4A girls basketball playoff recap: Cedar, Desert Hills, Pine View, Snow Canyon advance

Kami Bliss of Desert Hills moves along the baseline, Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Feb. 22, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The top-seeded Cedar Reds girls basketball team will join three other Region 9 schools in traveling to Ogden later this week for the 4A state tournament’s final three rounds.

No. 1 Cedar and No. 3 seed Desert Hills both won their second-round playoff games at home on Saturday, as did No. 7 Pine View. Those three schools will join No. 6 seeded Snow Canyon, which beat Dixie on Friday, in traveling to Weber State University for the 4A tournament Feb. 27-29.

The boys 4A tournament will also be staged at the same venue. Four Region 9 boys teams are still in the hunt for the state title, namely Dixie, Cedar, Hurricane and Desert Hills. 

Following is a short recap of Saturday’s 4A girls playoff action involving Region 9 teams. See the bottom of the story for a gallery with photos from all four games.

No. 1 Cedar 56, No. 16 Mountain Crest 28

At Cedar, the Reds jumped out to an early 9-0 lead in the first couple minutes of the game. Mountain Crest then hit a couple of shots and closed the gap to 9-5 before Cedar started to pull away.

Cedar’s Japrix Weaver swished a 60-foot shot at the end of the first period to give the Reds a 16-7 lead. Over the next three quarters, the Reds stayed ahead by an amount that was roughly equal to the Mustangs’ score at the time.

Mayci Torgerson scored all 15 of her points in the first half to lead the Reds in scoring, while Weaver and Samantha Johnston each contributed 11 points.

“They held us down offensively, like we didn’t score as much as we normally do, but I think it’s a pretty good win,” Torgerson said afterward. “You obviously can’t compare that to how good the other teams are, but it did give us momentum going forward.”

Cedar head coach Corry Nielsen said it took a while for his team to adjust to Mountain Crest’s style of play.

“You watch them on tape, but you don’t know how fast they are, how tall they are. So it kind of took us time to kind of figure out what they were doing,” Nielsen said. “Obviously, we watched them on film quite a bit, but you don’t actually know until you actually see them play.”

Mountain Crest at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 22, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“And then once again, our defense just kind of kind of took over again. You know, you can’t control your offense sometimes. But you can always control what you do on defense.”

Nielsen singled out the play of Johnston, who had multiple rebounds, blocks and assists to go with her 11 points.

“I thought Samantha Johnston played probably one of her best games all year,” he said. “She was active on defense, she got rebounds, blocks. She got open shots. She passed the ball extremely well.”

Nielsen said another aspect of the Reds’ success lies in the fact that the team has multiple players capable of bringing the ball up the floor and directing the plays.

“There are so many teams who only have one point guard and they’d have to rely on that person to do everything right,” he said, noting that when that player gets neutralized defensively, the team is effectively taken out of the game. “They can’t run the offense, and can’t seem to do anything,” he said.

“But for us, we have multiple players who can all run the offense, and they can all push on the break.”

Cedar next plays No. 8 seed Logan in the 4A quarterfinals at Weber State Thursday at 5:50 p.m.

No. 3 Desert Hills 54, No. 14 Hurricane 38

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

In a morning game at Desert Hills, the Hurricane Tigers led 14-12 after one quarter, but the Thunder used a 20-6 run in the second quarter to take the lead for good.

Kami Bliss scored 20 points to lead Desert Hills, including making 12-of-16 free throws. Syd Peisley added 10 points for the Thunder. Lydia Prince led the Tigers in scoring with 10. 

Desert Hills next plays region rival Snow Canyon in the late quarterfinal game Thursday at Weber State in Ogden, with tipoff scheduled for 9:10 p.m. The Snow Canyon Warriors, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, defeated No. 11 Dixie 49-29 on Friday at Snow Canyon.

No. 7 Pine View 65, No. 10 Stansbury 50

At Pine View, the Panthers pulled away from the Stallions with a 19-9 run during the second quarter, then held on for the 15-point victory.

Sophie Jensen led four Pine View players in double figures with 19 points, with Averi Papa adding 16, Alex Olsen scoring 11 and Ellie Wilson adding 10. Stansbury was led by Hannah Anderson’s 16 points. 

Pine View’s next game will be a quarterfinal matchup against No. 2 seed Ridgeline, which advanced by defeating No. 15 Canyon View Saturday. The Pine View vs. Ridgeline contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Weber State.

No. 2 Ridgeline 53, No. 15 Canyon View 35

At Ridgeline, the RiverHawks led 14-8 after one quarter and stayed ahead by single digits for much of the next two periods. Canyon View managed to stay within striking distance until the fourth quarter, during which the Falcons were outscored 12-3. Ashlyn Banks scored 13 points to lead Canyon View, while Addison Newman added eight. The Falcons ended their season with an overall record of 8-16.

The RiverHawks were led by Emma Anderson’s 16 points.

Ridgeline’s next test will be against No. 7 Pine View at Weber State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

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

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