ST. GEORGE — The two top seeds in the Class 4A state tournament met in the championship game and the matchup between Dixie and Sky View high schools did not disappoint. The energy at Weber State was off the charts and after a back-and-forth battle, the Dixie Flyers pulled out the win 62-59.
The Flyers looked good early, jumping out to a seven-point lead in the first quarter but Sky View outscored Dixie in the second to take a 31-30 lead going into the locker room.
“We practice it obviously, time and situations. The biggest thing was, we came together as a family,” Dixie head coach Tyler Roberts said. “We bought in, it’s called the ‘fly fam’ and that’s who we are. It’s a bunch of individuals coming together for a team and for a family.”
Dixie avenged a quarterfinal exit at the hands of Sky View in last year’s state tournament.
Noah Lemke was a big part of the Dixie effort throughout, starting with but he had 13 points in the first half and went 5-5 from the free throw line.
The biggest thing Dixie did was limit the impact of the Sky View supporting cast. The Bobcats’ Mason Falslev, considered one of the best players in the state, scored 16 points in the first half but the next highest scorer only had five points. They knew he would get his buckets but could the others?
The back-and-forth battle continued into the second half with the lead changing almost constantly. What really affected the game was when Flaslev got into foul trouble. He picked up his third foul with about three minutes left in the third and them promptly picked up his fourth.
This is when Sky View’s other players stepped up, and they had to.
Bobcats big man Jackson Schumann had some big baskets and so did Titan Saxton. Falslev came back into the game with just under six minutes left in the game and they went straight one-on-one with him.
With 3:56 left in the game, Falslev drove to the basket and a Flyer player stepped in to take the charge. It was his fifth foul and he fouled out. Falslev had been doing it all for the Bobcats and losing him was a big plus for the Flyers.
“We saw Hurricane do it,” Lemke said of getting Falslev in foul trouble. “Hurricane held with him and got Mason (Falslev) in foul trouble. We just know that we’re a team and they’re an individual. They’ve got one guy and we have a whole team behind us.”
The tug of war continued.
Dixie would score and Sky View would answer. This kept going all the way until the final buzzer sounded and Dixie got the gutsy win to claim the state title.
Andy Rich drained two clutch free throws and Sky View was unable to get a clean look at the basket when the buzzer sounded.
Lemke and Finlinson finished with 17 points each to lead the way for Dixie, while Falslev had 22 points on the night.
“Of course you dream about it, I played for it and my senior year I lost to Lehi,” Roberts said. “To get back here and to have that opportunity to win a state championship and to bring one home to Dixie High School is really amazing right now.”
The Flyers will head back to St. George with a state championship and one would think it’ll be a joyous bus ride back.
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