Region 9 recap: Snow Canyon girls basketball now 6-0; Cedar, Hurricane win to keep pace

ST. GEORGE — Snow Canyon extended its Region 9 girls basketball lead Tuesday night with a 58-41 win over Desert Hills, and three teams now sit at 3-3 in the pack behind the Warriors.

The win ups the Warriors’ overall record to 15-1 and region mark to 6-0. The Thunder dropped to 6-8 and 3-3.

Meanwhile, second-place Cedar edged Dixie 53-50 to improve to 12-4 and 4-2 while the Flyers dropped to 8-9 and 3-3.

Hurricane upped its overall record to 10-8 and 3-3 with a 47-41 win over Pine View, which dropped to 4-13 and 2-4.

Crimson Cliffs (4-12, 0-6) had a bye.

Snow Canyon 58, Desert Hills 41

Snow Canyon’s Joey Jensen scores against Desert Hills in a Region 9 girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The Warriors cruised to their 22nd consecutive victory in region play behind 30 points from star junior Olivia Hamlin.

“These girls thrive off of pushing the ball, and they’re winners. They’re just competitors, all of them down the bench,” Snow Canyon coach Sue Hoskins told St. George News after the win.

“They like winning, they see the floor well, they give up the ball for a better shot,” Hoskins added. “They’re just winners.”

Hamlin made it look easy in the first quarter, scoring on a variety of close-in looks that produced easy baskets. She poured in 14 that quarter alone and had 20 points by halftime.

But she wasn’t alone as fellow juniors Joey Jensen (11 points) and Kelly Howard (three 3-pointers, 10 points) contributed to Snow Canyon’s win.

“That junior group has been playing together since they were fifth-graders,” Hoskins said. “They trust, they can see each other and they just want to compete. They just love the game.”

Desert Hills stayed in the game early after Tess Peterson and Ashtin Hansen each scored five first-half points to cut Snow Canyon’s lead to 26-23 at the intermission.

But the Warriors put the game away with a convincing 14-5 performance in the third quarter.

“Told the girls not to panic at halftime,” Hoskins said. “They were rushing their shots just a little bit. I told them to be calm. We had zero turnovers in the third quarter. Our defense stepped up.”

The Warriors held all the Thunder shooters below double-digit scoring. Peterson and Hansen led the way for the home team with eight points apiece.

Mylee Villanueva chipped in with seven points for the Thunder’s cause.

The Warriors know they can’t let their guard down in a single game.

“I told them at the beginning of the season, we have a target on our back, especially in region,” Hoskins said. “People want to get us every night. They throw stuff at us, anybody can get us on any given night. So we got to be ready to play.”

Dixie’s Hali Smith works against Cedar in a Region 9 girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Cedar 53, Dixie 50

At Dixie, the Cedar Reds withstood a late rally by the Flyers to escape the Hangar with a 53-50 victory.

After Cedar’s senior center Kiara Hansen sank one of two free throws to give the Reds a 52-48 lead with about 21 seconds left, Dixie quickly cut the deficit to two points on a fast break that made it 52-50.

The Flyers then fouled Cedar freshman Jaylin York, who made one of two free throws to give the Reds a three-point lead with 10 seconds remaining. Cedar’s trapping defensive pressure prevented Dixie from taking a final shot.

Cedar started the game with a 7-0 run before Dixie scored the next 14 points and took a 16-10 lead after one period. Cedar then evened things up during the second quarter and ended up trailing just 23-22 at halftime.

Leading the way for Cedar (12-4, 4-2) was sophomore point guard Gabby Gomez, who sank seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points. Hansen added 13 points, including seven during the final quarter. Junior forward Annalyse Shimada added eight points for the Reds.

Meanwhile, Dixie (8-9, 3-3) was led by center Kealah Faumuina’s 15 points, including 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Jaycee Bundy added 14 points for Dixie, with Hali Smith adding nine.

— written by Jeff Richards

Hurricane 47, Pine View 41

Addison Crandall scored 26 points, mostly on inside shots, to lead the Tigers to victory at Pine View.

Matching Crandall nearly shot for shot was Pine View’s Reese Gustin, who led the Panthers with 24 points, including three 3-pointers.

Both teams started slowly, with Pine View taking an 8-7 lead after one quarter.

Hurricane made a 7-0 scoring run late in the second period and took a 21-14 advantage at halftime.

Hurricane kept the Panthers at bay during the third, with Crandall making two more field goals and Abby Stout hitting a 3-pointer and adding a pair of free throws.

The Tigers led 29-21 after three. With less than one minute to play, Hurricane led 43-33.

A total of 12 additional points were scored in the final minute, with Pine View burying two 3-pointers in the final seconds.

“We were super sick and a broken team but the bench rallied around them and we just fought our way to the end,” said Hurricane head coach Pepper Reddish. “Rebounding was so important, all game.”

–written by Jeff Richards 

Region 9 girls basketball standings

  1. Snow Canyon (15-1, 6-0)
  2. Cedar (12-4, 4-2)
  3. Hurricane (10-7, 3-3)
  4. Dixie (8-9, 3-3)
  5. Desert Hills (6-8, 3-3)
  6. Pine View (4-13, 2-4)
  7. Crimson Cliffs (4-12, 0-6)

Schedule of Thursday, Jan. 25

  • Hurricane at Cedar, 7 p.m.
  • Dixie at Crimson Cliffs, 7 p.m.
  • Desert Hills at Pine View, 7 p.m.

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