ST. GEORGE – Snow Canyon High School boys’ basketball defeated Dixie High School in typical Region 9 fashion on Tuesday with the game coming down to a final shot in overtime at Dixie’s campus.
Dixie had the ball with 13 seconds remaining in overtime, trailing the Warriors 60-58. The ball was inbounded out of the timeout, and the Flyers set up the offense to get the ball to Ryan Collins. He pulled up for a 3-pointer, but the ball clanked off the rim and into the hands of the Warriors’ Preston Root. The Snow Canyon student section proceeded to storm onto Dixie’s home court afterward.
“We’re just dang lucky that last 3 didn’t go in for [Collins],” Snow Canyon coach James Brown said. “He was on all night long. We’re just fortunate that we can get out of here with a win.”
Snow Canyon was able to force overtime thanks to a 3-pointer by Ben Smith, which tied the game at 51. The Warriors trailed for the majority of the game, but they clawed their way back into it.
“We’ve just been working on playing a full game—all four quarters,” Root said. “In this situation we were behind, so we just had to tighten up the bolts and work on the turnovers and just focus on making every possession count.”
Root ended up with 23 points on the night with the majority of those points coming in the second half. Snow Canyon’s Xavier Fely scored 12 points on the night while hitting some clutch free throws down the stretch.
“X did a great job at the free-throw line,” Brown said. “When both [Fely and Root] can and they get fouled and put it down that puts a lot of stress on people because you can’t just hack them.”
The bright spot for Dixie was the play of Seth Lasater. He led all scorers in the game with 24 points. He helped the Flyers build up a five-point lead going into halftime.
“He really likes to drive to the hoop,” Root said. “We just kind of decided to play off him a little more—kind of make him shoot.”
Snow Canyon’s strategy worked in the second half, which allowed the Warriors to hang around long enough to win.
The biggest thing Brown said he wanted to focus on in the coming days was on how the team was able to come back. He said he would go back to the film and try to figure out how they did it, so that the Warriors will be able to do it again if they’re ever in this same situation.
Tuesday’s game had major playoff implications. By defeating the Flyers, Snow Canyon has become the current No. 1 seed out of the 4A teams in Region 9. The Warriors take on Pine View High School on Friday, and a rematch with Dixie at Snow Canyon’s campus.