Region 9 girls basketball: Snow Canyon fights off Cedar; Crimson Cliffs, Dixie triumph

ST. GEORGE — A couple of “firsts” were the order of the day in Region 9 girls basketball Tuesday night.

Snow Canyon gutted out a 58-52 win over Cedar to avoid its first region loss of the season and remain firmly in first place. The Warriors are 18-1 overall and a perfect 9-0 in Region 9.

Crimson Cliffs, meanwhile, earned its first region victory of the season, knocking off Desert Hills 49-47. And Dixie moved above .500 in region play, outdistancing Pine View 66-32.

Hurricane had a bye but returns to the court Thursday night against Crimson.

Snow Canyon 58, Cedar 52

Snow Canyon’s Sydnee Crowton (13) passes against Cedar in a Region 9 girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, February 6, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Olivia Hamlin reached another milestone in leading the Warriors to victory in a battle pitting the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Region 9 as well as the No. 2 (Snow Canyon) and No. 3 (Cedar) teams in the 4A girls Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

“It was huge,” Snow Canyon coach Sue Hoskins told St. George News after the win. “I told my girls they’re (Cedar) gonna beat a lot of teams in the state tournament. They just execute well. I think defensively our steals kind of kept us in the game and then we out-powered them.” 

A lineup deep with quick-handed guards makes Snow Canyon’s pressure defense tough to crack.

Add Hamlin’s poised leadership and team execution and the Warriors are working towards being a very tough out at the state tournament next month.

Snow Canyon had its pressure defense working early against Cedar as the home team took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter and upped that advantage to 30-25.

As a team, the Warriors pilfered 13 steals from the Reds, led by Hamlin’s game-high five thefts. Junior teammate Joey Jensen posted four steals, senior Kyza Andrews had two and both Kelly Howard and Sydney Crowton recorded a steal in the win.

Snow Canyon’s Olivia Hamlin drives against Cedar’s Tylee Nielson in a Region 9 girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, February 6, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The Warriors enjoyed a 44-35 lead in the fourth quarter and milked the clock to victory in a hard-fought fourth frame.

Hamlin led all scorers with 30 points in the contest, enough to put her over the 1,500 career points mark.

“It feels good, it’s all because of my teammates,” Hamlin said, noting that many of those points were scored off of assists from Howard or Jensen.

“I like it when they get the ball and push it up, and I just run with them and go finish,” Hamlin said. “That’s how we roll in transition.” 

Howard chipped in with three 3-pointers and 20 points for Snow Canyon and Jensen netted six. Fetua Tapasa rounded out the Warriors’ box score with two points.

Gabby Gomez, the leading 3-point shooter in 4A, made three treys and scored 15 points to pace the Reds.

Annalyse Shimada contributed 14 points for Cedar’s cause and Kiara Hansen finished with 13 points in the setback.

Crimson Cliffs 49, Desert Hills 47

The Mustangs made a remarkable second-half comeback to defeat Desert Hills, with Summer Adams making the game-winning basket just before time expired in the Fieldhouse.

Crimson Cliffs’ Kinsey Plewe goes up for a shot against Desert Hills in a  Region 9 girls basketball game, Washington, Utah, Feb. 6, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Desert Hills assumed control of the game during the first half, taking a 14-7 lead after one quarter and a 30-14 advantage at halftime.

Crimson then flipped the script in the second half, outscoring the Thunder 16-11 in the third and 19-6 during the fourth.

Coco Korella and Kenadee Richey combined to score 20 of the Mustangs’ second-half points, with teammate Alyssa Whittaker contributing eight of her game-high 15 points after halftime.

With 1:21 left in the fourth, Crimson Cliffs guard Kinsey Plewe hit a 3-pointer to give the Mustangs the lead, 45-44.

Shortly thereafter, the Thunder’s Hannah Heaton answered with a 3 that tied the score at 47.

With five seconds remaining, the Thunder had the ball out of bounds with the score still tied, but Adams stole the ball and made a game-winning layup just before the final buzzer, giving the Mustangs their first Region 9 win of the season.

Supplementing Whittaker’s 15 points were Korella and Richey with 11 points apiece, while Plewe finished with eight for the Mustangs.

Desert Hills was led in scoring by Ashtin Hansen’s 15 points, with Mylee Villanueva adding 10.

– written by Jeff Richards

Dixie 66, Pine View 32

At Pine View, the Dixie Flyers opened up a 34-point lead in the first half as they soared to a convincing win over the Panthers.

Dixie started the game on an 8-0 run over the first two-and-a-half minutes. Pine View’s Reese Gustin got the Panthers on the scoreboard with three free throws to make it 8-3 with 5:30 left in the first period.

Dixie’s offensive onslaught continued as the Flyers took a 26-10 lead after one quarter, with Jaycee Bundy hitting a pair of 3-pointers late in the period.

Dixie scored the first 17 points of the second quarter, expanding its lead to 43-10 on a 3-pointer by Brinlee Bennett with just over three minutes to play before halftime. Much of Dixie’s scoring during the rally came off steals and turnovers.

Up 49-15 at halftime, Dixie managed to stay ahead by more than 30 the rest of the game, eventually winning by the same 34-point margin they owned at the half.

“What a fun night of basketball for the Lady Flyers,” Dixie head coach Coty Bundy told St. George News afterward. “They played together on offense and defense: a coach’s dream.”

Bundy said he was happy to see his team bounce back after last week’s tough 37-34 home loss to Hurricane.

“We continued to play great defense tonight and decided to put the ball in the basket,” Bundy added.

Kealah Faumuina led the Flyers with 22 points, while Bennett added 14 and Bundy and Hali Smith finished with nine points apiece.

The Panthers were led by Gustin’s 13 points, with Casey Morley and Aniva Seve each adding five points.

– written by Jeff Richards

Region 9 girls basketball standings:

  1. Snow Canyon (18-1, 9-0)
  2. Cedar (15-5, 7-3)
  3. Dixie (10-10, 5-4)
  4. Desert Hills (8-10, 5-5)
  5. Hurricane (11-9, 4-5)
  6. Pine View (4-16, 2-7)
  7. Crimson Cliffs (5-15, 1-9)

Schedule for Thursday, Feb. 8:

  • Snow Canyon at Dixie, 7 p.m.
  • Crimson Cliffs at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
  • Pine View at Cedar, 7 p.m.

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