Richfield squelches Cedar offense, stops Lady Reds win streak

Japrix Weaver of Cedar drives past Richfield's Teleni Reitz in preseason action, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 12, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Despite a strong start, the Cedar High girls basketball team fell to the Richfield Lady Wildcats in preseason action Tuesday night, 38-22.

The Lady Reds were riding a three-game winning streak heading into the home contest and were looking to avenge two overtime losses to Richfield last year, including Cedar’s season-ending exit from the state 3A tournament.

Both teams got off to a slow start Tuesday night, with the Lady Wildcats missing their first five field goal attempts, all of which were from 3-point range. Midway through the first period, Richfield senior Emma Jones made 2 of 3 free throws after getting fouled during a 3-point attempt, making the score 5-2 in favor of Cedar.

The Lady Reds never trailed during the first quarter, leading 10-8 at the end of the period. Senior forward Carley Davis and sophomore guard Japrix Weaver each accounted for five of Cedar’s 10 points at that point.

Cedar High players during Richfield’s 38-22 preseason win over Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 12, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Early in the second period, Richfield junior Alexa Lord tied the game 11-11 on a layup, and the Wildcats added another layup off a steal immediately afterward to take a 13-11 lead. Both teams continued to struggle offensively throughout the second quarter, with Richfield ultimately taking a 19-16 halftime lead.

Davis scored a basket from the lane on Cedar’s first possession of the second half to cut Richfield’s lead to 19-18, but incredibly, the Lady Reds were held scoreless the remainder of the period, which was fraught with missed shots and turnovers.

The Wildcats managed to extend their lead to double digits by the end of the third period, 28-18. The fourth period played out in similar fashion, with Richfield outscoring Cedar 10-4 in the final quarter.

Davis finished with 12 points for Cedar, while Japrix Weaver added 7. Only two other Lady Red players scored, with Sage Oldroyd netting 2 and Jasie York adding a free throw at the end of the game for 1 point.

Carley Davis of Cedar prepares to take a shot over Richfield defenders during Richfield’s 38-22 preseason win over Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 12, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Jones, meanwhile, led Richfield’s balanced attack with 11 points. Madison Roberts added 7, Caitlyn Nabity made 6, Lord and Teleni Reitz each had 5 and Jordyn Moon scored 4.

Corry Nielsen, Cedar’s first-year head coach, said while the second half was “a long 16 minutes,” he was nevertheless pleased with the Lady Reds’ defensive efforts.

“They’re a good team,” Nielsen said of Richfield. “(We held them to) 38 points. I can live with that.”

Nielsen said he believes his team expended so much effort on the defensive end, they struggled to find any sort of offensive rhythm.

“We just had to work so hard to score,” he said.

Cedar made just 3 of 12 free throws during the contest, and senior starters Dream Weaver and Bailee Fielding were uncharacteristically held scoreless, even though they managed to contribute in other ways.

Cedar’s next scheduled game will be next Tuesday, Dec. 19, against Region 9 rival Desert Hills. It’s the region opener for both teams.

Cedar dropped to 3-2 in preseason action with the loss, while Richfield improved to 5-1 with the win.

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