and pulling out the three-point victory.
“It was a game of runs back and forth with a ton of free throws (66 free throws total for both teams) and not a lot of flow,” said Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden. “You have to give Pine View a ton of credit. They play extremely hard and have improved since the beginning of the year. I’m proud of our girls for gutting it out and finding a way to win. Getting Lindsy McConnell back is huge for us.”
Pine View outscored the Warriors 27-17 from the free throw line and hit 67 percent of its free throws. Snow Canyon held the advantage on rebounds 31-25.
“We had a great game plan and we executed it to the best of our ability,” said Pine View head coach Chris Brinagh. “But you can’t just give it to Snow Canyon. Chances after chances, they will figure out a way to make it work. Claire Newby, Bailia Milne and Saraven Allen had great games for us. Maycee Hayes and Leilani Tonga did the dirty work for us inside.”
Jasmine Lealao led all scorers with 23 points. Allie Parr had nine points for the Warriors. Natalie Gunn and Tylei Jensen had six apiece. For Pine View, Newby, Milne and Allen had 14 apiece. Maycee Hayes had six points.
Snow Canyon improves to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in region play. The Warriors will travel to Cedar on Thursday night. Pine View falls to 3-5 and 0-1 in Region 9 and will travel to Hurricane on Thursday night.
Hurricane 49, Dixie 46
The Lady Tigers jumped on Dixie early and nearly doubled them up by halftime with a 27-14 advantage. But the Lady Flyers clawed back and nearly pulled off the comeback, falling by three in the region opener.
“We were down 13 at halftime,” said Dixie head coach Jaime Araiza. “Our girls clawed back. Hurricane’s press really hurt us. We are still young and inexperienced and sometimes get panicky in those situations.”
Both teams shot the ball well. The Lady Tigers held a slim advantage, outshooting Dixie from the floor 47-43 percent. Individually, Jayden Langford led Hurricane with 19 points. Madi Hirschi joined her in double figures with 12 points. Alexa Christensen and Lexy Lyons had six points apiece. For Dixie, Kelsea Barker led all players with 23 points. Ilah Wallace and Daisy Owens each had six points.
After losing three of their first four, the Tigers have now won seven of their last eight. They have an overall record of 8-4 and start region play at 1-0. They will host Pine View on Thursday. Dixie falls to 4-6 overall and 0-1. The Flyers will travel to Desert Hills on Thursday night.
Cedar 44, Desert Hills 33
The most anticipated matchup of the night turned out to be the most anticlimactic. The top two preseason picks for Region 9 dominance squared off in the initial game of region play. But the Lady Thunder’s offense did not make it to the game.
Cedar took a 9-5 advantage after one and then incrementally added to that lead over the next two quarters. Going into the fourth, the Lady Reds led 34-22.
“I think we were still on break,” said Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos. “We did not play with intensity. We were passive and shot 24 percent from the field. Cedar played with more hustle.”
Desert Hills outrebounded Cedar 36-29, but it was the offensive production that was the difference. The Lady Reds outshot the Thunder 38-24 percent. For Cedar, the Weaver sisters led the way. Japrix and Dream scored 11 and 10, respectively. Lindsey Robinson scored eight and Carly Davis chipped in six. Maisie Elison led the Lady Reds with 11 rebounds. Individually for Desert Hills, Elly Williams, Jessica Mathis and Morgan Myers scored seven points each. Preseason Region 9 player of the year Ashley Beckstrand was held to four points, hitting 2 of 14 from the field. Williams also pulled down 13 rebounds.
“We wanted to keep them in front of us and not give them any easy shots,” said Cedar head coach John Elison. “We had a hand up with Ashley on every shot. Our girls played hard tonight and played smart on who they were defending. Lindsey Robinson played well against Ashley. Maisie Elison rebounded well against a good rebounding team. Japrix Weaver played much better tonight and shot like she should. Dream played well also. We played tough and played together.”
Cedar improves to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 9 and will host Snow Canyon on Thursday night. Desert Hills falls to 8-3 and 0-1 in the region. The Thunder will host Dixie on Thursday night.
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