Flyers, Thunder both win to setup 1st place showdown

Dixie vs. Snow Canyon, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT. Jan. 17, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Snow Canyon and Hurricane stood in the way of a showdown between unbeaten region teams Wednesday night. The Dixie Flyers made it to the grudge match by winning ugly over the Warriors. And the Desert Hills Thunder held up their end by rallying past Hurricane. Now it’s game on for the two region leaders, with a showdown scheduled for Friday night at Dixie’s Hangar Gymnasium.

“I think it’s going to be a heck of a game – really tight,” D-Hills coach Wade Turley said. “Both teams play pretty good defense, so expect a defensive battle.”

Of course, to get to Friday’s game unbeaten in region, the two teams had to hold serve at home Wednesday night. Dixie led most of the game against the Warriors, though SC stayed within striking distance all night. And Desert Hills had to rally from 10 down in the second quarter to squeak out a victory over the Tigers. Pine View also staked a claim as a playoff contender with a road win at Cedar. Here’s a look at the night’s contests:

Dixie 37, Snow Canyon 32

It was a down-and-dirty dogfight at Dixie High, with the Flyers surviving a cold shooting night by playing irrepressible defense.

“It was a really scrappy game – the best kind for me to play in,” Dixie’s Jace Bennett said. “It’s really fun, diving on the floor and getting dirty. It gets me going. It’s hard, sometimes, but it’s worth it.”

Defensively, Dixie was just about as good as it gets. The Flyers held Snow Canyon star center Joey Robertson scoreless in the game, and allowed second-leading scorer Braden Baker just four points.

Dixie’s Payton Wilgar (1) and Snow Canyon’s Braden Baker (3), Dixie vs. Snow Canyon, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT. Jan. 17, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“It was a rough game – a defensive battle, is what it was,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Both teams had a hard time finding ways to score, and credit goes to both teams defensively. Snow Canyon fought hard and stayed close. They gave themselves a chance. The big thing for us is that we kept Joey (Robertson) inside scoreless, which was a big deal.”

Robertson had a couple of his shots blocked early in the game and seemed to play tentatively after that. Averaging 14.9 points a game, the Snow Canyon center fouled out with just a few seconds left without having converted on a single basket or free throw.

But as good as the Flyers were on defense, they couldn’t seem to get out of their own way on offense. Dixie made no 3-pointers in the game and hit just 13 of 27 free throws (48 percent).

“It was really physical,” Flyer Carson Bottema said. “It was kind of like a football game out there. I don’t know why we weren’t shooting it very well. The only thing we could get to fall was layups.”

Bottema was one of six Flyers to score in the first half, though Dixie held just a 15-14 lead at intermission. Dixie made a couple of backdoor cuts to stretch the lead out to six midway through the third quarter, but by the buzzer, it was 24-21. Bottema and Payton Wilgar scored baskets on inside drives early in the fourth as the lead climbed to six at 29-23. The advantage got all the way to 32-23 after a pair of free throws by Brody Henderson.

Baker hit a deep 3 to cut it to six briefly and Bryson Childs banked in a 3-pointer in the final minute to make it a five-point game. But Dixie hit just enough free throws to close out the win and improve to 4-0 in region play.

Dixie vs. Snow Canyon, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT. Jan. 17, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Jace Bennett is a guy who will do anything you ask him to do, and this was his kind of game,” Cuff said. “Both him and Payton Wilgar are our examples on defense, and it’s carrying over to the rest of the team. To keep a team to 32 points is awesome and I don’t remember the last time we’ve done something like that.”

Bottema led Dixie with 13 points and Wilgar chipped in eight. Dixie allowed just six points in the first quarter, eight in the second and seven in the third.

The Flyers, 12-2 overall and 4-0 in region play, host Desert Hills Friday night.

Snow Canyon, which fell to 5-10 and 1-4, was led by Childs’ 14 points. Brooks Sampson added six points, but the Warriors were held to 20 points below their season average. SC has a bye Friday and resumes Region 9 play next Wednesday with a home game against Hurricane.

Desert Hills 56, Hurricane 51

Reagan Marshall hit his first five shots and the visiting Tigers came out on fire to open the game. With Marshall and Jackson Last hitting from outside, Hurricane jumped out to a 21-11 first-quarter lead.

“Man, I swear they hit every shot in the first quarter,” Desert Hills coach Wade Turley said. “Our plan was to help out on Last and make someone else beat us. But then their big kid (Marshall) hit a bunch of shots and Last got going and we couldn’t stop them.”

Down by 10, the Thunder changed the tempo in the second quarter, pressing after made baskets, and the strategy made some headway for the Thunder as they were able to bring it to within 32-27 at halftime.

“That was a big key for us,” Turley said. “The first quarter was kind of plodding and slow, but we sped things up after that. It seemed to tire them out a little bit.”

File photo, Desert Hills’ Trevin Lindstrom (10), Desert Hills vs. Salem Hills, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT, Dec. 9, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Trevin Lindstrom hit a jumper to end the half and make it a five-point game and the junior guard was just starting to warm up. His 3-pointer midway through the third quarter gave D-Hills its first lead since early in the game at 42-41. After a miss by the Tigers, he hit another trey and it was 45-41. The two deep balls capped an 8-0 Desert Hills run.

Another basket by Lindstrom made it 47-42 at the end of the third.

“He was really good for us in the third,” Turley said. “I think that’s when he scored all his points.”

Marshall’s three-point play with 4:36 left in the game pulled the Tigers to within 49-48. But Tucker Peterson hit back-to-back buckets and Peterson and Trey Allred hit feee throws in the closing moments to seal the win.

“This team is a little funny,” Turley said. “We can get on those little rolls where we are really hot. We’re still working on putting together a full four quarters, where we’re executing on both ends. The good news is that we haven’t peaked yet.”

Lindstrom led Desert Hills with 15 points. Trey Allred had 11 points and Peterson contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. The Thunder shot 48 percent from the floor (23 for 47) and made 6 for 10 from the line.

Hurricane got 25 points and 11 rebounds from Last, plus 17 from Marshall. But the Tigers made just 18 of 46 field goals (39 percent) and hit just 5 for 22 from deep (23 percent). The Tigers made 10 of 15 free throws.

D-Hills, 11-3 overall and 4-0 in region, plays at Dixie in a battle for first place Friday night. Hurricane, 8-5 and 2-2, has a home game vs. Cedar Friday night.

Pine View 47, Cedar 33

What is an unsung hero? It’s a guy who does a lot of the little things to help his team win an important game. Gavin Bateman has been an unsung hero for Pine View this season, but we may have to remove the “unsung” part of the moniker after Wednesday night.

Bateman, just a junior, made four 3-pointers in the first half to help the visiting Panthers roar out to an early lead and never really give the Redmen a chance.

“Gavin’s been playing pretty well in practice and he came off the bench and lit a fire tonight,” said Pine View coach Ryan Eves. “That was good to see. He deserves it.”

File photo, Pine View’s Gavin Bateman (12), Pine View vs. Enterprise, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT, Nov. 29, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Bateman’s first trey came early on and followed one by Taylor Tobler to make it 8-1. His second triple pushed the Pine View lead to 13-5 late in the first quarter. Bateman’s third deep ball came on the first play of the second quarter and made it 17-7. He hit his fourth of the first half late in the second to help the Panthers to a 29-18 advantage at intermission.

Cedar pulled to within eight a couple of times in the second half, but never really challenged the Pine View defense, which held a team to under 40 points for the first time this season.

“Our defense was pretty tough tonight,”  Eves said. “Cedar was huge. We’re usually outsized in every game play, but we had an advantage in quickness.”

Bateman ended up scoring 14 to lead the Panthers, with Jack O’Donnell adding 11 and Connor Brooksby chipping in eight. Pine View made 15 of 29 shots (52 percent) and hit 6 of 16 treys (39 percent). The Panthers also made 11 of 17 free throws and turned the ball over just three times in the game.

But the real story was defense as PV allowed Cedar to hit just 1 for 13 from beyond the arc. Brandon Haskins led Cedar with 10 points and eight rebounds. Dallin Peterson and Dallin Grant scored six each.

It was a big road win for Pine View, which improves to 6-8 overall and 2-3 in region games. The Panthers return to Cedar Friday night, this time to play the Canyon View Falcons.

Cedar drops to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in region with the loss. The Redmen are at Hurricane Friday night.

Wednesday’s results
Dixie 37, Snow Canyon 32
Desert Hills 56, Hurricane 51
Pine View 47, Cedar 33

Region 9 Standings
Dixie  4-0, 12-2
Desert Hills  4-0, 11-3
Hurricane  2-2, 8-5
Cedar  1-3, 8-7
Pine View  2-3, 6-8
Canyon View  1-3, 6-9
Snow Canyon  1-4, 5-10

Friday’s games
Desert Hills at Dixie
Pine View at Canyon View
Cedar at Hurricane

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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Posted in Cedar City, Desert Hills, Dixie High, Hurricane, Pine View, Snow Canyon, Sports, Top Sports Stories, UtahTagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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