Region 9 basketball: Papa scores 27, Pine View remains undefeated in preseason

ST. GEORGE — The Pine View Panthers routed Emery on Tuesday night at Pine View Middle School to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the preseason entering the holiday break.

Alex Olson draws the foul while scoring the layup for Pine View basketball in the team’s win over Emery at Pine View Middle School, Washington, Utah, Dec. 22, 2020 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The-highly ranked Pine View was never supposed to lose against their 3A opponent but still had work to do. It was the team’s first full-lineup game after having players recover from illness and injury. As the preseason presses on, the goal is to get ready for regionals and learn how to execute. Panthers head coach Ben Luce said the team accomplished that against the Spartans in the 62-28 victory.

“We’ve been down players for every game so far,” Luce said. “It was good to start putting something together. Now it’s just, ‘Let’s come back next week and not take a step back and build on that good effort.'”

The outcome was never in doubt. Panthers senior guard Alex Olson drained a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game. Emery struggled to find the basket in their first few drives down court, and Pine View missed on a couple open chances down low. About a minute and a half after Olson’s basket, fellow senior guard Tessa Taylor swished a three from the left corner to bump the lead to 6-0.

Taylor hit another from the perimeter as the Panthers posted 18 in the first stanza. They landed five from beyond the arc in the quarter.

On defense, Emery struggled to match up with Pine View in the size department. The Panthers’ length and height made it near impossible for the smaller Spartans to find any offense in contested opportunities. Pine View did give them open looks early in the first and as the clock winded down in the second quarter, which the Spartans were able to capitalize on. For the most part, Pine View overmatched Emery.

Pine View basketball’s Averi Papa scores the jumper in the team’s win over Emery at Pine View Middle School, Washington, Utah, Dec. 22, 2020 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The Spartans landed only nine field goals. They scored no more than eight points in a single quarter and bottomed out at five in the third.

“It was a good team effort defensively,” Luce said. “Against a team that’s smaller than we are … it was really important that we didn’t give up easy points in the paint and closed out the shooter. I thought the girls did a great job setting the tone early as far as not giving up anything easy.”

Averi Papa dominated the size game. Emery did not have a counter for her, as she controlled the glass play on both sides of the court and found the net with ease. When she drove the paint, the Spartans had no choice but to challenge her physically, sending her to the free-throw line four times. When they tried to clog up the paint to keep her out, she kicked it out to a guard or, as she did twice in the first quarter, drained it from the outside on her own.

Papa, a commit to Dixie State, recorded a game-leading 27 points, including 14 in the third quarter. Olson recorded 12 points to lead the secondary scoring.

The floor was being redone at Pine View High School following the Coach Walker Classic, so the game was played at Pine View Middle.

The Panthers take a break before playing one more preseason game on Dec. 29 against South Sevier. After which, they’ll challenge for the Region 9 crown, with play starting on Jan. 5 against Crimson Cliffs.

Providence Hall 50, Canyon View 43

In the only other scheduled basketball game involving a Region 9 team this week, the Canyon View boys hosted Providence Hall, a charter school in Herriman, on Monday night.

Providence Hall at Canyon View basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City/St. George News

The first half was low scoring and close, with the teams heading into halftime tied 16-16. The Patriots pulled away with an offensive burst during the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons 22-14 during that stretch, then holding on for the final eight minutes to secure the seven-point win.

“We had a rough night shooting,” said Canyon View head coach Rob Potter. “They ran with it and we just couldn’t come back.”

Dennis Farrow led Canyon View in scoring with 11 points, while Brenden Greenhalgh added nine, all on 3-pointers. Providence Hall was led by Griffin Henrie’s 16 points.

Canyon View, which dropped to 1-4 in preseason play, is scheduled to play three more preseason games next week at home as part of the annual Steve Hodson Cancer Classic. The Falcons are scheduled to play Grand County next Monday, Stansbury on Tuesday and South Sevier on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. the first night and 6:30 p.m. for the other two.

~ Written by Jeff Richards

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

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