ST. GEORGE — What’s worse than losing? Losing at home. What’s worse than that? Losing twice.
Desert Hills lost to Canyon View 52-50, then lost a coin toss with Cedar High and will head to the state playoffs as the third seed from Region 9.
Despite another stellar game from Ty Rutledge (15 points, five assists, four steals), the Thunder never could establish any offensive rhythm. The Thunder once again hurt itself from the free throw line as well, making just 13 of 22 charity shots (59 percent). A raucous home crowd hoping for a region co-championship or at least a No. 2 seed left disappointed as Chad Corry scored 14 points and Brady Barrett added 13 in the Falcons road upset.
Barrett hit the go-ahead shot with four seconds remaining on a leaner in the lane.
It was a poor shooting night all around for Desert Hills, which made just 18 of 46 shots (39 percent). Most strikingly, the Thunder hit just 1 of 15 3-pointers in the game. The lone trey came from Rutledge’s hands. He was 1 of 5 while the rest of the team was oh-fer.
Desert Hills could have seized second place with a win as Cedar fell to Pine View. But the Thunder, 15-6 overall and 8-4 in region play, instead end up in a tie with the Redmen for second place. The two teams have the exact same record against every other team in the region, which calls in the third tiebreaker, according to the Region 9 handbook.
The third tiebreaker is a coin toss and the Redmen won that, so Desert Hills will head out on the road in the first round of the playoffs, making a trip to Heber City Friday evening to take on the Wasatch Wasps. Wasatch is 9-13 overall, but finished 6-4 in Region 10 and qualified for second place.
Taylor Houston had 11 points Tuesday night for the Thunder, but no other player (besides Rutledge) finished with more than seven.
Desert Hills is 1-2 in its last three games, but the one win was at first-place Snow Canyon.
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