Region 9 boys basketball: Dixie gets revenge over Warriors; Cedar, Crimson, Desert Hills win big

Dixie at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Following Friday night’s games, there remains only one week of regular-season play in Region 9 basketball. Dixie got revenge on Snow Canyon, the only region team to have beaten the Flyers this season. Meanwhile, Crimson defended its home court and Desert Hills and Cedar both won on the road.

Here are recaps of Friday’s action:

Dixie 60, Snow Canyon 52

After a close first half, the FlyFam defense took over in the final two quarters to give Dixie redemption on the road against Snow Canyon.

Dixie trailed by five at the half after a stalled out offense that was reminiscent of their loss to the Warriors on Jan. 20, its only Region 9 loss to date. The Flyers scored in the single digits in both the first and second quarter in the loss, but posted 12 in the first and eight in the second on Friday.

Dixie at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The teams went blow-for-blow early on, as Alessio DeHart scored six of the game’s first 13 points on three buckets in the post before Lincoln Polatis drained a 3-pointer – his second in the early going – and Isaac Lyon converted a traditional 3-point play with a free throw. Big sophomore Lyman Simmons also hit a clean trey from the right corner in the first, the team’s third. Lyon hit another and Walker Morrison hit a pair in the second quarter as Snow Canyon went 6-for-13 from the arc in the first half, guiding them to a 25-20 lead.

The Flyers offense awoke in the third quarter on the heels of strong defense. Snow Canyon still posted 12 points in the quarter but their shots were not coming as easily and a looser officiating style let Dixie get more aggressive. Meanwhile, Dixie hit four from the perimeter on the other end, including one from Isaac Finlinson with 45 seconds remaining in the quarter to give the team the lead entering the final frame, 40-37.

Finlinson hit another 3 to open the scoring in the fourth, initiating a 12-point run for the Flyers that spread out over more than five minutes in the period. He claimed eight points in that time and Ethan Bennett scored four. More importantly, Dixie dominated its backcourt. The Warriors didn’t score until the 2:37 mark, when Lyon hit a 3-pointer from the left corner and drew a foul from Jeff Cox, converting the and-one. The Flyers did not give the Warriors many open looks and Snow Canyon missed the few chances it had. Dixie, after losing the rebounding battle in the first half by two, was dominant on the glass in the second half. By the time Lyon scored the free throw, the point only brought them back within 10 of the Flyers.

Cox scored five down the stretch for Dixie and Isaac Lyon added six, including four more free throws, as the clock counted down.

Lyon led the game with 21 points. Simmons added 16 for Snow Canyon, Polatis scored nine and Walker Morrison had six.

For Dixie, Finlinson led the way with 20 points with Bennett right behind with 17. Bronson Barben scored nine. Carson Forsey played dominant defense and hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

With the win, Dixie has beaten every team in Region 9. It improves to 11-1 in the league and 17-3 overall. It opens the final week on the road at second-place Desert Hills on Wednesday.

Snow Canyon drops to 7-5 in Region 9 and 14-6 overall. The Warriors sit in fifth place in the region and travel to Canyon View on Wednesday.

Desert Hills 73, Hurricane 44

An early offensive barrage gave the Thunder breathing room early to topple Hurricane on the road.

The Thunder scored 44 points in the first half, matching the Tigers’ eventual total for the entire game. Desert Hills held them to 23 in the first half, including nine in the second quarter. The visitors won each of the first quarters by at least five points, topped by a 23-9 deficit in the second quarter. They scored 21, 23 and 19 points, respectively, in the first three stanzas.

Mason Landdeck scored a game-high 31 points, including eight free throws in nine attempts and a quintet of 3-pointers in the first half alone. He scored 21 of his points in the first two quarters. Peyton Holmes scored 12 and Keegan Munson scored 11.

Hurricane got a pair of early treys from Josh Leavenworth as the Tigers landed five field goals in the first quarter. They topped out at four in an individual frame from there on out. Kruz Gardner led Hurricane with 12 points. He landed four from the field and went 4-for-7 from the line. Carson Esplin, Nathan Parker and Leavenworth tied for second-most on the team with six points each.

Desert Hills improves to 9-3 in Region 9 and 17-3 overall. The Thunder is currently tied with Crimson Cliffs for second place in the region standings. They host first-place Dixie on Wednesday to open the regular season’s final week.

Hurricane falls to 1-11 in league and 2-18 overall. The Tigers travel to Pine View on Wednesday.

Cedar 76, Pine View 58

At Pine View, the Cedar Reds outscored the Panthers in all four quarters en route to an 18-point victory.

Cedar at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar’s starting five players accounted for 74 of the team’s 76 points on the night, with Dallin Grant leading the way with 20, followed by Gaige Savage with 17, Treyton Tebbs with 15 and Zab Santana with 14. Luke Armstrong added eight points, all in the first half, before leaving the game late in the third quarter with an apparent shoulder injury.

Pine View also had four scorers in double figures, led by Josh Bice’s 14 points. Bensen Shepherd added 13, Justin Hall made 12 and Rushton Shaw scored 11.

After a scoreless couple minutes to start the game, the two teams stayed within two points of each other for much of the first quarter, before Cedar began to pull away, taking a 15-11 lead into the second period.

Pine View was still within four points, 26-22, with just over three minutes left in the second quarter, but the Reds went on a quick 9-0 run to take a 35-22 lead with 1:45 remaining.

It was then Pine View’s turn for a run, as the Panthers closed out the first half with a 5-0 rally to make it 35-27 in favor of Cedar at halftime.

The Reds outscored the Panthers 22-15 in the third. Shortly thereafter, they pushed the lead to nearly 20 points and coasted to the finish line.

“Dallin did a great job getting everyone involved on offense and Zab played hard on both ends,” said Cedar head coach Mark Esplin.

Cedar improved to 8-4 in region play with the win and moved one game ahead of Snow Canyon for fourth place in the Region 9 standings. The Reds host Crimson Cliffs next Wednesday.

Pine View fell to 3-9 in region play. The Panthers host Hurricane on Wednesday.

— written by Jeff Richards

Crimson Cliffs 67, Canyon View 33

Phoenix McWillis slammed home a two-handed dunk off a bounce pass across the paint with just over 10 seconds remaining in the first half, giving the Mustangs momentum to run away in the final 16 minutes at home over the Falcons.

Canyon View at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 12, 2021 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News / Cedar City News

After the dunk, Crimson held a six-point lead into the halftime buzzer. Two minutes before halftime, the game was tied at 20-20. But just two-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter, the lead would be double digits. Three-and-a-half minutes after that, the lead was 15, as Crimson went on a 14-5 scoring spree to start the second half.

“Phoenix was a huge spark off the bench,” Crimson Cliffs head coach Kasey Winters said. “(The dunk) gave us some momentum heading into the locker room.”

The offense that was so cold in the first half thawed with some of that momentum. It built up in the third and was red-hot by the time the fourth quarter started. The Mustangs scored 24 in the final frame, two points shy of their entire first-half output. Trei Rockhill scored 10 of his game-leading 22 points and Cole Sampson added six during the final stanza. Sampson finished with 12 points in the game. Brock Felder recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and was maybe the only Mustang to have a better first half, scoring eight of his points before the 16-minute buzzer.

“We played a great second half,” Winters said. “We were able to get some turnovers which led to some easy baskets … It was a good win for us as we head into a big week.”

The Mustangs improve to 9-3 in Region 9 and 17-3 overall. They are tied with Desert Hills for second place in the league standings entering the final two games. Crimson travels up I-15 for a matchup with Cedar next.

Canyon View was led by Cole Farrow, who posted 12 points. Brenden Greenhalgh was right behind him with 11, landing three from behind the arc. The Falcons fall to 1-19 overall and 0-12 in Region 9. They host Snow Canyon next.

Wednesday’s game schedule (Feb. 17)

  • Dixie at Desert Hills
  • Snow Canyon at Canyon View
  • Crimson Cliffs at Cedar
  • Hurricane at Pine View

Region 9 boys basketball standings (as of Feb. 13)

  1. Dixie 11-1 (17-3) RPI: 2nd
  2. (tie) Crimson Cliffs 9-3 (17-3) RPI: 3rd
  3. (tie) Desert Hills 9-3 (17-3) RPI: 4th
  4. Cedar 8-4 (13-6) RPI: 6th
  5. Snow Canyon 7-5 (14-6) RPI: 7th
  6. Pine View 3-9 (4-14) RPI: 16th
  7. Hurricane 1-11 (2-18) RPI: 17th
  8. Canyon View 0-12 (1-19) RPI: 18th

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

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