ST. GEORGE — The boys basketball team at Desert Hills High School started strong and never looked back in a dominant 68-40 win over Canyon View Wednesday night, showing signs of potential for the Thunder early in the season.
“We’re young. We have very little varsity experience coming back,” Desert Hills coach Chris Allred told St. George News after the win. “We just need to find opportunities to get better and kind of find our identity.”
The Thunder made the best of their opportunity against the Falcons, winning the opening tip and showing high energy right at the start.
Lincoln Holmes canned a 3-pointer, Awsten Turnbow followed with a bucket and Eric Olsen quickly scored for the home team. Turnbow’s rebound and score made the Thunder lead 9-0 before most of the fans had settled into their seats.
“That first possession, we were awesome,” Allred said. “We had three shots and made some plays. I was proud of the energy that we came out with.”
Holmes got a floater to drop in and later hit a 3-pointer as Desert Hills stormed ahead 18-3. Holmes led all scorers in the contest with 27 points, including five 3-pointers.
The Thunder was ahead for good 23-3 after the first quarter and led 43-16 at halftime.
“The first half was great defensively,” Allred said. “The second half, I’m a long ways from happy with it.”
He added that after Desert Hills got out to the big lead in the first half, the Thunder let up their intensity and got a little bit sloppy.
Canyon View won the third quarter, 16-11. Skylar Hignite led the Falcons with 10 points in the game while Andrew Barnes netted 9 points and Jace Farrow contributed 7 points in the loss.
“Canyon View is always a really scrappy team. Coach (Robbie) Potter does a great job with them,” Allred said. “They always compete, fight and execute well, so we knew we’d have our work cut out for us.”
The Thunder had nine players finish with at least a point in the game. Ethan Bateman scored 7 and Turnbow threw in 6 to go along with his game-high 10 rebounds.
“When we choose to play defense I feel like we’re a good defensive team,” Allred said. “We’ve got to continue to get better offensively and to move the ball and execute better, but I think we’ll eventually get there.”
Early in the season, Canyon View fell to 1-3 after the defeat while Desert Hills evened its record at 2-2.
“We’ve just got to get better day-to-day, and that’s got to be our primary focus,” Allred said.
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