Region 9 girls basketball: Snow Canyon pulls off comeback; Desert Hills, Pine View assert on the road

Snow Canyon basketball's McKare Wong hits a game-tying shot late in the team's come-from-behind win at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As the penultimate week in the Region 9 season came to a close, the top two teams maintained status quo while the bottom two made some noise. Crimson Cliffs forced overtime and nearly secured its first league win of the season while Snow Canyon claimed its second region win on an epic late comeback.

Here are recaps of the action from Thursday night:

Snow Canyon 46, Dixie 45

The Warriors didn’t hold the lead at the Hangar until the 31st minute of the game, but that’s all the time they needed.

Snow Canyon rallied from down 14 at the half and 13 at the end of the third quarter and used nearly every second on the clock to mount a road comeback. As the final period began, it seemed like another lost game in a tough season for Snow Canyon. The Warriors did not give in, however. They sank five from the perimeter in the final quarter. Three of the treys came out of the hands of Natalie Olson, including one with just over 30 seconds remaining in the game that gave the Warriors their first lead, 44-43. Kealah Faumuina responded for Dixie immediately with a layup down low and put the Flyers back in the familiar spot of holding the lead.

Snow Canyon’s Mckare Wong hits the game-winning shot at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Snow Canyon called a timeout with just under 15 seconds to play. Mckare Wong took the inbound just inside the backcourt, streaked all the way down the court along the right side of the key and bounced the ball off the glass and into the net to make it 46-45. She had already hit a clutch layup that knotted the game at 41-41 a few minutes earlier. Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden said it was Wong’s best game of the season.

Roden also said he didn’t remember another instance of his team coming back from such a deficit entering the fourth quarter.

“Honestly, I don’t think ever,” Roden said. “Never from that big of a deficit, especially when we’d only scored 19 points in the entire game to that point. It was ugly. So, it was a pretty good win.”

Emily Tauilili got a clean look for Dixie in the post as the clock ran down but overcooked it, sending it off the glass and over the hoop. The ball landed in the hands of Snow Canyon’s Tyler Mooring and the celebration began for the Warriors.

Mooring was another hero for Snow Canyon late, scoring five points, including a 3-pointer. Ebony Lealao drilled a three as well and hit a jumper from just inside the free-throw line to pull the Warriors within one and drew a foul. She just banked the and-one off the back of the rim, delaying Snow Canyon’s equalizer. Lealao had eight points total in the frame with a trio of successful free throws all with a wad of cotton in her nose to suppress a nose  and trailed Olson’s 10 in the fourth quarter alone. Wong scored four in the quarter. Freshman Fetauo Tapasa didn’t score any points but helped hold down the post and control Faumuina, Dixie’s leading scorer and her cousin.

“Those five on the floor together just found a way to win,” Roden said. “Our bench was fantastic with their emotion and energy, helping the girls come all the way back.”

It was an offensive outburst that came out of nowhere: Snow Canyon had failed to post double digits in any of the first three quarters of the game. They scored a lowly four in the first and six in the third. The lack of scoring caused trouble early on, as the Warriors watched Dixie score 12 in the first and 15 in the second. The Flyers landed nine free throws before halftime and only missed two. Snow Canyon played aggressive defense, but in the first half it resulted in trips to the line for Dixie that the Flyers capitalized on.

In the second half, that aggression paid off as Snow Canyon held Dixie to only a quartet of field goals. It was still sending Dixie to the line, but the Flyers stopped making the free shots with such high consistency and the fouls were crucial in preventing the Flyers from draining the clock.

The third quarter was a turning point for the Warriors, even if the scoring hadn’t arrived yet. They only scored six points but held the Flyers to five. In the fourth, the shots started falling and the Flyers team began to lose composure between the score and officiating. At one point, they were hit with a bench technical.

The momentum snowballed and by the final minute was a full-blown avalanche.

Olson scored 16 points total to lead the game. Mooring and Lealao each had 12.

For Dixie, Addy Shaffer scored 15 to set the pace. Faumuina had 14 and Katie Mills had 10.

It gave the Warriors just their second win in Region 9 play in a tough season. The team has been close to wins, including a 45-41 loss to the same Flyers on Jan. 19 and Tuesday’s game against Hurricane when they were leading in the fourth quarter. On Thursday night, they were able to push over the edge. It also gave Snow Canyon it’s second stunner at the Hangar after the boys team dealt Dixie what remains it’s only loss in league play, 55-40 on Jan. 20.

Snow Canyon improves to 2-10 in region play and 3-15 overall. It hosts Canyon View next.

“Hopefully it’s a confidence builder to take into next week,” Roden said.

Dixie falls to 7-11 and 5-7 in Region 9. It has a couple of tough matchups in the final week, hosting Desert Hills on Tuesday and closing the season on the road against Pine View.

Desert Hills 64, Hurricane 40

The Tigers came out strong at home but ultimately couldn’t keep up with the undefeated Thunder’s scoring in the second half.

Desert Hills at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo by Mark Musgrave, St. George News

The teams traded blows in the first half, playing to a first-quarter tie at 16 and a 29-27 edge for Desert Hills at the half. Haley Chesley scored 14 points in the first half for the Tigers and nine in the first quarter. Lydia Prince scored six before the midway point.

In the second half, Desert Hills controlled Hurricane’s offense. Chesley hit only two field goals in the entire second half for five points. The secondary scoring didn’t pick up the slack, as Sadie Gilberg scored half of the team’s eight other points in the final two quarters.

Meanwhile, the Thunder produced a steady offense all game, bottoming out at 13 points in any individual quarter. As the Tigers scored only nine in the third quarter, the Thunder posted 19. Shailee Bundy scored 16 points with eight in the first quarter to lead Desert Hills. Julia Jacobsen and Enid Vaifanua both scored 15 in the game and Sa’de Turlington scored 11.

Desert Hills remains undefeated in Region 9 play and is 16-2 overall. It travels to Dixie to open the final week on Tuesday.

Hurricane falls to 6-6 in league and 8-11 overall. It hosts the Pine View Panthers next.

Canyon View 47, Crimson Cliffs 40 (OT)

For the second time this season, the Falcons needed overtime to beat the Mustangs.

Crimson Cliffs at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Shortly after Jayda Gleave drained a 3-pointer to start the Falcons off, Crimson’s Whitley Stookey banked one in from the right wing to tie the game.

Canyon View’s Addison Newman, a four-year starter playing her last regular season home game, scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the opening frame as the Falcons took a 12-11 lead after one quarter.

The Falcons led 25-19 at the half and 24-29 after three, but the Mustangs slowly but surely chipped away at Canyon View’s lead late in the fourth. 

Crimson’s Kenadee Richey made a free throw with 42 seconds left in regulation to tie the score 40-40, but neither team was able to score on its last possession.

The overtime period was all Canyon View, as the Falcons got a 3-pointer from Newman plus four free throws down the stretch, all while holding the Mustangs scoreless during the extra session.

It marked the second straight time the teams had played each other into overtime. At Crimson Cliffs on Jan. 19, the Mustangs lost to Canyon View 55-53, with the Falcons outscoring Crimson 10-8 in the bonus time.

— written by Jeff Richards

Pine View 48, Cedar 34

In a rematch of last year’s 4A state title game, the Pine View Panthers rolled to a win over Cedar.

The only starting player left from Cedar’s back-to-back state championship teams is Logann Laws, who has missed her entire senior season while recovering from surgery.

But on senior night Thursday night, Laws suited up in her No. 4 jersey and took the floor at the start of the game. After Pine View allowed Cedar to take the opening tip, Abby Davis passed the ball to Laws for an uncontested layup. Cedar then permitted Pine View to score in similar fashion to knot the score 2-2 as Laws went back to the bench to cheer her teammates for the remainder of the game, as she has done all season.

“It was amazing,” Laws said of being able to experience being in a game once again. “It felt so good. It was like my environment, where I belong.”

Laws, who is still on the mend following emergency surgery to repair a chiari malformation at the top of her spinal cord in November, said she hasn’t been cleared by doctors to play any contact sports due to risk of concussion. 

Cedar High seniors (L-R) Logann Laws, Grace Morales, Megan Allred, Abby Davis and Jacey Messer after the team’s last home game, Pine View at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

However, Laws, a BYU track signee, said she is looking forward to throwing the javelin for the Reds track team this spring, where she’ll defend her 4A state title (and team state championship) from her sophomore year in 2019.

Late in the first quarter against Pine View on Thursday, Cedar had fallen behind 11-2, with Laws’ basket the lone score for the Reds. Braylee Peterson added another bucket late in the quarter, but Pine View led by 11 at the end of the first, 15-4.

The teams played evenly throughout the second quarter, which ended with the Panthers taking a 26-16 halftime lead. Guard Alex Olson scored 17 points in the first half, including five 3-pointers.

Although Olson didn’t score in the second half, she still led all scorers with 17. Senior center Averi Papa, who’d been scoreless in the first half, made eight points in the second half, while Ady Schmitt added seven points total for Pine View.

The Reds were led by guard Braylee Peterson’s 12 points, with Emery Harrison adding eight and Davis making five.

Pine View improves to 10-2 in region play with the win. The Panthers next play at Hurricane on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Cedar falls to 7-5 but stays in third place in Region 9. The Reds will play at Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday.

— written by Jeff Richards

Tuesday’s game schedule (Feb. 16)

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

Region 9 girls basketball standings (as of Feb. 12)

  1. Desert Hills 12-0 (16-2)
  2. Pine View 10-2 (17-2)
  3. Cedar 7-5 (10-9)
  4. Canyon View 6-6 (9-11)
  5. Hurricane 6-6 (8-11)
  6. Dixie 5-7 (7-11)
  7. Snow Canyon 2-10 (3-15)
  8. Crimson Cliffs 0-12 (2-16)

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

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