ST. GEORGE — The chances were there, but the ball just didn’t find twine as the Hurricane Tigers fell to the Richfield Wildcats 54-37 Wednesday night.
Hurricane shot only 37% from the field, making plenty of opportunities for themselves but not capitalizing on them. The Tigers still hung on for most of the game, as Richfield struggled to score as well. Shots began to fall for the Wildcats in the fourth quarter, and they spread out a lead as wide as 20 points in the final frame.
“They got hot and we lost our confidence,” Hurricane head coach Todd Langston said. “Their shots dropped tonight and ours didn’t, so we just have to stay together and keep working. We’re not very good defensively, we’re not very good offensively, but we have the ability to beat out a lot of good athletes. Right now, we’re just not playing good basketball.”
It was a much tighter contest than a 20-point difference for the majority of the game. The game was separated by a single point at 25-26 with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter. Then Richfield’s shooters started waking up, and any scoring the Tigers had started to heat up went ice cold. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, it was 32-26 Wildcats. Just a minute and 15 seconds later, it was 41-28.
Richfield sank four from the arc in the final quarter. Hurricane hit only three all game.
The Tigers are replacing their entire lineup from last season, which was full of seniors, and the new roster is trying to figure out how to play together. Throw in the variables of COVID-19, which knocked out a large portion of summer competition and two full weeks in November, and a roster comprising football players with mixed priorities, and a team that already had a lot of work to do has had its progress slowed.
“We’re going to keep looking lineups, see what we need to do to get better,” Langston said. “Right now, we’re going with five seniors. Not saying we won’t continue to do that, but we’re going to start looking at some of the younger kids, too.”
Seniors Jack Reeve and Bubba Moore tied for the team lead with nine points each. Luke Wright, another senior, went 3-for-4 from the free throw line and hauled in eight rebounds, seven defensive.
Hurricane falls to 1-4. It gets some time to reload and reevaluate before playing in the Steve Hodson Classic, starting with a home matchup against Tooele on Dec. 28.
Here are the other scores from Region 9 on Wednesday night.
Desert Hills 75, Payson 37
At the Thunderdome, a scoring barrage carried the Thunder to an easy win over Payson. Desert Hills jumped out to 19-13 lead after the first quarter and just spread the lead out from there. It allowed fewer than 10 points in each of the three remaining quarters, while piling up the offense. The Thunder scored 21 points in each of the third and fourth quarters.
Julia Jacobsen led the way again, scoring 19 points a day after posting 20 at Millard. She went 5-for-6 on free throws and did most of her damage in the third quarter, when she scored 10.
Desert Hills gets back over .500 to conclude preseason play. Its next match is Jan. 1 against Canyon View.
Enterprise 43, Canyon View 31
At Enterprise, the Wolves improved to 5-0 on the preseason. The Falcons fall to 1-4 in their final preseason as a member of Region 9. They are the fourth Region 9 team to fall to Enterprise so far this preseason.
Addison Newman scored 13 points for Canyon View, but no other player tallied more than six. The Falcons play again on Dec. 28, hosting Grantsville.
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