Pine View boys basketball beats Cottonwood 59-44

ST. GEORGE — After Pine View was able to pull out a close one against Desert Hills, they played Cottonwood just two days later. It was a tough game for the most part before the Panthers were able to pull away to get the 15 point win, but as the old adage goes, a win is a win.

Coach Ryan Eves was glad that his team got the win but he definitely saw some things the Panthers will look to improve on before their second Region 9 game against Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday.

“Mikey Moore said, ‘we’re playing their style,'” Eves said. “I haven’t seen us execute that poorly in a long time on offense. Defensively we did some good things, a couple missed assignments and we gave up open threes, but offensively we’re usually more crisp than that. I don’t even know how many turnovers we had but it wasn’t pretty, a lot of them unforced.”

The Panthers committed 14 turnovers on the night. Not a good stat line at all for their team. Pine View also had 15 against Desert Hills. They’ll need to take better care of the ball going forward.

Their offense looked smooth in the first quarter as they moved the ball from side to side and shifted the Cottonwood defense. They were up five after the first eight minutes. Cottonwood climbed back into the game before the half but the Pine View offense exploded in the third quarter thanks to Jared Sudweeks. He hit three of four straight threes that extended the Panthers lead and pushed the game to double figures.

Cottonwood at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Dec. 12, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

Eves said that Sudweeks’ biggest struggle is the fact that he can’t stay out of foul trouble. In three out of Pine View’s five games. he has had at least two fouls in the first half. That’s not good for a player that is as versatile and as key to a team’s offense as he is.

“When he’s on the floor we’re so much better offensively just because teams focus a little bit more on him,” Eves said of Sudweeks.

With teams locking in on Sudweeks it opens up looks for other players on the court. Guys like Michael Moore will be able to find driving lanes and get open shots as a result.

Moore is a big piece for the Panthers and someone who Eves speaks highly of. His biggest thing right now is the tough transition from football to basketball. He has not been shooting the ball well, 5-13 from the field and 1-6 from three, but Eves is urging him to try and find his rhythm by getting to the basket and the free throw line.

“We’ve been preaching it,” Eves said. “We say, If you’re going to shoot six threes, you’ve got to get to the free throw line six times. That’s kind of the agreement we’ve made. You can see, when he’s in basketball shape he can get to the rim. He’s long, he finishes pretty good, but he’s getting there. It’s hard to come out of football, a completely different style and get out there.”

Cottonwood at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Dec. 12, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

Moore will find his shot, it will just take a little time. He was their second leading scorer last season and shot over 40% from beyond the arc. There’s no doubt that he will be a big piece for the Panthers moving forward.

With all of these things being said, the Panther still won by 15. Again, a win is a win.

“It just shows us some things we’ve got to work on,” Eves said. “We’ve got to take every team serious and got to execute better. I just think right now we’re tired, we’re just getting in shape and shaking the rust off a little bit.”

The Panthers looked fatigued at times against Cottonwood, but they have the weekend to rest before playing four games next week. Three of those games will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Their game against Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday will be a good matchup as the second leading scorer in the region and former Pine View player, Jacob Nielsen, takes on the Panthers at Pine View.

“We play Crimson, we’ve got a couple kids that start for them that were here last year and they’re good friends,” Eves said. “We can’t let that distract us, they’re a decent ball club. They’re going to be coached well and they can shoot the ball. We’ve got to be ready. It’s another dog fight, I’m sure.”

After that stretch of games, the Panthers will have about a week off for Christmas and they won’t play again until Jan. 7. That’s when the region season will kick into high gear. The week break will also give players the opportunity to rest up and heal from some injuries before the rest of the region schedule.

Pine View plays at home against Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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