ST. GEORGE — One of the two top-seeded teams in the region, the Pine View Panthers, traveled to Snow Canyon on Tuesday night to take on the Warriors. The Panthers had a sloppy start to the game and were down 27-18 at the half. They were able to make a push in the second half but it was not enough. The Warriors got their second region win, 49-48, and are now in a three-way tie for second with Pine View and Hurricane.
“That’s fun, that’s why you play high school basketball,” Warriors head coach Doug Meacham said. “That’s a championship-level team and we told them at halftime, ‘just be prepared for them to come back and be punching us on the chin,’ and they did. We knew they’d make shots but I just liked our guys’ defensive effort. To me, that was the difference. We got excited by our defensive play.”
The Panthers had a dismal first half, and missed a number of good looks at the basket. Where Snow Canyon capitalized was the post. The Warriors got good position down low which gave them easy layups.
Lyman Simmons played a big role in the post touches but other players for the Warriors sealed their man to get some easy opportunities.
“They picked whoever they wanted, Lyman wasn’t even in and they got layup after layup after layup,” Pine View head coach Ryan Eves said. “Two feet from the bucket we’re letting guys catch the ball, point-blank range.”
The flood gates seemed to open for the Panthers in the second half as Snow canyon started to get into foul trouble. The big key for the Warriors was their ability to weather the storm. Pine view had all the momentum in the second half and with key players in foul trouble, Snow Canyon turned to their bench for help.
They found that help from their reserves.
“It’s just nice to trust ten guys off the bench,” Mckay Meacham said. “Everyone can play, everyone can go into a varsity game, which is nice to have.”
Snow Canyon was still up nine at the end of the third when the Pine view press defense gave them fits. After countless turnovers from the Warriors, Pine View had closed the gap to make it a 4 point game with a little under five minutes to go.
With three minutes left in the game, Michael Moore nailed a corner three for the Panthers. This was one of their first, if not their first, lead of the game. Then the back and forth game started.
With almost a minute left, Cole Warner hit a turn around 15-foot jump shot to put the Warriors ahead 49-48.
“That logo area is kind of his area,” coach Meacham said of Warner. “He’s really good in there and he can create space.”
This was the winning bucket for Snow Canyon after they stopped Pine View as the buzzer sounded.
Eves said the panthers were looking to get the ball inside on the final play, they just were not able to execute. As for Snow Canyon, they wanted to stick to the Pine View shooters, which they did.
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Pine View dug themselves too deep of a hole early in the game and that is not something you can do on the road in Region 9.
“That’s what they don’t understand because we’ve come back a lot the last year or two,” Eves said of the deficit in the first half. “Yeah, maybe at home, come back down nine. It is what it is.”
The Panthers have a tough road ahead with both Cedar and Dixie on the road. For the Warriors, this gives them a much-needed boost heading into Thursday’s game.
“This is huge man, gives us momentum for Dixie,” Mckay Meacham said. “It feels good.”
Mckay ended the night with 15 points and some big buckets when Snow Canyon needed them. He was a perfect 5-5 from the field with three three-pointers. Coach Meacham said his son let the game come to him and his defense only helped his offense. Cole Warner also added 10 for the Warriors.
Taiven Shepard was the leading scorer for Pine View with 13.
Snow Canyon plays on the road against Dixie on Thursday while Pine View will drive north to play Cedar in Cedar City.
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