View from above: Panthers strengthen lead in Region 9

Pine View's Claire Newby drives hard into the Canyon View defense in the Panthers' 70-45 win over the visiting Falcons. Newby was the game's high scorer with 21 points, Jan. 18, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After losing their seven-game winning streak to a team that had no victories on the season, then winning an overtime game they probably should have lost, the Pine View Lady Panthers returned to form Thursday against Canyon View, dispatching the Lady Falcons, 70-45.

Pine View’s Sophia Jensen gets off a shot against Canyon View in the Panthers’ 70-45 victory over the Falcons, Jan. 18, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

Asked if he had made any adjustments in the wake of that brief rough patch, Panthers coach Chris Brinagh said, “Sometimes you’ve got to win an ugly one, a scrappy game, and that’s what we did against Cedar. We got to practice the next day and we worked on some things we needed to work on, and we came out tonight and just took care of business.

“It’s not so much Xs and Os with the girls, it’s just believing, and seeing the ball fall through the rim so they can get a chance to get that confidence. So that’s all we did. A lot of shooting, a lot of rebounding drills.”

Canyon View didn’t play badly – it scored more than any other Region 9 team that played Thursday, which is especially impressive given Pine View’s defensive prowess.

The visiting Falcons went toe to toe with the Panthers throughout the first quarter, even as Pine View hit three 3-pointers, one by Claire Newby and two by Dawn Mead, who scored 8 points in the quarter.

Newby’s trey from the top of the key, just 38 seconds into the game, erased the only deficit the Pine View would face all night after Canyon View’s Cristal Elias got the scoring started with a putback of an offensive rebound, giving the Falcons a brief 2-0 lead.

The first quarter was a down-and-dirty affair as both teams turned up the defensive intensity, resulting in a plethora of fouls, held balls and turnovers.

Canyon View’s Addy Newman gets to a loose ball ahead Pine View’s Rachel Prior in the Falcons’ 70-45 loss to the Panthers, Jan. 18, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

As usual, Pine View’s vicious full-court press fueled its offense. After Newby’s three, Saraven Allen converted a steal into a bucket and when Canyon View tied the game at 8-8, the Panthers’ press forced a turnover that led to a Mead three. Later in the quarter, Sophia Jensen scored off a steal to give her team an 18-12 lead.

Still, the gritty Falcons hung around and when Jordan Nielson hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter, Pine View’s lead was just 18-16.

Canyon View’s Addy Newman tied it with a nice move inside to open the second quarter, but Newby immediately responded with another 3-pointer. She led all scorers in the game with 21 points.

After Newman hit a couple of free throws to pull the Falcons to within 28-24 midway through the quarter, the Panthers closed the first half on a 13-4 run. The key stretch took all of 17 seconds. Allen stole the ball and went the length of the floor for a layup, then, after a Canyon View turnover, she was fouled while sinking a 3-pointer and converted the free throw. Allen scored 16 in the game.

Pine View gradually increased its advantage through the third quarter, taking a 54-36 lead into the fourth, and finishing with the reserves on the court to close out the 70-45 victory.

Ashlyn Banks led the way for Canyon View with 11 points, while Newman scored 9.

With the win, Pine View sits atop the Region 9 standings with a 5-1 record, while Canyon View falls to last among the seven teams with a record of 1-4. In other Region 9 action Thursday, Hurricane and Desert Hills both won.

Pine View’s next game is Jan. 25 at Snow Canyon, while Canyon View hosts Desert Hills on Jan. 25.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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