ST. GEORGE – The remarkable run to start the season continues for the Dixie Flyers, who held off a Desert Hills rally Friday night to improve to 15-0 on the year. Pine View kept pace in region with a road win at Hurricane. And Cedar also got a road win, blasting past Snow Canyon.
Here’s a look at the Region 9 action from Friday night:
Dixie 44, Desert Hills 39
Dixie coach Ryan Cuff preaches defense to anyone who will listen. His players seem to be paying a lot of attention as the Flyers held the Thunder to a season-low in points, nearly 25 below their average.
“We won the state championship last year because of defense, but as good as that team was defensively, this team is better,” Cuff said. “This year’s group just loves to play defense. We’ve got kids like Kannen Dye, who just live for defense. No question we are 15-0 because of him – and because of defense.”
Not a single Desert Hills player reached double figures in scoring and the Thunder scored 10 points or fewer in three of the game’s four quarters.
“We were excited to be playing at home – it’s been awhile,” Cuff said. “We started the game and we started the second half with big runs. But give Desert Hills credit. They’re a good team and they found a way to claw back into it.”
Dixie opened the contest 10-0 and then settled for a 27-16 halftime edge. In the third quarter, the Flyers scored the first seven points and held their largest lead at 34-16. Steadily, the Thunder started to climb back into the game. By the end of the third, it was a 37-30 ball game.
When Logan Hokanson hit an acrobatic double-pump layup with 1:46 to play, Desert Hills had pulled to the closest it had been all night at 42-39. Unfortunately for the Thunder, they would not score again.
Dixie hit 2 of 4 free throws in the final 106 seconds and D-Hills couldn’t get a deep ball to fall as the Flyers came away with their 15th win in as many tries.
“We came out and had a lot of energy and got out and ran,” Cuff said. “Desert Hills missed some shots and we defended and got that big lead. But we had a letdown and Desert Hills is a good team and every good team is going to make a run.”
The Flyers hurt themselves from the line, making just 6 of 13 in the game. Desert Hills deserves plenty of credit for its defense as well. Dixie’s 44 is also its lowest point output of the season.
The Flyers made six 3-pointers in the game, with two each by Dye, Sam Stewart and Kaden Elzy. Stewart led all scorers with 11 points. Ty Curtis chipped in nine.
For Desert Hills, seven different players each made a 3-pointer, with Hokanson, Jacob Mathews and Braxton Porter tying for the team high in scoring with seven points each. Tanner Turley had five points and 12 rebounds.
Dixie, 15-0 and 2-0 in region, plays next at Snow Canyon Wednesday and then hosts Pine View next Friday.
Desert Hills, 11-4 and 1-1, is at Hurricane Wednesday and then hosts Snow Canyon Friday night.
Stats: Box Score DHS (DHHS)-11317
Pine View 58, Hurricane 31
Well, sort of. Hurricane did make one run in the second quarter. Reagan Marshall and Josh Parker hit 3-pointers midway through the period cut Pine View’s lead to 21-16. But the Panthers scored the next seven points, including a dunk by Dylan Hendrickson and a 3-pointer by Tayler Tobler and that was the end of any comeback.
The Tigers never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
And since defense is the theme of the night, kudos to the Panther D, which gave up just six points in the first quarter, 10 in the second, nine in the third and six in the fourth.
“We know how important defense is,” said PV guard Kade Moore. “I’ve really been focusing on that this year. I think we have a very good defensive team.”
Pine View expanded that 28-16 halftime edge by starting the third quarter with a 12-2 run, repeatedly going inside to star center Trey Farrer. The big guy converted with twisting layups, powerful dunks or trips to the foul line.
“The first thing I do is look and feel for the double team,” Farrer said. “If there’s no double, I take it to the hole. If there is, I look for cutters or someone spotting up for a 3. I know have good enough shooters to make the defense pay.”
Moore made three 3-pointers and Lambert hit a couple, despite again struggling with foul trouble early in the game.
Up 40-25 to start the fourth, Pine View scored a quick 14-0 run and then coach Ryan Eves called timeout and cleared his bench. The JV players for both teams played the last four or five minutes.
“They were a pretty physical team,” Farrer said. “We knew they had some decent big guys so we had to keep the pressure on. The main thing was to stop their big scorers.”
Hurricane’s big scorers this season have been Parker and Jackson Last. But PV held Parker to seven points (he averages 17.5) and Last to eight (he averages 15.1).
Farrer finished right near his average by scoring 22 points. All nine of Moore’s points came on 3-pointers, while Lambert and Hendrickson scored eight each.
Pine View, 12-2 overall and 2-0 in region, made just 8 of 17 free throws after going 16 of 18 on Wednesday. But PV made 22 of 42 field goals for 52 percent, compared to 10 of 43 for the Tigers for 23 percent.
Pine View plays next at Cedar Wednesday and then goes to Dixie Friday night. Hurricane, 10-6 and 0-2, hosts Desert Hills Wednesday and then goes to Cedar Friday night.
Cedar 69, Snow Canyon 29
“We just played good defense and hit shots,” Cedar coach Russ Beck said. “We spent the few days leading up to the Desert Hills game (a loss on Wednesday) worrying about Desert Hills. So the past two days, we just kind of looked at ourselves. We need to work on us – when we do that, we can be as formidable as anybody else in this region. We can’t get too wrapped up in the other team. We need to focus on what we do.”
Cedar played probably its best basketball of the year at both ends and that coincided with a horrible shooting night for Snow Canyon, which made just eight field goals on 39 attempts in the game (21 percent).
“We got stops and then we got out in transition and got some easy baskets,” Beck said. “We didn’t give up many easy baskets tonight. We made them earn it.”
It was like a game of H-O-R-S-E to start things off. Ethan Boetcher opened the contest with a 3-pointer. SC’s Bryson Childs matched him at the other end, then Nielson hit back-to-back treys to make it 9-3. After a bucket inside by Mike Price (who was starting for the injured Mason Fakahua), Kameron Webster cut it to 11-6 with a 3 for SC.
But Boetcher hit another trey and Nielson and Parker Haynie scored and it was 18-8 after one. Cedar locked it down in the second quarter, allowing Snow Canyon just three points (on a basket by Webster and a free throw by Childs) to increase the advantage to 34-11 at intermission.
The second half was mostly academic as Snow Canyon was unable to cut into the lead and Cedar recorded its ninth win of the year.
The Redmen got 19 points from Boetcher, including five 3-pointers. Nielson made four treys as part of 29-point, four-assist night. Cedar, 9-6 overall and 1-1 in region, has two home games next week, with Pine View visiting on Wednesday and Hurricane on Friday.
Snow Canyon, 6-7 and 0-2, got 12 points from Webster. Leading scorer Braden Baker was held to just three points. The Warriors host Dixie next Wednesday and then travel to Desert Hills on Friday.
Stats: Cedar 69, Snow Canyon 29
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