4A girls state basketball: Live updates from Orem as 4 Region 9 teams play in quarterfinals

Cedar senior Kiara Hansen scores two against Green Canyon in a 4A girls state basketball playoff game, Orem, Utah, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The 4A girls state basketball tournament is underway at Utah Valley University and Cedar is the first of four Region 9 teams to take the floor.

No. 3 Cedar tipped off against No. 6 Green Canyon at approximately 4:35 p.m. Monday evening.

Follow St. George News for updates and complete coverage as the night goes on.

Find links to streams of the girls games at The Fan Sports Network.

No. 2 Snow Canyon takes on No. 7 Sky View, scheduled for 5:50 p.m.

No. 1 Ridgeline will then play No. 9 Dixie, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.

And then, in the nightcap, No. 13 Desert Hills will look to keep its Cinderella streak going against No. 5 Payson, scheduled to start at 9:10 p.m.

Cedar 59, Green Canyon 54

After leading at one point 45-25 in the third quarter, Cedar got complacent against Green Canyon but held on to win in the end.

Cedar’s Annalyse Shimada dribbles against Green Canyon in a 4A girls state basketball playoff game, Orem, Utah, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

Senior Kiara Hansen scored on a power move underneath to make Cedar’s lead 50-43 with 4:02 remaining in the game.

Green Canyon answered with back-to-back buckets to cut into Cedar’s lead, 50-49 with 2:10 left. 

From that point on, Annalyse Shimada calmly sank 6-of-6 free throws to prevent the upset.

“Annalyse is our leader,” Cedar coach Corry Nielsen said after the game. “She has made thousands of foul shots and she has earned the right to take foul shots. So when she was up there, I didn’t have any problems with it.”

For most of the game, Cedar was calm, cool and collected. The Reds confidently built a 20-9 lead after the first quarter and upped that to 37-14 at the halftime break.

But then, in the third quarter, they faced adversity after posting a 20-point lead.

“It was kind of my fault. We played not to lose, instead of to win,” Nielsen said. “We were afraid to go play and that was my fault. I did a bad job. We’ve got to trust our offense and our plays. And we have to play to win the whole game.”

Cedar hit a scoring drought and was outscored 18-8 in the third.

“In the third and the fourth, we were out there playing scared and tentative and not to lose,” Nielsen said. “That’s what happens when you have a young team, two seniors.”

Snow Canyon 52, Sky View 40

The Warriors were down by three at halftime.

“I told the team that they were not playing like they know how to play,” Snow Canyon coach Sue Hoskins said after the win. “You need to get aggressive, you need to get steals and you need to generate some energy.”

Olivia Hamlin drives against Sky View in a 4A girls state playoff basketball game, Orem, Utah, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

Junior Olivia Hamlin took that advice to heart and led the team to victory in the second half. Her steal and score opened the third quarter, then Fetuao Tapasa assisted Chaylee Andrews’ bucket. 

After Sky View answered with back to back hoops, Hamlin stole the ball, ran in transition and assisted Joey Jensen’s basket.

Hamlin followed with an and-1 and Snow Canyon took the lead, 27-26.

Not done yet, Hamlin sank an NBA-range 3-pointer and then hit a 3 at the buzzer and the Warriors stayed ahead 33-29 going into the fourth.

“She’s just such a good player,” Hoskins said. “She knows when her shots are going to bring so much energy. She plays with confidence, she just keeps going at it no matter what.”

Kelly Howard’s 3-pointer opened up Snow Canyon’s lead late and Hamlin had five more points in the last quarter to secure the win.

Hamlin led all scorers in the contest with 36 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds, stole six balls and dispensed four assists.

Jensen finished with nine points, Howard netted five and Andrews contributed her bucket in the Warriors victory.

The win guarantees that Region 9 will have at least one team in the final on Wednesday after Snow Canyon and Cedar earned a rematch with their quarterfinal victories.

They will play for the third time this season Tuesday afternoon scheduled at 4:10 p.m. Snow Canyon beat Cedar in both of their regular season games.

“I think our zone is the key, we’ve been successful with that especially the two times we played them,” Hoskins said. “We definitely need to rebound, Cedar is a very good rebounding team. I like our options. I think we’re going to do well.”

Ridgeline 66, Dixie 22

The top-seeded Riverhawks made quick work of the Flyers after taking a 36-9 lead at halftime and never looking back.

Dixie’s Kealah Faumuina goes up for a shot against Ridgeline in a 4A girls state basketball playoff game, Orem, Utah, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

The defending state champions were a well-oiled machine, grounding the Flyers and holding leading scorer Kealah Faumuina to 10 total points.

“They’re very disciplined defensively,” Dixie coach Coty Bundy said. “That’s one thing as we watched the game film we noticed. They make you make mistakes. And that’s one thing we were hoping to do a better job at.”

Meanwhile Ridgeline’s sensational junior, Emily Skinner, was a force to be reckoned with from the opening tip.

Skinner scored six points in the first quarter, nine in the second and seven in the third before sitting out the rest of the game. Her 22 points led all scorers. 

“All their girls are all very good and they’ve been playing together a long time,” Bundy said. “Everybody kept saying, too bad you have to play Ridgeline. But I don’t see it that way.”

Bundy added that in this season, Dixie battled hard against the No. 1 (Ridgeline), No. 2 (Snow Canyon) and No. 3 (Cedar) teams in Utah.

“At least we had the opportunity,” Bundy said. “Not many teams get an opportunity to do that. And we found out where we are against those top teams.”

Dixie’s three seniors–Faumuina, Hali Smith and Averi Gledhill–left all they had on the floor.

“The stamp they left on this program is something special, the culture, the legacy,” Bundy said. “Only one team ends the season on a victory. And I feel like that is a victory for our team, is having girls like that come through the program. And I’ll take that every day.”

Ridgeline cruised into the semifinals where the Riverhawks will face Payson on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

Payson 51, Desert Hills 40

The Lions prevailed in a low scoring game that started with a 5-1 first quarter for Payson. The Lions opened up a 10-point lead with three minutes left and then added to it at the foul line in the fourth.

Updated, Feb. 26, 6:35 p.m. to add details from the Cedar versus Green Canyon game

Updated, Feb. 26, 8:00 p.m. to add details from the Snow Canyon versus Sky View game

Updated, Feb. 26, 10:00 p.m. to add details from the Dixie versus Ridgeline game

Updated, Feb. 26, 10:30 p.m. to add the score from the Payson versus Desert Hills game

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