Region 9 girls basketball recap: Cedar on top at season’s halfway mark

ST. GEORGE — The first half of Region 9’s regular season of girls basketball wrapped up Wednesday night, with Cedar remaining unbeaten and in first place with a decisive home win over Snow Canyon.

Also picking up victories Wednesday were second-place Desert Hills and third-place Pine View. In addition, the Canyon View Falcons earned their first region win of the season with a road victory over Crimson Cliffs.

Cedar 62, Snow Canyon 37

At Cedar High, the visiting Snow Canyon Warriors came on strong early on, forcing several turnovers and taking a 15-12 lead as the clock ticked down to end the first quarter. Cedar guard Logann Laws hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game 15-15 heading into the second period. 

The Lady Reds then outscored the Warriors 16-9 in the second quarter to take a 31-24 halftime lead. 

“They are a very competitive, explosive team,” Cedar head coach Corry Nielsen said of Snow Canyon. “This is a team that is in front of us in the RPI. They came out in the first quarter and got into us because we had too many turnovers. They got to the rim and got to the basket too often.”

Snow Canyon at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 22, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Nielsen said in the second quarter the team went to a “switching kind of defense.”

“We switched screens, players with the same size and same ability. That kind of helped us in the third quarter, when we got everybody going.”

Laws, who finished with a game-high 16 points, said they played as a team and trusted each other.

“Our defense had a huge role in that. Just get this going up tempo, and from there we just go.”

The Reds managed to double their lead from seven to 14 points during the third quarter, with Sam Johnston, Mayci Torgerson and Japrix Weaver each hitting a three-pointer during that span. Cedar led 45-31 at the end of the third.

Cedar’s defense held Snow Canyon to just 13 points on four field goals in the second half. 

“One thing we do demand, if you’re not shooting well, you can still play hard on defense,” Nielsen said. “We always demand that there’s one thing you can always do, especially with our team, our program, when you’re on the floor, you better play hard defense or you’re not playing.”

Also scoring in double figures for Cedar were Weaver, finishing with 15 points, and Denim Henkel, who scored all 10 of her points in the first half. Snow Canyon was led by Hallie Remund’s 10 points, while Olivia Harris added nine and Tylei Jensen scored eight.

Cedar improved to 7-0 in Region 9 play, staying unbeaten as the first half of the season wrapped up. Meanwhile, Snow Canyon fell to 4-3 in region play, dropping the Warriors into fourth place.

— written by Jeff Richards

Desert Hills 57, Dixie 51

Dixie at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Jan. 22, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

Dixie shook off the early struggles they have faced over the last couple of games and jumped out to a 16-9 lead over the Thunder at Desert Hills on Wednesday. Desert Hills responded with a big second quarter, leading by nine going into halftime.

Despite a fourth quarter run, Dixie was unable to get the road victory against the second place Thunder. The final score was 57-51.

Desert Hills had four players in double figures. Kami Bliss led the way with 15 points on the night, while Dixie’s Joslyn Bundy matched her point total with 15 as well.

Desert Hills has three straight home games, hosting Pine View on Friday and Cedar a week later. Dixie is at Canyon View on Friday then home against Cedar on Wednesday.

Pine View 50, Hurricane 29

The Tigers got off to a good start, giving the Panthers fits with their full-court pressure defense and causing turnovers, but Pine View took control of the game in the second half to get the 21-point win.

Pine View at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 22, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

The full-court pressure is something Pine View is familiar with. They have been pressured over their last five games, and with some of their better ball handlers sidelined because of injury, it has taken an effect. They jumped out to a quick lead over Dixie, but the Flyers turned the game around as a result of the Pine View turnovers.

For the Panthers, Alex Olson led all scorers with nine points, while Ally Schmitt and Leiani Tonga both had eight points. For the Tigers, Kandalyn Hinton had a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

While the Tigers did finish the first half of region play 2-5, they played Dixie and Desert Hills to close games and have shown improvement as the season has gone on.

“Nobody knew what to expect and we didn’t know what to expect being a new coaching staff,” Hurricane head coach Shelly Thomas said. “As we watched and we figured out what strengths girls had, I think we’re starting to make those adjustments. Knowing our team, we’re able to play people in different positions then we played before, and it’s making us a stronger team.”

The Tigers travel to Cedar on Friday where they take on the Reds at 7 p.m.

As for the Panthers, they finished the first half of the season 5-2 while missing their starting point guard for most of the season. They play Desert Hills on Friday, which will prove to be a big game for both teams. In their last meeting the game went to double overtime with the Thunder pulling out the win at Pine View.

Canyon View 54, Crimson Cliffs 32

At Crimson Cliffs, Canyon View defeated the Mustangs as the Falcons picked up their first region win of the season. Canyon View’s Ashlyn Banks scored 18, Harlee Nicoll added 16 and Addison Newman contributed eight points as the Lady Falcons made 20 steals as a team and recorded a total of 14 assists.

Region 9 standings at halfway mark

  1. Cedar: 7-0
  2. Desert Hills: 6-1
  3. Pine View: 5-2
  4. Snow Canyon: 4-3
  5. Dixie: 3-4
  6. Hurricane: 2-5
  7. Canyon View: 1-6
  8. Crimson Cliffs: 0-7

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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