Bottema is MVP as all-region boys basketball teams announced

Dixie's Carson Bottema (2) was named the Region 9 MVP Monday | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie guard Carson Bottema wasn’t the leading scorer or rebounder in Region 9, but he was the best senior player on the best team and Bottema was rewarded for his efforts by being named the MVP as the 2017-18 All-Region 9 boys basketball teams were announced Monday.

First-teamer Dixie’s Tanner Cuff (3), Dixie vs. Bear River, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 24, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Bottema, who averaged 13.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, helped lead the Flyers to a perfect 12-0 record in region play. He had a career-high 27 points in Dixie’s 4A first-round playoff win over Bear River. The Flyers finished 21-4 overall, losing to Salem Hills 56-46 in the state quarterfinals.

“Carson was one of our senior leaders that led us to win the region title,” Dixie head coach Ryan Cuff said. “He kept getting stronger as the season progressed and did a lot of the little things that complimented his teammates. He was a pleasure to coach and I appreciate his commitment to basketball during his career at Dixie High School as he played multiple sports.”

Along with Bottema, Dixie placed two other players on the All-Region 9 first team. Junior guard Tanner Cuff led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.8 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. Cuff scored more than 20 points in six of Dixie’s games and had a career-high 27 against Hurricane on Feb. 7. Cuff, a junior, is the only non-senior on the first team. Senior forward Payton Wilgar was also honored as a first-teamer. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest and had 12 points and 14 rebounds against Desert Hills on Jan. 19, hitting the game-winner as time expired.

Desert Hills placed two players on the All-Region 9 first team. Tucker Peterson led the 17-7 Thunder in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest, racking up 17 points and 21 rebounds against Green Canyon in the first round of the 4A playoffs. Ryan Marz was also honored as a first-teamer. He was an anchor in the post for Desert Hills, averaging 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and had a 14-point, 14-rebound game against Park City in December.

First teamer Dixie’s Payton Wilgar (1), Dixie vs. Salem Hills, Boys Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The top scorer in the region was Hurricane’s Jackson Last, who was also named to the All-Region 9 first team. The senior guard, who is being recruited heavily by Dixie State, Southern Utah and several junior colleges (notably Salt Lake Community College), led the state in scoring much of the season. He ended up second behind state tournament MVP Salem Hills’ James Nelson, averaging 23.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Last also averaged 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game and scored a career-high 43 points against Snow Canyon on Jan. 24.

Brantzen Blackner concluded his senior season with impressive numbers. The All-Region first team honoree ended up averaging 20.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals per contest. He was a four-year star for Canyon View, becoming the all-time leading scorer for the Falcons this season. He had a career-best 35 points against Carbon back in December and had 12 steals in one game against Mt. Crest in the preseason.

“What an awesome first team,” Coch Cuff said. “It is great to see the talent level in Region 9 and the success that each of these young men had on their individual teams. Each of them made their team better and each of them are great leaders on and off the basketball court.”

The All-Region 9 second team features two Dixie players, two Desert Hills players and one each from Hurricane, Canyon View, Snow Canyon, Pine View and Cedar.

Dixie’s Brody Henderson (4.6 ppg, 2.3 apg) and Derek Cox (5.4 pppg, 4.0 rpg) were honored on the second team, along with Desert Hills guards Tyler Webber (9.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Trey Allred (5.5 ppg, 4.4 apg). Also on the second team are Hurricane’s Reagan Marshall (8.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Canyon View’s Joey Lambeth (10.7 ppg, 1.9 spg), Snow Canyon’s Braden Baker (14.4 ppg, 1.6 spg), Pine View’s Jack O’Donnell (13.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg), and Cedar’s Dallin Grant (9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

First teamer Desert Hills’ Tucker Peterson (31) launches the game-winning shot, Desert Hills vs. Green Canyon, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 23, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The honorable mention honorees are Jace Bennett, Dixie; Trevin Lindstrom, Desert Hills; Adam Heyrend, Hurricane; Russell Neild, Hurricane; Toby Potter, Canyon View; Parker Holmes, Canyon View; Joey Robertson, Snow Canyon; Bryson Childs, Snow Canyon; Michael Moten, Pine View; Connor Brooksby, Pine View; and Ethan Boettcher, Cedar.

Out of the 27 players named to the three all-star teams, 23 are seniors. Cuff, Lindstrom and Brooksby are juniors and Grant is a freshman.

The All-Region 9 teams were voted on and selected by the seven Region 9 coaches.

2017-18 All-Region 9 First Team
MVP-Carson Bottema, Dixie, SR
Tanner Cuff, Dixie, JR
Payton Wilgar, Dixie, SR

First teamer Desert Hills’ Ryan Marz (32), Orem vs. Desert Hills, Boys Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Tucker Peterson, Desert Hills, SR
Ryan Marz, Desert Hills, SR
Jackson Last, Hurricane, SR
Brantzen Blackner, Canyon View, SR

2017-18 All-Region 9 Second Team
Brody Henderson, Dixie, SR
Derek Cox, Dixie, SR
Tyler Webber, Desert Hills, SR
Trey Allred, Desert Hills, SR
Reagan Marshall, Hurricane, SR
Joey Lambeth, Canyon View, SR
Braden Baker, Snow Canyon, SR
Jack O’Donnell, Pine View, SR
Dallin Grant, Cedar, FR

2017-18 All-Region 9 Honorable Mention
Jace Bennett, Dixie, SR
Trevin Lindstrom, Desert Hills, JR
Adam Heyrend, Hurricane, SR
Russell Neild, Hurricane, SR
Toby Potter, Canyon View, SR
Parker Holmes, Canyon View, JR
Joey Robertson, Snow Canyon, SR
Bryson Childs, Snow Canyon, SR
Michael Moten, Pine View, SR
Connor Brooksby, Pine View, JR
Ethan Boettcher, Cedar, SR

First teamer Hurricane’s Jackson Last (3), Hurricane vs. Juan Diego, Boys Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
First teamer Canyon View’s Brantzen Blackner (30), Desert Hills vs. Canyon View, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT. Jan. 24, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

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