Region 9 girls basketball: Cedar caps perfect season; Pine View, Snow Canyon set for play-in game

Dixie's Addyson Shaffer drives inside against Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 14, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — At Canyon View, the Dixie Flyers led by double digits in the second half, only to see the lead evaporate during the fourth quarter. Still, they managed to hold on at the end for a close 61-55 win over the Falcons.

Thursday night’s game was the regular season finale, with Dixie finishing the Region 9 slate in third place with a 7-5 record, while Canyon View dropped to 1-11 in region play.

Canyon View had jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, but Dixie closed to within 14-11 as the first quarter ended.

During the second period, Dixie guard Joslyn Bundy swished four more 3-pointers to give her 17 points by halftime. She then scored five more points early in the third quarter before Canyon View went to a box-and-one defense, dedicating Addy Newman to guarding Bundy full-time.

Although Bundy finished the game with 26 points, she was limited to four free throws in the fourth period. Bundy said afterward even though she was being guarded more heavily, she used the opportunity to pass the ball to her teammates.

In the first half, Bundy said, she was “feeling pretty good and my teammates were finding me open. We found a rhythm.”

Dixie’s Sina Schwalger dribbles the ball against Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 14, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In the second half, Bundy said her goal was to find other players open.

“We just know that it is not a matter of who scores, as long as we get points up,” Bundy said. “So if we can work it around and just find our open player, work our plays and play our game, then we can score.”

Dixie head coach Ryan Forsey said he was pleased with Bundy’s offensive performance, which included six 3-pointers.

“Joslyn needed this game. She’s been in a bit of a slump for a few games, and you know, she can shoot her way out of it. I’m really happy for her, really proud of her to stay with it,” he said. “I’m really proud of our team for finding her and getting her open shots.”

Dixie center Sina Tapasa brings down a rebound amid Canyon View players, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 14, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Although the Flyers trailed by two at the half, 32-30, Dixie went on to lead by as many as 11 points during the third quarter. However, Canyon View slowly worked its way back into the game, eventually taking a 50-48 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the fourth.

But Dixie guard Enid Vaifanua made back-to-back layups to put the Flyers back on top again, 52-50. They never trailed again.

Canyon View sent Dixie to the foul line late in the game in an attempt to stop the clock and mount another comeback, but the Flyers converted 7-of-9 free throws during the fourth quarter to stay a couple baskets ahead during the closing minutes. Kalli Beckstrom made a basket and two free throws in the final minute to help seal the deal.

Vaifanua finished with 9 points for Dixie, while Mel Alo scored 11.

Despite the season-ending loss, Canyon View head coach Jaycee Barnhurst said after the game she was encouraged by her team’s progress this season.

“I told the girls, I said, well, we finally figured out how to compete,” she said. “And that’s something that hasn’t been done in Canyon View (girls) basketball for four or five years. So finding that step, being able to compete will just lead us into winning games.”

Although the Lady Falcons will lose guards Jordan Nielson and Shayla Johnson to graduation, they are the only two seniors on Canyon View’s young squad.

Ashlyn Banks led Canyon View with 16 points, while Newman added 13 points, Harlee Nicoll made 12, and Nielson scored 9.

As the Region 9’s No. 3 seed, Dixie will open the 4A playoffs on the road against Spanish Fork, Region 10’s No. 2 seed, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. The Spanish Fork Lady Dons finished their season 7-3 in region play, 14-4 overall.

“They’re a very good team,” Forsey said of Spanish Fork. “They’ve been a highly ranked team most of the year and are in a very good region with Lehi.”

Forsey noted the last time Dixie made the playoffs was six years ago in 2013, when the Lady Flyers won the state 3A championship, despite being their region’s No. 4 seed.

— Written by Jeff Richards

Desert Hills 69, Pine View 44

Desert Hills blew out Pine View Thursday in a game the Panthers needed to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot. Instead, Pine View dropped to 5-7 in region play and fell into a tie with idle Snow Canyon. The teams are set for a play-in game Tuesday to see who advances to the state championship playoff. The game will be played at a neutral site to be determined. 

Desert Hills led the entire game, starting with a 14-point lead after one quarter before increasing it to 17 at halftime.

Pine View was never able to close the gap as the Thunder extended their margin to 18 after the third period and outscored the Panthers 19-12 in the fourth, sealing an easy 25-point win.

“Our girls played good,” Desert Hills coach Ron Denos said. “We have girls that work hard and want their teammates to do well. We always have different leading scorers every game and it makes it hard for other teams to stop us because we really are a team.”

Desert Hills ended with an 8-4 record in region play, clinching the No. 2 seed in the state playoffs and earning a first round home playoff game.

Kellie Nance led the Thunder with a game-high 22 points, while Abby Monson chipped in 13.

— Written by Spencer Rodak

Cedar 74, Hurricane 45

The Cedar Lady Reds completed an undefeated regular season, easily defeating the Hurricane Tigers.

Cedar led the entire game, but just by 10 going into halftime.The Lady Reds then proceeded to blow the game open in the second half, leading by 21 after three before finishing of the game in the fourth and sealing the 29-point win.

Cedar was led by Mayci Torgerson, who dropped 21 points. Samantha Johnston and Logann Laws each added 13 in the win.

Hurricane ends the season 4-8 in region play. Hailey Homer led the Tigers with 16 points, while Madi Hirschi added 15.

— Written by Spencer Rodak

Region 9 final regular season standings
Cedar 12-0 (21-0)
Desert Hills 8-4 (13-7)
Dixie 7-5 (13-9)
Pine View 5-7 (7-12)
Snow Canyon 5-7 (8-15)
Hurricane 4-8 (8-14)
Canyon View 1-11 (6-16)

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