ST. GEORGE – Dixie’s 28-game winning streak was broken Wednesday night by Desert Hills in a barnburner contest in the Thunderdome. D-Hills’ close win also shook up the Region 9 standings a bit, with the Thunder pulling into a tie for first place with the Flyers and Pine View staying within striking distance a game out after the Panthers’ big win over Hurricane.
And let’s not forget the Snow Canyon Warriors, who got their first region win by squeaking past Cedar. That means SC is just a game behind Hurricane in trying to get a playoff spot and the No. 4 seed.
Here’s a look at Wednesday night’s action, starting with that battle for first place:
Desert Hills 51, Dixie 48
The Thunder’s Tanner Turley made one free throw with 6.8 seconds left to give DH a 49-48 lead. After a Dixie time out, Turley missed the second one hard off the front rim. But teammate Cam Clayton rebounded the miss and was fouled. He made both free throws and a Dixie 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.
“There was incredible effort out there by both teams,” Thunder coach Wade Turley said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a game where so many kids were diving and scrappin’, just trying to get those 50-50 balls. There was a lot on the line tonight.”
Indeed, first place was on the line, or as it turns out, a tie for first place. If Dixie had won, it would have all but clinched the region title. Now, the two teams are tied at 6-1 atop Region 9 with three games left.
“We felt like we didn’t play very well the first time we played Dixie,” Turley said. “We’ve had a little momentum going lately, and obviously Dixie is having a tremendous season. First place was on the line and seeding at state. There was a lot to play for tonight and you could tell both teams really wanted it.”
Tanner Turley’s excellent first half helped the Thunder to a big early lead. D-Hills led by as many as nine and held a 35-27 halftime edge after Logan Hokanson’s tip-in just before the halftime buzzer. Turley made three 3-pointers and had 11 points at the half.
Dixie erased most of the lead right out of halftime, holding Desert Hills to a single basket for nearly six minutes in the third quarter. As the seconds ticked down in the third, Dixie had cut the DH lead down to 39-37. Clayton had a basket and Turley and Sam Kunzler hit free throws as DH held to a 43-39 lead after three quarters.
Dixie got its first lead since the first quarter when Kaden Elzy hit a deep ball to make it 46-45. But Jacob Mathews answered at the other end with his own 3-pointer to put the Thunder up by two. Elzy scored again and it was 48-48 with three minutes to go.
Both offenses started using clock, spreading the defenses out and hoping for open lanes to the basket. Each team missed, with Desert Hills finally coming up with a loose ball with 1:25 left and the score still tied. The Thunder worked the clock all the way down, with Turley finally taking a hard drive to the hole with under 10 seconds to go. The officials whistled Richard Guymon for a foul on the drive, setting up the final seven seconds and Clayton’s heroic offensive rebound.
“That offensive rebound was huge,” Coach Turley said. “I actually thought about pulling my guys off the lane so they wouldn’t get an over the back foul or something cheap. But I decided to keep them there. And Cam is just one of those kids. He’s just a very hard-nosed kid with tons of energy. Sometimes that hurts him, but it also helps him make big plays like that one.”
Tanner Turley finished with 17 points and three rebounds. Hokanson had 11 points and Mathews chipped in nine for Desert Hills, which outrebounded Dixie 27-23. Braxton Porter had four points and eight rebounds.
For Dixie, which was just 3 for 14 from beyond the arc, Elzy finished with 13 points and Camden Flinders had 11. Ty Curtis added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Thunder, 16-4 overall, are home against Hurricane Friday and then close out the year at Snow Canyon Feb. 8 and at home vs. Pine View Feb. 10.
Dixie, 19-1 overall, hosts Snow Canyon Friday, then finishes the year with road games at Pine View Feb. 8 and at Cedar Feb. 10.
Stats: Box Score DHHS (DHS)-2117
Pine View 68, Hurricane 44
Moore scored 17 points, including 5 of 8 from downtown, as the Panthers blew out Hurricane at the Pit gymnasium.
“He was frustrated with himself and I was frustrated with him and the great thing is he used it to make himself get better,” PV coach Ryan Eves said. “Teams have been double- and triple-teaming Trey (Farrer) and when he kicks it out of that, we need guys to hit shots. Kade did that tonight.”
As a team, the Panthers made 12 of 22 3-pointers, enabling them to break open a close game in the second quarter.
With PV ahead 14-13 to start the second, Moore hit his second trey of the game to make it 17-13. After a couple of Farrer free throws, Dylan Hendrickson made his second 3-pointer and it was quickly 22-13. Farrer then scored two quick baskets to cap the 12-0 run and make it 26-13 with barely three minutes gone in the second.
Hurricane got a 3 by Jackson Last and a basket by Reagan Marshall to cut it to 26-18, but Pine View clsoed out the quarter on a 10-4 run to take a 36-22 halftime lead. Kyler Vaka and McKay Lambert each hit a 3-pointer in the late surge.
The Panthers went inside to their big man to start the third quarter, with Farrer scoring on four straight possessions to push the Pine View advantage to 44-22. The Tigers didn’t get closer than 16 the rest of the way.
“They are a good team and I think improved from the first time we played them,” Eves said. “The thing we did well tonight was really move the ball around. We’ve been focusing on that. When you do that, guys get open looks and hopefully they knock them down.”
Hendrickson continued his recent tear with another monster game. He had 15 points and 13 rebounds – on the same day he announced he would be playing football at Dixie State University. He has averaged 15.8 points a game in the last two weeks.
“Dylan is really starting to figure things out and he seems to be getting better each game,” Eves said. “He’s been flying around and making plays.”
Farrer finished with 14 points and five rebounds and Vaka finished with eight points as the Panthers improve to 15-4 overall and 5-2 in region. Pine View hosts Cedar Friday, then finishes the year with a home game vs. Dixie next Wednesday and a road game at Desert Hills Feb. 10.
Hurricane, 12-9 overall and 2-5 in region, was led in scoring by Last’s 16 points and Josh Parker’s 14. HHS still has the inside track to fourth place and a spot in the playoffs. The Tigers lead Snow Canyon and Cedar by a game and play them both at the Tiger’s Den next week (Cedar on Wednesday and Snow Canyon on Feb. 10). Hurricane is at Desert Hills this Friday.
Snow Canyon 54, Cedar 49
“The guys played well and it felt good after they had embarrassed us on our own floor,” Snow Canyon coach Jamison Sorenson said. “We felt like it was a little redemption. Tonight, the guys played with an edge, a toughness that’s been lacking.”
Sorenson said his team was battling some health issues, with guys being sick and injured, plus foul troubles sent leading scorer Braden Baker to the bench for much of the game.
Enter Austin Staheli. The junior guard, who had played sparingly most of this season, scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers. The bad news: Staheli tumbled down in the fourth quarter and broke his collar bone, meaning he is likely lost for the season.
“It was an incredibly physical game,” Sorenson said. “It was a battle, but my guys responded and fought back. It’s like I told the guys after the game – we have this in us. Tonight it finally came to the surface. They didn’t back down and it paid off.”
Down 21-19 with under three minutes to go in the first half, Snow Canyon closed the period on a 7-0 run. Brooks Sampson scored in the lane and then Christian Sullivan got a steal and a foul. His free throws made it 23-21 Warriors. After an offensive foul by the Redmen, Bryson Childs converted on a three-point play to make it 26-21 heading into intermission.
The Warrior lead grew to 41-31 in the third quarter. After Cedar had pulled to within 31-29, Staheli and the Warriors closed on a 10-2 streak, with Staheli hitting two 3-pointers in the run.
Cedar made its run midway through the fourth quarter, with a 7-1 run turning the score from 47-40 to 48-47 with under two minutes to play.
A pair of Kameron Webster free throws with 56 seconds left put SC ahead by three at 50-47, but Braden Garrett scored 20 seconds later to make it a 50-49 game.
The Redmen were forced to foul and Webster missed a pair of free throws, but Keenan Nielson’s short jumper was off the mark with 16 seconds left. This time, Cedar fouled Sampson and he nailed both free throws with 11 seconds to go to make it 52-49. Nielson’s 3-pointer to tie was off the mark and Baker made two free throws with three seconds left to clinch the first region win for Snow Canyon.
“We can still make the playoffs,” Sorenson said. “It won’t be easy, but there are still three games left to be played and if we can come out and play with the same type of intensity and aggressiveness we did tonight, I think we give ourselves a good chance.”
SC, 7-11 overall and 1-6 in region, made 6 of 13 3-pointers in the game and forced the Redmen into 15 turnovers (SC had just 11). Along with Staheli’s 13 points, Webster had 11 and Sampson finished with eight. Sorenson also praised the defense of Spencer Snow and Sampson, who guarded Nielson most of the night.
Cedar, which fell to 9-11 overall and 1-6 in region, got 23 points from Nielson and 12 each from Garrett and Parker Haynie. The Redmen were just 3 of 15 from deep.
Snow Canyon plays at Dixie Friday night, then closes the season with a home game next Wednesday against Desert Hills and then a possible playoff-deciding contest at Hurricane Feb. 10.
Cedar still has playoff hopes and will play at Pine View Friday night. The Redmen then close the season at Hurricane next Wednesday and then home for Dixie Feb. 10.
Stats: Cedar vs. SC
REGION 9 BOYS BASKETBALL STANDINGS
Dixie 6-1 (19-1)
Desert Hills 6-1 (16-4)
Pine View 5-2 (15-4)
Hurricane 2-5 (12-9)
Cedar 1-6 (9-11)
Snow Canyon 1-6 (7-11)
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