4A girls state basketball: 3 out of 4 Region 9 teams win big in 1st-round games

ST. GEORGE — One-sided wins were the name of the game in the opening round of the 4A girls state basketball tournament Tuesday night.

And three of Region 9’s four teams in action found themselves on the winning end of them as follows:

  • No. 9 Dixie 53, No. 24 Park City 16
  • No. 13 Desert Hills 58, No. 20 Uintah 24
  • No. 17 Crimson Cliffs 53, No. 16 Tooele 24

Next up for the Flyers is a road contest against No. 8 Hurricane, while the Thunder is at No. 4 Cottonwood and the Mustangs head north to take on top-seeded and defending state champion Ridgeline.

Meanwhile, No. 19 Pine View dropped a tight one at No. 14 Provo 47-46, setting up a second-round matchup at No. 3 Cedar against the Reds Thursday night.

Click here to view the updated state bracket.

Dixie 53, Park City 16

Dixie’s Kealah Faumuina scores two of her 27 points against Park City in a 4A girls playoff basketball game, St. George, Utah, Feb. 20, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Kealah Faumuina was not going to let her last game in the Hangar be a quiet one.

The senior leader for Dixie scored from the opening tip-off and then went on to pour in 27 points in a blowout victory over the visiting Miners.

“She’s just a great teammate, a great individual,” Dixie coach Coty Bundy told St. George News after Faumuina’s big game. “She’s been such a big part of this program, not only because of basketball, but because of who she is. And that’s what makes her so special.”

Faumuina scored 13 of her points in the first quarter, fueling the Flyers to a 17-6 lead. She came back to score 10 more in the third, leading to a 49-10 Dixie advantage going into the final quarter of play – which Faumuina sat out of, along with the rest of Dixie’s starters.

“The girls have been working extremely hard at their defense, and we knew coming in here that we had an advantage in that department,” Bundy said. “And so we wanted to take it to the next level to get ready for Thursday’s game.”

Dixie’s Averi Gledhill looks to pass against Park City in a 4A girls playoff basketball game, St. George, Utah, Feb. 20, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Jaycee Bundy made two 3-pointers and scored 11 points for Dixie. Hali Smith contributed four points for the winners and Khymana Keil sank two buckets in the fourth and registered four points for Dixie as well.

The Flyers earned a playoff rematch against familiar foe Hurricane. Both the Tigers and Flyers finished 6-6 and tied for third place in the region standings. The two squads split their Region 9 matchups after both teams won on the road.

The Flyers and Tigers tip off in Hurricane Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Just be us. Play our game,” Bundy said. “The last time we played them our defense wasn’t the problem, we came up short on the offensive end. We’re going in with a lot of confidence based off of what we know, and if we do our job, we’ll be OK.”

Desert Hills 58, Uintah 24

The Thunder followed the same recipe as the Flyers on Tuesday night: Get out to a big lead and remove all doubt early.

Desert Hills’ Brynlee Mortensen dribbles against Uintah in a 4A girls state basketball playoff game, St. George, Utah, Feb. 20, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Desert Hills took the lead 10-6 after a low-scoring first quarter, then blew the walls off the Thunderdome with a 21-point second quarter en route to the blowout win.

The home team led 31-8 at halftime and 50-19 after three quarters.

The Thunder spread the love around as eight different players scored at least three points in the win.

Hannah Heaton led the way for the home team, scoring seven field goals for 14 points. Mylee Villanueva was right behind with 12 points for the winners.

Jenna Brown scored nine points for Desert Hills and Ashtin Hansen chipped in with eight for the Thunder, including the only made 3-pointer by either team in the contest.

Desert Hills earned a second-round playoff game Thursday night on the road at No. 4 Cottonwood. The Colts finished 17-6 overall and tied for first place in Region 10 at 11-1.

Crimson Cliffs 53, Tooele 24

At Tooele, the Mustangs used stifling defense and a strong second-quarter surge to roll to a runaway first-round victory over the Buffaloes.

Both teams got out to a slow start, with Crimson taking a 7-3 lead after one quarter.

During the second period, the Mustangs went on a 17-5 run to take a 24-8 halftime lead.

The second half proved to be more of the same, as Crimson continued to shut down Tooele on offense while parlaying steals into layups and hitting a number of second-chance putbacks.

The Mustangs stretched their lead to as many as 32 points, taking a 53-21 lead late in the fourth before Tooele hit a 3-pointer to account for the final margin.

Center Alyssa Whittaker led the Mustangs in scoring with 11 points. Adding to Crimson’s balanced offensive attack were Colleen Korella with nine points and Kinsey Plewe, Jaynee Hahl and Summer Adams with seven points apiece.

Tooele, meanwhile, was led by Cianna Rolle’s 10 points, with Josie Kennedy adding seven.

Crimson improved to 7-16 overall on the season with the win, which also earns them a date at No. 1 seed Ridgeline (21-2) at Millville on Thursday, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

– written by Jeff Richards

Provo 47, Pine View 46

At Provo, the 14th-seeded Bulldogs edged No. 19 Pine View by a single point. Game details and scoring information were yet unavailable as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The Panthers finish their season with an overall record of 4-20. Meanwhile, Provo advances to play No. 3 Cedar in Cedar City on Thursday at 7 p.m.

4A girls state playoff games Thursday, Feb. 22:

  • No. 15 Mountain View at No. 2 Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
  • No. 9 Dixie at No. 8 Hurricane, 7 p.m.
  • No. 13 Desert Hills at No. 4 Cottonwood, 7 p.m.
  • No. 17 Crimson Cliffs at No. 1 Ridgeline, 7 p.m.
  • Provo 14 Provo at No. 3 Cedar, 7 p.m.

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