Girls basketball: D-Hills clinches share of Region 9 title; Cedar still lurking

Hurricane's Hailey Homer (21) and Desert Hills' Taylor Salisbury (40), Hurricane vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 2, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Desert Hills Lady Thunder will get at the very least a share of the Region 9 championship with their win Thursday night over the Hurricane Tigers.

Cedar is the only team that could join DHHS at the top, but would have to see Desert Hills lose its final two games. The Lady Reds did take sole possession of the No. 2 spot with their win against Pine View Thursday. Losses dropped the Panthers and Hurricane into a tie for third place. There remains an outside possibility for Snow Canyon to climb into the playoffs, but the Warriors would need help from other teams.

Below are summaries of Thursday night’s action:

Desert Hills 57, Hurricane 37

The Lady Thunder scored the first 11 points and maintained at least a 7-10-point lead all the way to the last two minutes of the game. In the last two minutes, Desert Hills ended the game on a 10-0 run to get to the final margin.

“Except for the opening few minutes, Hurricane played us even,” said Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos. “Coach Homer’s girls played hard. We got out early and then hung on. In the end, they had to make some gambles that did not go their way.”

Desert Hills’ Ashley Beckstrand (24), Hurricane vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 2, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Desert Hills came out hitting early. Ashley Beckstrand fueled the opening 11-0 run with five points and two assists. The first assist came on a length-of-the-floor pass to Morgan Myers. Beckstrand hit a 3-pointer with 4:58 on the clock to complete the run.

Alexa Christensen scored first for the Lady Tigers. Jayden Langford drove to the left side, drew the double team and dished to Christensen for the easy two. Beckstrand got her third assist of the game on the next possession with a pinpoint pass to Megan Wiscombe. Wiscombe’s basket put the lead at 13-2.

Madi Hirschi entered the game late in the first and drained her first basket. But Thunder backup center Jess Bills’ two free throws ended the quarter with Desert Hills on top 15-5.

Hurricane’s Madi Hirschi (33), Hurricane vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 2, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Hurricane got more offense in the second, but the Lady Thunder were able to match it. Langford’s 3-pointer narrowed the lead to 17-10. That would be as close at the Tigers would get the rest of the night. Jess Mathis assisted on one play, then stole the inbounds pass and hit the layup to give DHHS a 30-17 lead with 1:45 remaining in the half. Langford and Hirschi both hit buckets to end the half and pull the Tigers to 30-21.

Christensen’s basket off a pass from Kylee Stevens pulled the Tigers to within seven again to open the second half. Beckstrand scored the next seven points to give the Thunder a 14-point cushion. Langford kept Hurricane close, hitting two baskets and assisting on the Tigers’ last bucket of the quarter by Tylee Brisk, but when the horn sounded, it was still the Thunder up 39-29.

The fourth started with another rebound and length-of-the-court assist from Beckstrand. This time the recipient was Madi Clark for the 41-29 lead. Myers then hit a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 44-29 lead. The Tigers edged back. Langford’s steal and assist to Rivers for the layup with 2:33 remaining pulled them within 10, 47-37.

Hurricane’s Alexa Christensen (32) and Desert Hills’ Taylor Salisbury (40), Hurricane vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 2, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Desert Hills closed out the game hitting their free throws and beating the Tigers’ press the last two minutes of the game.

“Their press rattled us in the first part of the first quarter,” said Hurricane head coach Franci Homer. “Then at the end, we were scrambling, trying to create turnovers and get back into the game. That turned into easy baskets for them. Desert Hills is a solid team and should represent Region 9 well in the state tournament.”

Individually for Desert Hills, Beckstrand led all scorers with 22 points. Myers scored 10. Wiscombe and Elly Williams each had six. Clark scored five.

For Hurricane, Langford had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Hirschi scored nine. Christensen scored six and Stevens scored five. Stevens also had five assists and five rebounds.

Desert Hills’ win guarantees at least a tie for the Region 9 championship with a 7-1 record, a two-game advantage over second-place Cedar with only two games to play. The Thunder are 15-3 overall. Desert Hills will host Snow Canyon on Tuesday night. Hurricane falls to 4-4 in region play and 11-8 overall. Hurricane travels to Cedar on Tuesday night.

Snow Canyon 51, Dixie 35

The Lady Warriors rebounded from their loss against Cedar with a win over the Lady Flyers. Snow Canyon jumped out early and added to its lead in the second and third quarters. Entering the fourth, the Warriors led 44-28 and maintained their 16-point advantage to the final buzzer.

“I was really happy with how physical the girls were tonight,” said Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden. “We rebounded well, which is something we focused a lot on in practice Wednesday.”

Jasmine Lealao led all players with 14 points. Tylei Jensen joined her in double figures with 11. Lindsy McConnell scored seven and led the team with eight rebounds. Mele Kata scored nine. Lealao also had six rebounds and six steals.

For Dixie, Kelsea Barker led the team with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Aspen Bair scored eight points. Ilah Wallace pulled down nine rebounds.

“We hurt ourselves with missed opportunities on the offensive end,” said Dixie head coach Jaime Araiza. “We missed too many layups and free throws. “

Snow Canyon improves to 3-5 in Region 9 and 10-9 overall. The Lady Warriors will travel to Desert Hills on Tuesday night. Dixie falls to 1-7 in region and 5-12 overall. The Lady Flyers will host Pine View on Tuesday night.

Cedar 49, Pine View 22

In probably the strangest game of the region this year, Pine View fell to Cedar on their poorest shooting night of the year. The oddity was the scoring in the first quarter which ended with the Lady Panthers sporting a soccer-like 3-1 lead. The Lady Reds found their offense in the second quarter and led at halftime, 16-6.

The Lady Panthers could not get any of their shots from the field to fall, hitting only 2 of 40 for five percent. They shot well from the free-throw line, hitting 17 of 26 and outscoring Cedar by one. But the Lady Reds outscored Pine View from the field 33-5.

“We shot well at the free-throw line, but we just couldn’t make baskets,” said Pine View head coach Chris Brinagh. “Cedar is very tough and I knew was it was going to be a tough environment to play in.”

Claire Newby led the Panthers with nine points. Dawn Mead and Emma Evans each scored four. Bailia Milne led the team with six rebounds. Maycee Hayes pulled down five rebounds.

For Cedar, Carley Davis led the team with 12 points. Lindsey Robinson and Maisie Elison each had eight points. Robinson also led the team with eight rebounds. Dream Weaver led the team with three assists. Japrix Weaver led the team with five steals.

The win, coupled with the loss by Hurricane, places Cedar all alone in second place at 5-3 in Region 9. CHS is 14-5 overall. The Lady Reds will host Hurricane on Tuesday night. Pine View falls to 4-4 in region and 7-8 overall. The Lady Panthers will travel to Dixie on Tuesday.

REGION 9 STANDINGS
Desert Hills 7-1 (15-3)
Cedar 5-3 (14-5)
Hurricane 4-4 (11-8)
Pine View 4-4 (7-8)
Snow Canyon 3-5 (10-9)
Dixie 1-7 (5-12)

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

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