ST. GEORGE – Region 9 boys basketball is only two games old, but already wackiness has ensued. Canyon View, thought to be among the contenders for the league title, has already dropped two games at home. Dixie, with a whole new cast of characters this season, looks just about as good as last season. And Desert Hills, well, the Thunder just flat out play defense.
The Thunder are atop the region two games in with a 2-0 record, while Hurricane, which had a bye Friday night, and Dixie are 1-0. Cedar joins Pine View at 1-1 in region, while the Falcons and Snow Canyon Warriors are already behind the eight-ball with 0-2 records. Here’s a look at Friday’s action:
Dixie 57, Pine View 40
“Our main goal was to try and keep Pine View under 40, but they had a 19-point second quarter,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “We talked at halftime and decided to stay with our goal. I’m so impressed with the way the kids played defense in the second half. We knew it would be hard to do it, but I am so proud of the effort defensively.”
Dixie took the first bye of region and was the only team to have not played a region game yet. Starting with a road game was not ideal.
“Pine View is such a tough place to play and Pine View played scrappy and hard like we knew they would,” Cuff said. “I was pretty nervous, uptight, this week. This is a different team this year and we didn’t play well defensively last week against Wasatch. So we focused hard on defense this week.”
Connor Brooksby made a couple of 3-pointers to help Pine View rally from 22-16 down and forge a 26-24 lead just before halftime. Tanner Cuff scored in the closing seconds to tie the score heading into intermission.
But the Flyers took over in the third quarter. Jacob Barben made three straight baskets as Dixie turned a 29-26 deficit into a 34-29 lead with an 8-0 run. By the end of the third, Dixie held a 38-33 edge.
In the fourth, Dixie’s defense continued to dominate. Pine View leading scorers Tayler Tobler and Jack O’Donnell found it hard to get good looks at the basket. The two average a combined 28.5 points a game, but Dixie held the pair to five points total and just one made field goal.
“Payton Wilgar played a fantastic game defensively and he had nine rebounds,” Cuff said. “Brody Henderson and Jacob Barben did a great job on Tobler.”
Dixie outscored Pine View 19-7 in the fourth quarter and strolled away with the road win.
“Derek Cox had a nice game,” Cuff said. “They gambled off of him a little bit and he made them pay. It’s nice to have him healthy after he was sick last week. He had eight points, four or five blocks and a bunch of rebounds. And he had a couple of huge dunks.”
Dixie, 9-2 overall and 1-0 in region play, made 23 of 43 shots (53 percent) and dominated the glass, outrebounding Pine View 35-14. The Flyers will play host to Canyon View next Wednesday.
Pine View, which dropped to 5-6 overall and 1-1 in region, was led by Dallin Brown and Connor Brooksby, who had 11 points each. The Panthers managed just 31 percent shooting in the game (13 for 42). PV is at Hurricane Wednesday night.
Desert Hills 56, Snow Canyon 45
Tucker Peterson, back from a broken wrist, hit a couple of fade-aways that started a 10-4 run early in the second quarter as Desert Hills slowly pulled away from the visiting Warriors. Trevin Lindstrom and Tyler Webber hit 3-pointers in the run as D-Hills forged a 28-18 halftime advantage, despite a big first half from Snow Canyon’s Joey Robertson.
“It’s funny, cause the two guys we wanted to stop were Robertson and Braden Baker,” DH assistant Wil Hokanson said. “Robertson had a huge first half and Baker went off in the second half.”
Robertson had 13 points before intermission and nearly singlehandedly kept Snow Canyon in the game. But for every bucket the big man scored, Desert Hills seemed to have an answer in the form of Lindstrom, Peterson or Ryan Marz.
“It was a good team effort,” DH head coach Wade Turley said. “I thought we got good production from a lot of guys. I was a little frustrated when Snow Canyon made that run in the fourth quarter. We missed some easy shots and turned the ball over too much. Fortunately, we were able to get it turned around.”
Desert Hills led by a 36-26 count heading into the fourth quarter and built the lead all the way up to 45-29 after a basket by Trey Allred and a free throw by Peterson. But for the next 2 1/2 minutes, the Thunder went ice cold and Baker got red hot.
A basket by Brooks Sampson made it 45-31, then Bryson Childs made two free throws and it was 45-33 with 4:48 to play. After a missed layup by D-Hills, Baker buried a 3 from the corner to make it 45-36. Things started to get real interesting after a Desert Hills turnover turned into another Baker trey that made it 45-39 with 2:55 left in the game.
Once again, Desert Hills got a good look at the basket, but missed a close shot. Out of a timeout, Snow Canyon again set up Baker with a screen and a good look at a trey. This time, though, the deep ball rattled around inside the cylinder, then bounced off. Instead of a 45-42 game, Ryan Marz was fouled on the rebound and made both free throws, making it 47-39 with 2:33 left to play.
Marz, Webber and Peterson all buried free throws down the stretch to put the game away for the Thunder.
“Robertson’s a great player and it was a challenge tonight,” Ryan Marz said. “The game plan was to not let him get the ball, deny him. He had a good first half, but we just needed to pick up our backside help and we made that adjustment at halftime.”
Robertson finished with 15 points, but only two after intermission. Baker, who made three treys in the game, led Snow Canyon with 20 points.
“One nice thing when you have a little depth is that competition brings out the best in people like Ryan Marz,” Turley said. “He’s a competitive kid, and he wasn’t starting early in the year. But that’s made him work even harder to succeed.”
D-Hills is still playing without Taylor Cox, who has suffered two concussions this season. Ryan Marz had 12 points, six rebounds and a couple of blocks to lead DH. Peterson finished with 11 points and 11 boards.
It was a cold shooting night for both teams. Desert Hills was 16 for 43 (37 percent), while Snow Canyon was 13-31 for 31 percent.
The Thunder (9-3, 2-0) have Wednesday off and then are at Pine View Friday. The Warriors (4-8, 0-2) host Cedar on Wednesday.
Cedar 46, Canyon View 44
Expect the unexpected in a rivalry game and this was unexpected. Cedar, starting two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior, stunned the senior-laden Falcons on their own floor by leading almost wire-to-wire. Canyon View led briefly – by one point – the entire game.
“It’s really hard to find the right words,” Cedar coach Russ Beck said. “I have been a part of some big games in loud environments and that feeling of getting that win on the road rivals anything I have ever felt in coaching. We made plays when we needed to make plays and our boys were resilient.”
Canyon View got a shot off just before the buzzer, a 3-pointer that would have won it, but it was long – an airball – and the Redmen pulled off the stunning road upset.
“It looked long when it left his hand,” Beck said. “Thank goodness. (If) we hit a few more free throws down the stretch, we don’t put ourself in that position.”
Cedar had a pair of free throws with 8.6 seconds left that would have iced it, but both shots missed. Brantzen Blackner rebounded the second one and drove the length of the floor before dishing it to a teammate in the corner for the potential game-winner. It went long with about a second left and a scrum for the rebound used the rest of the time.
“We had a great start and so many guys that stepped up and made plays,” Beck said. “That was a hard-fought win against a good team.”
The game started slowly with Canyon View unable to hit a field goal in the first quarter. Cedar led 7-1 after one. Blackner hit a 3-pointer to start the second, but it was still a 24-13 Cedar advantage at the half.
The Falcons started to chip away at the lead behind Blackner (16 points) and Joey Lambeth (9) and pulled to within 36-32 after three quarters.
Cedar was up four with a minute left when Dallin Grant was fouled. The freshman continued to the basket and dunked it after the foul and was called for a technical foul. He also missed his free throw, so instead of a six-point game, Canyon View hit two free throws to cut it to two and had the ball.
The Redmen weren’t sharp at the line, hitting just 5 of 12 free throws. But they hit just enough to hold onto the lead and ultimately the win.
Dallin Peterson led Cedar with 14 points as the Redmen improved to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in region play. Grant and Treyton Tibbs added eight each for CHS, which is at Snow Canyon Wednesday night.
Canyon View, 5-8 overall and 0-2 in region, has a couple of tough road games coming up, with a non-region contest at Wasatch Academy Saturday night and a region road trip to Dixie Wednesday.
At halftime of the game. Coaches Beck and Rob Potter presented three families dealing with cancer $5,000 checks to help their causes, courtesy of the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic tournament held last week.
Dixie 57, Pine View 40
Desert Hills 56, Snow Canyon 45
Cedar 46, Canyon View 44
Region 9 Standings
Desert Hills 2-0, 9-3
Dixie 1-0, 9-2
Hurricane 1-0, 7-3
Cedar 1-1, 8-5
Pine View 1-1, 5-6
Canyon View 0-2, 5-8
Snow Canyon 0-2, 4-8
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