ST. GEORGE – All four Region 9 teams won their first round games to advance to the final eight held at the Burns Arena at Dixie State College.
On Saturday in the first round of the State 3A playoffs Cedar, Desert Hills, Dixie and Hurricane all won to advance to the final eight of the state tournament.
In the first round of the tournament Region 9 was matched up with Region 10. The No. 1 seed out of Region 9 (Desert Hills) played the No. 4 seed in Region 10 (Juan Diego), the No. 2 seed from Region 9 (Hurricane) played the three seed from Region 10 (Park City), the three seed in Region 9 (Cedar) played the No. 2 seed from Region 10 (Wasatch), and the No. 4 seed in Region 9 (Dixie) played the No. 1 seed from Region 10 (Judge Memorial).
The Dixie Flyers had to play the hottest team coming into state, Judge Memorial, who went 10-0 in region play and was on a ten-game winning streak. Judge showed why they went undefeated, taking a two-point lead into the half. Judge continued to look strong leading by 8 with just under 3:30 left to play.
The season looked like it was coming to an end for the Dixie Flyers but, like they have all season long, they rallied. The Flyers went on a 13-0 run to end the game including eight straight points from Devin Bennett to get the win over Judge. The Flyers only had four players score in the game, led by Bennett who finished with 16 points. Deshon Brown and Walker Swenson scored 11 points and 10 points respectively and Kyler Smith added nine. The Flyers advance to the final eight at Dixie State College Thursday at 11:15 a.m. against Delta.
The Hurricane Tigers played host to Park City in the last game at the old gym at Hurricane High School. The Tigers trailed at the half, but fought back to take a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter. The Tigers put away Park City in the fourth, punching their ticket to the final eight. Colton Marshall led the way with 18 points and eight rebounds. Boston Gubler added 18 points and Taylor Parker chipped in with 11 points. The Tigers will take on Morgan in the final eight at 2:30 p.m. at DSC.
The No. 1 ranked Desert Hills Thunder played host to Juan Diego on Saturday night. The Thunder did not blow Juan Diego out like they did earlier in the season. The Thunder beat Juan Diego 81-44 on Dec. 9, 2011. The game was tied at 11 after the first quarter. The Thunder blew the game open in the second quarter taking a nine-point lead into the half.
The second half the Thunder struggled to put Juan Diego away. The Thunder actually lost the third and fourth quarter. The Thunder were outscored 16-14 in the third quarter and 16-15 in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder did hang on for the win, 61-55. Tyler Ott led the way with a game-high 18 points. Ty Rutledge added 11 points and was the only other Thunder player in double figures. Brandon Simister almost had his second double-double of the month but came up just short finishing with seven points, egiht rebounds and 12 assists. The Thunder march on to take play Ben Lomond on Thursday at DSC at 9:30 a.m.
The Cedar Redmen beat the defending state champions, Wasatch, on Saturday. The Redmen trailed throughout the ball game but scored on buzzer beater to win 42-41. The Redmen came from seven points down in the fourth quarter to get the win. Trent Snow finished with 18 points including the game-winning basket. The region’s leading scorer, Kyler Nielson, added 15 points. The Redmen take on Payson on Thursday at 12:45 at DSC.
Region 9 solidified itself as the best region in 3A over the weekend. Most of the second round matchups favor our Region 9 schools.
The Flyers take on a Delta team that lost to Cedar and Hurricane by 19 points apiece and Desert Hills by 21 points. Delta even lost to Canyon View from Region 9 by five.
The Thunder will be the favorite over Ben Lomond. Ben Lomond lost to Juan Diego earlier in the season.
The Tigers and the Redmen will have the toughest matchups in the final eight. The Tigers take on Morgan who went 12-0 in Region 11 and beat the Tigers in the Tigers’ first game of the year. The Tigers led throughout the ball game and gave up a double-digit lead in the final three minutes of the game. Morgan did lose to Park City by 20 points.
The Redmen will be taking on Payson who also went undefeated in their region (Region 12) 10-0. Payson did lose to Wasatch by six midway through the season.
It is very possible to have an all-region final 4 at DSC. The Burns Arena is not the home court for the four Region 9 teams left, but the teams have played there many times before. Coaches like that the kids are in their own homes, not in hotel rooms like the other four school will have to do.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.