Region 9 girls basketball: Hurricane snaps Cedar’s region streak; Pine View, Dixie, Desert Hills also collect wins

ST. GEORGE — One of the longest active winning streaks in Region 9 sports was snapped Thursday night in Hurricane as the Tigers defeated the Cedar Reds in overtime to highlight a full slate of girls basketball games.

Here are recaps of Thursday’s Region 9 action:

Hurricane 42, Cedar 41 (OT)

At Hurricane, the Tigers handed Cedar its first region loss in nearly three years, prevailing 42-41 over the Reds in overtime.

Cedar started off on a good note, outscoring Hurricane 12-6 during the first period, but the Reds went scoreless during the second quarter as Hurricane took a 13-12 halftime lead.

Hurricane’s run continued early in the third, as the Tigers went ahead 17-12 in the first couple minutes. Cedar freshman Emery Harrison finally broke the ice with a layup with 6:00 left in the third to make it 17-14, but the Reds’ offensive struggles continued, as they managed just two free throws over the remainder of the third quarter, which ended with Hurricane leading 25-16.

Cedar at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 7, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Despite being down by nine at the start of the fourth quarter, the Reds mounted a comeback, persistently chipping away at Hurricane’s lead as the minutes ticked away. Grace Morales scored three clutch baskets during the fourth quarter as Cedar closed the gap. 

With four minutes left in regulation, Cedar’s Abby Davis drilled a 3-pointer to cut Hurricane’s lead to three, 29-26.

Hurricane scored next on an inside basket to push the lead back up to five points, 31-26, with 2:37 left. Cedar then answered with field goals on its next two possessions to make it 31-30 with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth

After Hurricane missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation, Cedar’s McKelle Kerns drove inside and got fouled with 1:25 left. She missed both, but Davis got the offensive rebound. After a time out, Davis missed inside, but Jacey Messer got fouled on the rebound. Messer made both free throws to put Cedar ahead 32-31 with 1:09 remaining in the fourth.

Hurricane’s Haley Chesley got fouled on the Tigers’ next possession, going to the line for two foul shots with 36 seconds left. She made the first to tie the game but missed the second. However, Chesley almost immediately stole the ball back on the left baseline and drew another foul. Chesley went to the line and again made one of two, putting Hurricane up 33-32 with 30 seconds left.

Cedar at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 7, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

After Cedar turned the ball over on its next possession, the Reds fouled Morgan Stout in the backcourt with 19.5 seconds left. Stout made both free throws to put the Tigers up by three, 35-32.

But Cedar wasn’t done yet, as Davis swished an open 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2 seconds left, sending the game into overtime tied 35-35.

With one minute left in overtime, Hurricane held a slim 39-38 lead. Stout made another free throw with 33 seconds left to put the Tigers up two, 40-38.

Cedar then had another chance to either tie or win on its next possession, but Hurricane senior Madi Staples stole the ball with about 16 seconds left. She made both free throws with 12.7 seconds left to ice the game by giving the Tigers a four-point lead. Davis made another 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to account for the final score.

Hurricane head coach Pepper Reddish told St. George News afterward that she knew her team’s nine-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter was probably not going to be safe against the Reds.

“Cedar is an amazing team, always. They’re always so tough, and I admire how hardcore they are all the time” Reddish said. “But I had to have (my players) be patient and slow the game down, which is huge because my girls like to run.”

“I kept telling them to stay calm and be patient,” she added. “I think they knew they could do it, which is half the battle.”

Chesley led the Tigers with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Lindy Erickson added eight points and Staples scored seven. Stout contributed five points, five rebounds and eight steals, her coach said.

“Mo really stepped it up,” Reddish said of Stout. “She’s helping lead the team while Lydia Prince is out with COVID.”

“I love close games, and our girls played to win tonight,” Reddish added. 

The game marked the first time in nearly three years that Cedar had lost a regular season region game. Cedar’s last such loss also came against Hurricane by a very similar score: On Jan. 18, 2018, the Tigers defeated the Reds at Cedar on a last-second shot, 43-41. 

Cedar went on to finish 10-2 in region play that year, then went undefeated versus Region 9 opponents in 2019 and 2020, going a respective 12-0 and 14-0 during the regular season and winning the 4A state championship both years.

Cedar, which fell to 4-4 overall with the loss – 1-1 in region play – was led by Davis’s 14 points, while Morales added 11 and Kerns scored six. Cedar’s next game is at home Tuesday against Dixie. Meanwhile, Hurricane, which improved to 2-6 – also 1-1 in region – hosts Crimson Cliffs that same night.

Dixie 48, Canyon View 36

The Dixie Flyers improved to 2-0 in league play and reached .500 overall in their first home win of the campaign.

Canyon View basketball at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Dixie converted on 18 of 23 free throws and 14 of 16 in the second half to pull away from the Canyon View Falcons after a first half that Dixie head coach Ryan Forsey described as “sloppy.” The teams combined for just 23 points in the first half, with the Flyers holding a 15-8 lead at the midway buzzer. They went blow-for-blow in the third quarter, in which the Falcons outscored the Flyers 16-15 before Dixie pulled away in the fourth quarter.

“I like being a second-half team, but I’d rather have a better start and then be a second-half team,” Forsey said.

Dixie cost itself its first three offensive possessions on a travel, a lost battle for a rebound in its front court and an errant pass on an attempt to keep the ball in bounds after a missed shot. Fortunately for the Flyers, the Falcons managed only two points themselves over that span as junior Harlee Nicoll put back a shot by senior Addison Newman around the 6:30 mark.

The Flyers got on the board about a minute later as freshman center Kealah Faumuina put back her own rebound down low, drawing and converting the and-one to give Dixie its first lead. Nicoll hit a pair of free throws for the Falcons on the other end to regain the advantage for Canyon View, but sophomore Emily Tauiliili cleaned up a rebound and found junior Chloe Elison in the paint for an open jumper on the ensuing possession to make it 5-4 Dixie. Canyon View did not lead again in the game as Dixie went on a 10-4 run leading up to the half.

Canyon View won the third quarter by a single point after landing six of seven free-throw attempts and getting a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore Jayda Gleave. Faumuina scored 10 of her game-leading 16 points in the third to keep Canyon View at bay.

Entering the final quarter with a slim six-point lead, Faumuina started the scoring by rebounding a 3-point attempt by Katie Mills and hitting the layup. Canyon View hit a free throw for the only other scoring in the first two minutes of the period, but entering the fourth already at five fouls, Canyon View put Dixie into the bonus quickly and sent Elison to the line on a defensive foul at the 5:46 mark. The Falcons soon found themselves in the bonus as well but only went 4-for-12 in the frame from the line. Dixie went 11-for-13 on 1-pointers in the fourth, including a 4-for-4 from Elison.

“All the girls made free throws,” Forsey said. “Being a young team, you’ve got to make free throws when it counts. If we don’t make those free throws, it’s a different game.”

Tauiliili and senior Katie Mills each had nine points for Dixie, and Elison added eight.

Gleave led Canyon View with nine points. Newman had seven including a 5-for-6 effort from the line.

Canyon View falls to 3-7 overall and 0-2 in league play. Dixie reaches 4-4 after COVID-19 positives disrupted much of its preseason.

“The biggest way these wins are going to help us is just mental and emotional confidence,” Forsey said. “It’s just recognizing that as young as we are we can do this. We can play in this region.”

Dixie travels to Cedar on Tuesday to play the Reds, and Canyon View hosts Pine View. Tipoff for both games is 7:30 p.m.

— written by Rich Allen

Pine View 60, Snow Canyon 32

At Snow Canyon, the Warriors hung on as long as they could with No. 1 Pine View, but the Panthers’ firepower ultimately proved to be too much for Snow Canyon to defend its home court.

Pine View exploded to a 19-8 lead after the first quarter ignited by a three-ball from senior guard Mady Jensen. The Warriors won the second quarter by a score of 14-9 but got blown away on a 22-3 run in the third by the Panthers to fall behind for good.

“Snow Canyon had a great second quarter,” Pine View head coach Ben Luce said. “We played better D in the second half and got some good looks in transition.”

Pine View held Snow Canyon to just 10 points in the second half and 18 outside of the second quarter.

Jensen led the way for the Panthers with 16 points including three from the arc. Senior center Averi Papa was second with 13, and senior guard Alex Olson also broke double digits with 11.

Pine View improves to 9-0 on the season and 2-0 in league play. The Panthers travel to Canyon View on Tuesday.

Snow Canyon falls to 1-7 overall and 0-2 in Region 9. It takes on Desert Hills on the road on Tuesday.

— written by Rich Allen

Desert Hills 72, Crimson Cliffs 45

Four players reached double digits for Desert Hills in a road win over Crimson Cliffs.

Desert Hills basketball at Crimson Cliffs, Washington, Utah, Jan. 7, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Mike Winslow, St. George News

Center Shailee Bundy continues to be a problem down low for Region 9 teams, leading the Thunder with 20 points. Junior guard Enid Vaifanua and senior forward Julia Jacobsen tied for second with 16 points and Sa’de Turlington had 12.

Vaifanua drained a 3-pointer down the left flank off a pass from junior guard Alivia Cluff to start the scoring and ignite an 11-5 run for the Thunder to start the game. By the end of the first quarter, Desert Hills built up a double-digit lead, 17-7. Bundy already had eight points.

A combined 50 points in the second and third quarters put Desert Hills out of reach even after Crimson ramped up its scoring. Bundy and Jacobsen combined for 25 of those middle-period points.

Freshman Kenadee Richey scored 20 for Crimson and Riann Gines scored 12, but no other player on the team scored more than four. On top of that, the top-scoring duo combined to go only 6-for-22 from the free-throw line, leaving plenty of points off the board from even the team’s primary scorers. Collectively, the Mustangs went only 7-for-23 from the line and had only five field goals from players other than Gines and Richey.

The Thunder improve to 6-2 overall  and remain perfect through two Region 9 games. They host Snow Canyon on Tuesday.

Crimson Cliffs falls to 2-6 and 0-2 in league play. They travel to Hurricane on Tuesday.

— written by Rich Allen

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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