‘In two years, we are these guys,’ Canyon View’s young girls basketball team finding their way in Region 9

ST. GEORGE — The Canyon View Falcons won just one game last year in region play. While returning three starters from that team, their roster is filled with 10 underclassmen. They are a young team, but the biggest challenge they have faced has been the belief that they can win games in Region 9.

Canyon View at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Jan. 29, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

“I told them when we went in there, the second half was 27-25,” Barnhurst said after their loss to Snow Canyon on Wednesday. “I told them I think our biggest problem right now is that we’re young. We know we’re young and we’re rolling over to teams. We don’t believe that we can win. Yes, that’s a good team but we’ve got good players, we just don’t believe it right now. I think that’s the biggest problem.”

Barnhurst thinks if the Falcons can find a win early in the second half of region play, it will kickstart their team and help propel them for the rest of the season.

“If we can go on the road and beat Hurricane on Friday I think we’ll be ok, but if we come out and lose, I think it’ll be a long four weeks,” Barnhurst said.

Of their three returning seniors, Ashlyn Banks and Harlee Nicoll have jumped out on just about every one of the Falcons’ box scores. But the biggest key for Canyon View is finding scoring elsewhere.

Pine View at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 17, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Banks is their biggest offensive threat, and Barnhurst thinks they play well through her, but as teams start to scout her, it’s becoming harder for her to get open. Barnhurst knowns she can contribute a double double on almost a nightly basis but who else will help out Nicoll and Banks.

“A lot of teams have started to capitalize on Ashlyn, so somewhere along the way we’ve got to find somebody else’s identity,” Barnhurst said. “Girls that are willing to shoot when Ashlyn is not open or do things to get Ashlyn open, and we’re not doing that right now.”

The process of changing her team’s mindset will be a tough one, but she said that it takes every single day.

“You’ve got to point out the things like tonight. We lost the second half by two points,” Barnhurst said. “We played Pine View last week and we won the second half by two points. We’ve got to start to realize that if we can put together 32 minutes versus eight or 16, we’re right with these guys. In two years, we are these guys. But getting them to believe is the key.”

The fact of the matter is, even with a 5-12 overall record and a 1-8 region record, the Falcons are still in a position to fight for a possible first-round bye. If they can string together a couple of wins during the final stretch of the Region 9 season, the Falcons could turn some heads in the state tournament.

“A team like us, the RPI is our best friend,” Barnhurst said. “It is like a gift given from God. We’re sitting at 13 and we’ve won five games. It shows you A, how tough our region is, but also B, shows you how much potential we have. We just have to realize that we have that gift and do something with it.”

Canyon View plays at Hurricane on Friday and then they are at home against Desert Hills on Wednesday.

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

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