ST. GEORGE – What’s the best way to rid yourself of the bitter taste of a gut-wrenching loss? The answer is simple: Pass it on.
Less than a week after losing a heartbreaker at home to Cedar, the Snow Canyon Warriors served up a plate of bitter taste and gut-wrenching defeat to Desert Hills in a thrilling 57-54 road victory.
With the scored tied at 54-54 and with five seconds remaining, Desert Hills big man Josh Anderson stepped to the line for two free throws. Anderson needed just one shot to fall give the Thunder the lead and a comeback victory. However, both shots missed the mark and the game seemed destined for overtime.
Until one player decided enough was enough.
Snow Canyon guard Chandler Gines grabbed the missed free throw, drove the length of the court, and nailed a 30-foot triple as time expired to lift the Warriors to a dramatic victory.
“I knew there was only five seconds left,” Gines said. “You always think about hitting the game winner and luckily tonight it happened.”
The buzzer-beating shot was the icing on the cake for Gines as the senior guard finished with 24 points and nine rebounds and was the game’s unofficial, but undisputed Most Valuable Player. Gines hit shot after shot, drawing the ire of the Thunder student section. With every touch the booing got louder, but Gines simply let it fuel his performance.
“He’s a kid that loves that type of stuff,” Warriors coach James Brown said. “He relishes the opportunity. He was bringing [it] all night long.”
Gines was also one of only two Snow Canyon players to hit a 3-pointer in the game. The other, senior guard Brenden Truman, finished with nine points on three treys. Truman came to the rescue in the Warrior backcourt on a night where the rest of the team was cold from outside.
“I give it all to my teammates,” Truman said. “They got me open through their drives and then kicked it out. I’ve shot thousands of threes just practicing. (Tonight was) when preparation meets opportunity.”
Ty Rutledge led Desert Hills with 15 points and the Thunder opened the second half on a 7-0 run to quickly cut an 8-point halftime deficit to just one. But Snow Canyon responded with a 6-0 run of its own to push the lead back to seven. Another DH run set up Gines’ final heroics.
Anderson added 13 points and eight rebounds for Desert Hills and played a key role in sending Warriors big man Nate Gottfredson to the bench with foul trouble for the second consecutive game. Gottfredson recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but quickly racked up the fouls which led to his second straight early exit on fouls.
Snow Canyon improves to 4-1 in region play and now sits in second place behind Cedar. The Warriors return to action on Friday at home against Dixie. Desert Hills falls to 3-2 and travels to Canyon View on Friday.
DH Stats: scdh11613dh
SC Stats: scdh11613sc
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