LOGAN – Ridgeline barely squeaked by Desert Hills in the state semifinals and split two regular season games against 3A championship foe Juan Diego this season, so it made sense to deduce that the RiverHawks would have a real battle on their hands in Saturday’s title game.
It was a battle, but Ridgeline had much bigger guns as the RiverHawks dominated the Soaring Eagle to the tune of an 89-63 result, handing the first-year school its inaugural state title in any sport.
University of Utah commit Jaxon Brenchley nearly had a triple-double with a superstar line of 31 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Brenchley’s best friend, Theron Wallentine, tallied 23 points and Dallan Larsen added 12 in the runaway win.
The RiverHawks had a 41-29 lead at the half and put the game away by outscoring the Soaring Eagle 26-13 in the third quarter. Ridgeline made 30 of 49 shots in the game, 61 percent. The RiverHawks, 21-4, never trailed in the contest and entertained a huge crowd of mostly Ridgeline fans. RHS is just four miles from the Smith Spectrum in Cache Valley.
In the consolation games, Dixie got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Sam Stewart to edge Desert Hills and claim third place and Canyon View defeated Stansbury to grab fifth place.
In the game played at Ridgeline High School in Milville, Dixie’s Stewart made his 30th 3-pointer of the season with three seconds remaining as the rival Flyers and Thunder battled to the bitter end with the Flyers emerging with the 52-51 victory.
Stewart had struggled most of the game and was scoreless heading into the fourth quarter. But the senior guard converted a three-point play, a layup and the game-winning trey in the final period to lead Dixie to the win.
Camden Flinders and Kaden Elzy were bombing away from outside to start the game. The two combined for seven first-half 3-pointers to lead Dixie to a 30-26 halftime lead. The Flyers had led by as many as eight and Desert Hills looked like it was in trouble. The Thunder were playing without starter Cam Clayton (foot injury) and lost star point guard Logan Hokanson in the first quarter to a sprained ankle.
But D-Hills climbed back into the game behind Jacob Mathews and Tyler Marz and got its first lead late in the third quarter, when Dixie’s outside shooters finally cooled off.
DH led 38-37 after three, setting up a nip-and-tuck fourth quarter between the crosstown rivals playing 400 miles from home.
Trey Allred hit a 3-pointer to help the Thunder out to a four-point lead, but Stewart and Korbyn Elzy led the Dixie charge to get the game tied up at 47-47.
With 1:05 left to play, D-Hills forward Jake Mathews put the Thunder ahead 49-47 with a pair of free throws. Richard Guymon matched Mathews with two freebies of his own with 34 seconds left.
The Thunder then went inside and the junior Marz hit a left-handed lay-in to make it 51-49 with 14.9 seconds left. After a timeout and a DH deflection, Dixie worked it in to Guymon, who then passed it outside to Stewart. The senior buried the 3-pointer at the top of the key, nothing but net.
DH got off a full-court shot at the buzzer that was well off the mark and Dixie captured its second win in three tries this season against the Thunder.
The Flyers, 24-3, were led by Flinders’ 18 points. Kaden Elzy had 11. Desert Hills, 21-6, got 12 from Mathews and eight from Tanner Turley.
In the fifth-place game, Canyon View beat Stansbury 54-44 and led nearly wire-to-wire behind the sharp shooting of Brantzen Blackner. The junior guard scored 27 points and made five 3-pointers.
The Falcons, 16-11, had eight total treys in the game and held an 11-5 lead after one period. A 34-point second half helped put the game away for CV, which won Region 12. The Falcons will rejoin its southern Utah rivals next season in Region 9 for all sports. Perry Dettling added seven points for Canyon View in the win.
3A STATE BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS
Ridgeline 89, Juan Diego 63
Ridgeline 64, Desert Hills 60
Juan Diego 66, Dixie 59
Desert Hills 62, Stansbury 55
Ridgeline 67, Carbon 39
Dixie 48, Canyon View 43
Juan Diego 86, Richfield 59
Academic Boys Basketball All-State
Cody Morgan, Carbon; Andrew Boyer, Cedar; Ty Curtis, Dixie; Richard Guymon, Dixie; Jason Christensen, Juab; Reggie Hinck, Richfield; Stetson Southwick, Richfield; Jaxon Brenchley, Ridgeline; Tyson DeLand, Snow Canyon; Brandon Boren, Tooele.
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