ST. GEORGE — Region 9 teams played six games in preseason play on Saturday, going 2-4. Boys teams played seven games, and girls squads played two.
Snow Canyon started the day early at the Challenge of the Cliffs Tournament, besting American Leadership Academy after a 9 a.m. tipoff.
Snow Canyon 61, American Leadership Academy 53
The Warriors improved to 5-1 on the season, winning for the third day in a row on Saturday morning at Crimson Cliffs High School.
Snow Canyon continued to rely on the 3-pointer while staying aggressive and drawing fouls down low, putting the Warriors into the double-bonus late and giving them a cushion to fend off a comeback attempt.
They scored 10 points from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter after entering the game shooting 65% on 1-pointers.
“We preach that’s our highest percentage shot,” Snow Canyon head coach Doug Meacham said. “We want to be in a position, especially at the end of games, to manage games by getting to the free-throw line.”
ALA came up just 30 seconds short of entering halftime with the lead. With a 27-26 lead, the Eagles turned the ball over at midcourt to Warriors senior Lincoln Polatis, who stormed down the court for an uncontested layup. Following a defensive rebound, the Warriors returned to their offensive half and senior Walker Morrison drained a three from the left corner with just over four seconds on the clock.
Both teams scored in single digits in the third quarter, but the Eagles traded seven fouls for eight points allowed. ALA scored only five points themselves in the third frame.
The Eagles rallied for 20 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their foul trouble.
It was another game Snow Canyon was supposed to win, besting another small school in the preseason schedule. But they did gain more than just a win from it.
Sophomore guard Lyman Simmons reached five fouls in the third quarter, presenting a new challenge the Warriors had not yet dealt with. Simmons is an essential cog in Snow Canyon’s system, providing scoring, passing and rebounding on both sides of the court.
“The biggest play for us is getting it into Lyman,” Polatis said. “He can kick it out and make the right reads. That’s our best offense.”
The Warriors had to adapt to scoring and playing defense without one of their main pieces, an issue that will undoubtedly come up again with how heavily they lean on Simmons in the post.
They don’t have another player that brings the same size and physicality to the table, which complicates their strategy when they don’t have him.
“There are going to be games where we don’t have Lyman, he’s in foul trouble,” Meacham said. “I thought the guys learned how to play without having Lyman Simmons in the game.”
Blake Munson and Walker Morrison tied to lead Snow Canyon with 17 points each. Munson scored five times from the field and went 7-for-10 from the line. Morrison scored from beyond the arc five times and added a pair of free throws.
Snow Canyon improved to 5-1 in preseason play, and will take on Spanish Fork on the road on Friday.
Here are the rest of the boys scores from around Region 9
Alta 75, Cedar 58
Treyton Tebbs scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, but 5A Alta proved too much to handle in the Skyridge Tournament. The Hawks had eight different players score, each contributing at least five points. Alta’s Jaden Brownell recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four assists.
Cedar drops to 1-2. It plays again on Monday to kick off the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic.
Dixie 74, Layton Christian 45
Carson Forsey was selected player of the game as the Flyers blew past the Eagles in the Elite 8 Tournament at American Fork. Dixie exited the first quarter with an 11-point lead and outscored Layton Christian in every frame. Forsey recorded 11 points, tied for second behind Isaac Finlinson’s 25 for the Flyers.
Dixie improves to 4-1.
Crimson Cliffs 60, Richfield 38
The Mustangs got scoring contributions from nine players in their fourth game in three days to remain undefeated.
The usual suspects did the majority of the damage for Crimson Cliffs, but the starting five was supplemented more than they have been before this season. After yielding its only lead of the game 12-11 early in the second quarter, Crimson scored 13 straight points to take the lead for good. The cushion only continued to grow and head coach Kasey Winters was able to give his big guns a rest and test his junior varsity depth.
“Everyone’s a little tired,” he said. “Once we built our lead it was a good chance to put in some of our younger guys and see what they can bring. You never know when someone’s going to get sick or have a COVID issue or get hurt.”
Crimson overmatched the 3A Wildcats in size, recording 30 boards and blocking 11 shots. Sophomore Brock Felder was responsible for three blocks. Junior Travis Matthews recorded a team-leading eight rebounds, six defensive.
Junior Jackson McKone led bench players with eight points, just five behind starter Hudson Hawes for the overall game lead.
Crimson improved to 5-0 on the season. They return to action on Thursday, playing Payson at Pine View.
Viewmont 53, Hurricane 43
Bubba Moore, Jack Reeve and Josh Leavenworth combined for 31 points and 13 rebounds, but the Tigers lost pace with Viewmont in a 6-point third quarter while the Vikings scored 14. Leavenworth landed two of Hurricane’s four buckets from the perimeter.
Hurricane falls to 1-3. They play next on Wednesday, hosting Richfield.
Fremont 75, Cedar 30
Haylee Campbell scored 13 points and Braylee Peterson had 12, but 6A Fremont had five double-digit scorers to pull away quickly over the Reds. Cedar topped out at nine points in a quarter. The Reds did go 9-for-13 from the free-throw line.
Cedar falls to 0-4 in preseason play.
Emery 57, Hurricane 30
The Tigers could not break double digits in any quarter, falling behind Emery in the second. Hurricane limited the Spartans to just two field goals in the first stanza but sent them to the free-throw line 16 times for 13 of their 22 points in the second.
Morgan Stout led Hurricane with seven points, coming off the bench.
The Tigers are winless through four games.
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