ST. GEORGE – Kallan Webster had his best game of the year Friday night and his efforts came at the perfect moment for Snow Canyon, which held off Dixie 53-44 in The Jungle Gymnasium at SC.
“I’m just trying to get back in it,” said Webster, who scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers. “I didn’t have the preseason, so it’s kind of a slow start getting back, but it was a good game to get it going.”
Webster has had a personally frustrating season, dealing with a cancer scare, surgery and then a high-ankle sprain. And though he played a decent all-around game against Desert Hills Wednesday, the senior failed to score against the Thunder, leading to a sleepless night or two and a determination to make a difference against the Flyers.
Boy did he. Webster had a personal 5-0 run in the first half to help the Warriors build an 11-point lead before halftime. Late in the third quarter, Dixie pulled to within 37-33, but Webster’s 3-pointer to start the fourth pushed the lead out to 40-33.
Dixie ramped up the full-court press and pulled to within 40-38. At 44-40 with 2:18 left, the Warriors got through the Flyers’ press and Webster found himself open on the wing. His high-arching trey barely rippled the net and proved to be the first nail in the Dixie coffin.
“We’ve just been waiting for Kallan,” SC coach James Brown said. “He’s had the melanoma, the surgery. We knew what he could do for us coming in and now he just got the opportunity to do it. He’s gonna make big on that.”
Webster and Hayden Anderson proved to be huge as Brown was forced to sit stars Chandler Gines and Nate Gottfredson most of the first half with foul troubles. Brendan Truman also contributed a pair of 3-pointers in the first two quarters as SC led 25-18 at the break.
Dixie, led by an ever-improving Blake Barney, came out firing in the third quarter. Barney hit a pair of 3s and a driving layup and Cole Critchfield had a trey as well as Dixie tied it at 29-29 with 4:25 to go in the third.
But the Warriors scored eight of the next 10 points to push the lead out to 37-31 with 35 seconds to go in the third period. Kyle Hansen scored just before the buzzer to pull Dixie within 37-33.
With the score sitting at 40-38 with 5:50 to play, Anderson took it to the rack for a score, then dished to fellow big man Gottfredson to make it 44-38 with 3:45 left. Gottfredson returned the dish three minutes later with a pass to Anderson that would make it 53-40 with under a minute to play.
“I just try to do the little things and work hard every possession,” Anderson said. “Rebounds are critical in a game like this. It was a physical game.”
The Warriors, 8-5 and 5-1 in Region 9, kept pace a game behind Cedar in the region race. Snow Canyon is at home against Canyon View as the second half of region play begins next Wednesday night.
Dixie, which was led by Barney’s 18 points, fell to 6-10 overall and 3-3 in region. If the playoffs started today, the Flyers would get in as the fourth seed. Dixie is home against Hurricane Wednesday night.
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