COMMENTARY – It’s hard to overstate the tremendousness of what Cedar has done already in Region 9 boys basketball.
The Redmen are 4-0 and that is impressive in itself. But where and how they got those victories is what’s astonishing. In staking a claim as the region’s best team, Cedar has made huge comebacks, been dominant late in games and won on the road.
Cedar (10-3 overall) opened region a month ago with a road game at defending league champ Desert Hills. Last season the Redmen got boat-raced at DH and with this year’s game being one of those sneaky pre-Christmas region starters, the Thunder seemed to have a huge advantage.
Down by as many as nine in the first half, Cedar out-scored Desert Hills 26-6 in the third quarter and went on to an easy 61-48 victory.
After an easy win against Canyon View and non-league holiday action, Cedar again came down to Washington County and faced what was supposed to be a difficult test against Dixie. Instead, the Redmen scored 45 second-half points (and a blistering 60 percent from the floor) and blew the Flyers away 68-46.
Then, last Friday night Cedar bounced into Snow Canyon’s Jungle Gymnasium and promptly fell behind by double-digits. That’s usually deadly at Snow Canyon, especially with the way the Warriors have been playing defense as of late.
But once again, Cedar was lights out after halftime, tying the game at long last with less than two minutes to play. After a defensive stop, the Redmen worked for a last shot. Mike Hourigan missed, but center Dustin Staggs put back the miss to give Cedar yet another crucial road win.
For Cedar, that’s three road wins at the three teams that are just behind them on the standings. Again, what a huge accomplishment.
Stopping short of already awarding the Redmen the region trophy, I will at least say that Cedar is the king of the hill right now and it will take a monumental effort by on of the contenders to knock them off that hill.
Certainly, Desert Hills and Snow Canyon have shown that the Redmen are beatable. But Cedar has five of its remaining eight games at home and the three roadies are at the fifth (Pine View), sixth (Canyon View) and seventh (Hurricane) place teams. For Cedar not to win Region 9, someone is going to have go up to Cedar’s gymnasium and get a win and that won’t be easy.
By the way, Dixie’s win at Pine View was significant on many ways, not the least of which is that it creates a clear line of separation between fourth place and the fifth, sixth and seventh place teams. As is usually the case, Region 9 gets four playoff teams, so one of the three bottom tier teams (most likely Pine View) will need to get hot to get back in contention for the playoffs.
In girls hoops, Desert Hills is elite at 13-1. But in a rematch of last season’s state championship game, Snow Canyon knocked off the Lady Thunder last Tuesday and grabbed first place. It was an intense and exciting 53-46 win by the Lady Warriors, with BYU signee Amy Harris scoring 20 points to help SC record the impressive win.
But talk about a game with some fallout.
Perhaps extremely motivated by its first loss, Desert Hills blasted Hurricane by 30 Thursday night. Across town, Snow Canyon came out lifeless (scoring just three points in the first quarter) and got pummeled by Dixie, 63-41.
Now both teams are tied with Cedar in the loss column with one each (DH had beaten Cedar earlier in the season). It should be quite a race going down the stretch.
Andy Griffin is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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