Region 9 girls basketball recap: Desert Hills, Pine View, Dixie, Cedar win region openers

ST. GEORGE — Region 9 conference play began Tuesday night with a quartet of girls basketball games. Here are the recaps from the action:

Desert Hills 60, Canyon View 38

Shailee Bundy was too much for Canyon View in the second half as the Thunder pulled away for a home win victory over the Falcons.

Bundy scored 18 points in the second half, two more than the Falcons team. She controlled the paint and made herself open to create easy scoring opportunities. She scored 25 points total. Head coach Ron Denos said a halftime adjustment put her in a position to dominate the rest of the way.

“In the middle of the game she kind of got to where she was just fighting with them the whole time instead of picking and choosing where to get herself open,” Denos said. “It makes it a lot easier to get the ball into you and harder for them to defend you.”

Canyon View basketball at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The Thunder dominated the first quarter, winning the jump ball and streaming down court for a Julia Jacobsen layup just seconds into the game. Desert Hills then collected 17 of the first 19 points and eased to a 21-7 lead at the first break with the help of an Enid Vaifanua buzzer-beater 2-pointer.

The second quarter was not so easy. The Falcons came streaking back, holding Desert Hills to just two points in the first four minutes while scoring nine in the same time. Entering the period trailing by 14, they closed the gap to as close as five at one point. They controlled the glass play and kept Desert Hills from establishing on the inside. With a little more shooting success, they could have entered the half with the lead. Instead, some air balls and misdeeds let Desert Hills again stretch the lead out to eight with Vaifanua again beating the horn on a layup to make the score 28-20.

Bundy controlled the second half and the Thunder pulled away to a 13-point lead at the third horn and a 22-point lead at the final one.

Addison Newman scored 15 for the Falcons to lead the team.

The Thunder travel to Washington City to play 0-1 Crimson Cliffs on Thursday, while Canyon View comes back down from Cedar City to take on the 1-0 Dixie Flyers.

Dixie 48, Hurricane 37

Dixie and Hurricane almost went basket-to-basket in a low-scoring affair through three quarters before the two teams combined for 37 points in the last frame.

The Flyers scored 22 of those points, heavily on the back of freshman Kealah Faumuina, who scored all of her team-leading 18 points in the second half.

“She absolutely had some nerves going into the game,” Dixie head coach Ryan Forsey said.

Addy Shaffer scored 12 in what Forsey called a bounce-back game and Katie Mills scored nine in support of Faumuina.

The Flyers outscored the Tigers in each quarter but the second, which they lost by three points. They held Hurricane to six points in both the first and third quarter to allow them to jump to a five-point lead at the first horn and survive the second quarter with a two-point lead at the half. Once they started to spread the lead out, they were able to force the issue and convert on defense Forsey said.

“We were able to hit a couple shots and they had to press and then we were able to break that press,” he said.

Dixie hosts Canyon View on Thursday and Hurricane hosts Cedar.

Cedar 45, Snow Canyon 28

The Reds continue to play strong defense in their their 34th consecutive Region 9 win dating back to January 2018, topping Snow Canyon on the road.

Cedar basketball at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

A 19-point first quarter gave Cedar an 11-point edge after the first eight minutes which only grew as the game went on. Pressing, Taylan Whitehead got into early foul trouble for Snow Canyon, taming one of its key players on both sides of the court early on. She did not factor into the scorebook after the first quarter.

Braylee Peterson scored 19 of Cedar’s 30 first-half points including 10 in the first quarter. Abby Davis added nine in support. But for head coach Corry Nielsen, the defense was the highlight of the day.

“Any time you hold a team to 28 points is pretty good,” Nielsen said. “They’re a young team and they have some very talented players. Haylee Campbell and McKelle Kerns did a very good job defensively.”

The Reds have held opponents to an average of 32.5 points over their last four games after a 75-30 loss to class 6A Fremont, the state’s No.1 ranked team. The Reds next travel to Hurricane on Thursday to take on the Tigers.

Snow Canyon was led in scoring by Natalie Olson with eight points. She landed only two field goals but that accounted for a third of the team’s total.

“We have to be more patient on offense,” Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden said. “Too many turnovers and missed layups.”

The Warriors host Pine View on Thursday.

Pine View 70, Crimson Cliffs 40

At Pine View, the Panthers used a big second-quarter run to build a big lead over Crimson Cliffs. 

The Mustangs got off to a strong start, taking an early 9-4 lead in the first quarter.

Crimson Cliffs at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

However, Pine View then went on a 23-2 run that lasted well into the second quarter. By the halfway mark of the second period, the Panthers owned a commanding 31-13 lead.

The Panthers went on to lead by 22 at halftime, 37-15. Each team then scored 11 points during the third quarter, which ended with a score of 48-26.

Pine View center Averi Papa picked up her fifth foul with about 3 minutes left in the game. She finished with 15 points, as did teammate Aly Schmitt. Guard Alex Olson led the Panthers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while Mady Jensen added 12 points.

“We played a great game offensively, with four players in double digits,” said Pine View head coach Ben Luce. “I loved our second quarter. We got a little sloppy the second half with too many fouls, but it’s always great to get a region win.”

Crimson Cliffs head coach KaCee McArthur said she was encouraged by her team’s effort at the beginning of the game.

“I was really happy with our strong start,” she said. “It is something we struggle with at times so it was great to see them come out ready to compete.”

“I thought we did a lot of good things and played hard all the way through the entire game, but obviously when you play a strong team like Pine View you have to work to limit turnovers and only allow them one shot on offense,” McArthur added. “Their pressure got to us a little bit and forced us into mistakes, but I think it’s a great experience to go up against that type of team because it just shows us where we need to work and what we can do to get better.”

“With how young we still are, I was extremely proud of our effort and energy,” McArthur added. “We will continue to work and get better and this game will help us do that.”

Pine View next plays at Snow Canyon on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., while Crimson Cliffs hosts Desert Hills on Thursday at 7 p.m.

— written by Jeff Richards

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