Girls basketball: Desert Hills blows past Cedar to avenge loss

Desert Hills vs. Cedar, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Region 9 race saw more separation Thursday night as Pine View and Cedar both lost, leaving Hurricane alone in the second spot. The featured game saw Desert Hills avenge its only loss in region play with the home blowout over the Lady Reds. Snow Canyon kept its playoff hopes alive by winning at Pine View and Hurricane took care of Dixie. Below are game summaries of Thursday night’s action:

Desert Hills 55, Cedar 36

The rematch between Cedar and Desert Hills to kickoff the second half of Region 9 play was anticlimactic as the Lady Thunder’s half court trap pressure turned the game one-sided early.

Desert Hills had a healthy 30-11 lead at halftime. Cedar made a run in the third, but foul trouble eventually gave the Thunder the momentum again at the end and they finished the game with the same lead they had at the half, 55-36.

Desert Hills’ Morgan Myers (32), Desert Hills vs. Cedar, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“We knew exactly what they were going to do,” said Cedar head coach John Elison. “They used the same press we have seen before. In the first game, we only had eight turnovers. Tonight, we had eight turnovers in the first four minutes.”

Former Lady Red Morgan Myers wreaked the most havoc with four steals and eight deflections. Most of those came in the first half.

“We were motivated about our loss in Cedar,” said Myers. “We wanted to come out and put it on them quickly.”

After grabbing a 13-6 lead after one, the Thunder expanded the lead even further in the second. Cedar did not reach double-digit scoring until Dream Weaver’s jumper with 3:30 left in the half. By that time, the score was 26-10. Ashley Beckstrand hit one of two free throws, then tossed in a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play for the 30-10 lead. Maisie Elison hit one of two free throws to get to the halftime score 30-11.

Beginning the third, it looked as though Coach Elison had made effective adjustments in the locker room. The Lady Reds went on an 11-2 run. Carley Davis scored five of those points. Her first basket came on a coast-to-coast layup. Moments later, she took an excellent feed from Dream Weaver for the easy basket. Lindsey Robinson’s jumper at the 1:45 mark pulled the score to 32-24. Desert Hills coach Ron Denos called timeout.

Desert Hills’ Ashley Beckstrand (24), Desert Hills vs. Cedar, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“We were overextending on our half-court trap,” said Denos. “We were getting steals doing that in the first half, but Cedar’s girls had settled down and were making good passes that caught us out of position. We told our girls not to gamble any more. Play solid defense and make them score over the top of it.”

The strategy paid off as Desert Hills scored the last five points of the quarter. Myers’ layup with 10 seconds on the clock gave the Thunder a 37-24 lead.

In the fourth, the Lady Reds kept with Desert Hills basket for basket, but could not get the lead back into single digits. With four minutes remaining, Davis fouled out. Dream Weaver, who had gone to the bench earlier with her fourth foul, came in for Davis.

“We had to go without our best players on the floor for an extended period of time,” said Elison. “Carley (Davis) fouling out hurt us.”

It was 41-29 at that point and the Thunder closed the game with a 14-5 run. Most of the damage came from Beckstrand and Jess Mathis. Another coast-to-coast layup by Myers closed the game out 55-36.

“We had very balanced scoring tonight,” said Denos. “We challenged some of our players who had not been scoring. We told them that they were all capable scorers and to look more for their scoring opportunities. We don’t want other teams to key on one or two players.”

Desert Hills vs. Cedar, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Thunder were led by Beckstrand with 19 points. Desert Hills had five other players that scored between 6-10 points. Mathis had 10. Myers scored eight. Taylor Salisbury, Madison Clark and Elly Williams all had six apiece. Williams also led the team with six rebounds.

For Cedar, Davis led the way with 10 points. Robinson scored eight. Dream Weaver scored six and Maisie Elison scored five. Elison led the team with 12 rebounds. Davis had a game-high of four blocks.

Desert Hills moves to 5-1 in Region 9 and 13-3 overall. The Lady Thunder travel to Dixie on Tuesday night. Cedar falls to 3-3 in region play and 12-5 overall. The Lady Reds will travel to Snow Canyon next week.

Hurricane 54, Dixie 39

The Lady Tigers took sole possession of second place in Region 9 with their win over visiting Dixie.

Hurricane jumped on the Flyers early, taking a 13-3 first-quarter lead. The Tigers built on that in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Flyers 20-7. Going into the final stanza, the Tiger lead was 43-23. Dixie closed strong in the fourth, but the deficit was too high to overcome.

“We could not get it together tonight,” said Dixie head coach Jaime Araiza. “We continually struggled at the offensive end. Grace (Killian) had an awesome game but no one else could get their shots to fall.”

Jayden Langford led Hurricane with 18 points. She was joined in double figures by Madi Hirschi (11) and Alexa Christensen (10). Hailey Homer scored seven. Christensen also led the team with seven rebounds. Hirschi had four assists. Kylee Stevens had four steals and shut down Dixie’s leading scorer, Kelsea Barker, holding her to six points. Dixie’s Grace Killian led all players with 22 points. Gaybrielle Hendricks scored five.

“We played great team basketball tonight,” said Hurricane head coach Franci Homer. “We shot well from the line, played great defense and used the press to our advantage. Kylee Stevens did great by shadowing (Kelsea) Barker. We told her not to lose her on defense and to contest every shot she took.”

Hurricane improves to 4-2 in region and 11-6 overall. The Lady Tigers will travel to Pine View on Tuesday. Dixie falls to 1-5 and 5-10 overall. The Lady Flyers will host Desert Hills on Tuesday night.

Snow Canyon 46, Pine View 37

The Lady Warriors were the only team to win on the road in Region 9 on Thursday night. The Warriors jumped out to a 21-9 halftime lead and then played Pine View nearly even in the second half to pull out the win.

The Lady Panthers outscored Snow Canyon from the field 28-26. But the difference came at the line where the Lady Warriors shot 20 more free throws (38-18) and outscored Pine View 20-9.

“Overall we played well,” said Pine View coach Chris Brinagh. “We took care of the ball and we played good defense. The calls did not go our way tonight. But we also missed a lot of shots at the offensive end that normally fall for us.”

Melenaite Kata led the Lady Warriors for the second straight game in scoring with 14 points. Jasmine Lealao scored nine points. Lindsy McConnell had six. Olivia Harris led the team with seven rebounds. For Pine View, Maycee Hayes led the team with 15 points. Lei Tonga scored seven. Claire Newby led the team with 10 rebounds.

“It was a total team effort, especially on the defensive end,” said Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden. “Getting Brielle Hoskins back (concussion) was huge. We’re finally getting healthy. This was the first time since our first game we had a full roster.”

Snow Canyon improves to 2-4 in region and 9-8 overall with the win. The Lady Warriors will host Cedar on Tuesday night. Pine View falls to 3-3 in Region 9 and 6-7 overall. The Lady Panthers will host Hurricane on Tuesday.

REGION 9 STANDINGS
Desert Hills 5-1 (13-3)
Hurricane 4-2 (11-6)
Cedar 3-3 (12-5)
Pine View 3-3 (6-7)
Snow Canyon 2-4 (9-8)
Dixie 1-5 (5-10)

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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