Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com.
PART 2-3 WINTER SPORTS
COMMENTARY – The winter sports season started of with a bang with three teams ranked in the top five in boys and girls basketball.
Basketball wasn’t the only sport that was the favorite in Region. That were also a few wrestlers and swimmers that were picked to win it all.
In girls basketball the Thunder and the Snow Canyon Warriors dominated the headlines from start to finish.
The two teams meet in the State Championship game with the Warriors coming out on top. The two teams are very young and will be the favorites to meet once again in the championship next year.
Juniors Amy Harris, Autumn Shipp and Megan Leavitt along with sophomore Grace Walton lead the Warriors. All of them made the All-State team. Harris was the leading scorer in the Region and was named MVP of the state tournament.
The Thunder were led by sophomores Haley Bodnar and Blair Bliss. Both were named to first team all-state. Bodnar was also named defensive MVP.
With all that youth coming back next year for the state’s top two teams, Region 9 girls basketball will be very exciting. Another player to watch is freshman Kelsey McCann. McCann was the second leading scorer in Region 9. Many around the girls’ basketball community are saying she might be the best player to come out of Southern Utah. McCann averaged just under 14 points per game in her freshman season.
Boys’ basketball was very different from girls’ basketball. Yes, there were two Region 9 teams in the finals that were much like girls but, seniors led the boys’ teams unlike the underclassmen who led the girls.
In boys basketball we had all four Region 9 teams in the state semifinals. The Dixie Flyers took on the Thunder and the Tigers took on the Redmen. Both games were very close. The Thunder beat the Flyers by four and the Tigers beat the Redmen by two in overtime.
The state championship game and the third place game were just like the semifinals. Both games came down to last-second shots.
The Tigers beat the Thunder by three. The Thunder had a shot at the buzzer, but missed.
In the third place game the Redmen hit a buzzer-beater to beat the Flyers by three.
Seniors Boston Gubler, Colton Marshall, Weston Yardley (Hurricane), Tyler Ott, Brandon Simister, (Desert Hills), Kyler Nielson, Trent Snow (Cedar), Walker Swenson, DeShon Brown, Devin Bennett, (Dixie) and Brayden Linde (Snow Canyon) may have capped off the best senior class in Region 9 history.
Boys and girls basketball helped Region 9 catapult into a great 2012.
In wrestling, Region 9 teams struggled at state but some individuals shined.
Senior Brian Scott from Hurricane capped of his undefeated season with a state championship in the 220 lbs. division. Scott finished the year 48-0 and pinned all four opponents at state.
Scott wasn’t the only Hurricane Tiger who won state; junior Zach Prince took home the gold in the 152 lbs weight class finishing off a great season going 53-4 on the mat.
The Cedar Redmen also had two state champions. Junior Cameron Willamson took home the 195 lbs. crown while sophomore Dusty Hone won the 113 lbs. championship.
The Redmen also had a close call with Kolby Lloyd who lost in the championship match in the 132 lbs. division.
The Thunder took home the 285 lbs. crown with senior Kalob Stevenson winning the championship match in double overtime.
The Thunder also had a close call with freshmen Joe Mondragon, who came up just short in the finals. The freshman was 52-8 coming into the state tournament and will be a contender for years to come.
In swimming the Desert Hills Thunder was the top team in both the boys and the girls in Region 9. The boys team went to state and took fourth place as a team with senior Tim Senholtz leading the way for the Thunder.
Senholtz won two events at state, the 100-yard Breaststroke and the 100-yard Butterfly.
Pine View Panther sophomore Mitchell Hutchings also won two events, the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.
The Thunder girls swim team took second at state led by sophomore Amelia Draney. Draney won the 200 freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Draney set the 3A state record in the 200-yard freestyle.
With seven different sports in the spring period, Region 9 had a few more chances to take home state championships. Check back to stgeorgeutah.com on Wednesday for part 3 of 3: The Spring Sports.
For more Region 9 sports talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.