ST. GEORGE – Just when it seems like a set of Region 9 games is going to be predictable, teams like Pine View come along and shake things up.The Panthers returned to early-season form on Tuesday and shocked Cedar 66-60 with a huge second half performance at the Pit.
Powered by sophomore Kody Wilstead, Pine View overcame an early 12-point deficit to outscore Cedar 42-29 in the second half to secure its second straight win.
Wilstead turned in a monster game, finishing with a double-double on 20 points and 20 rebounds, and entertained all in attendance by combining with Cedar’s Dustin Staggs (29 points) to put on an unforgettable show.
“He’s definitely a Division 1 player,” Wilstead said of Staggs. “He’s talented. He went to work on me in Cedar and I wasn’t going to let that happen again.”
Staggs led all scorers with 11 points in the first half and Cedar nursed a 7-point lead at halftime. But Pine View stormed out of the locker room and took its first lead of the game on a Chaz Peterson 3-pointer with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Redmen answered to regain the lead at 38-37, but it would be their last. The Panthers proved too much for Cedar and held off a late rally to secure the victory.
“I was very proud of our kids,” Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said. “[They] didn’t give up and they came out and we got it done. Our kids haven’t beat Cedar. It just proves that we have a dang good team here.”
The Panthers ramped up the defensive intensity and upped the tempo in the second half, preventing Cedar from slowing the game and dropping the ball down to Staggs in the paint. The Redmen guards were hesitant to pull the trigger from outside and made only two 3-pointers, both in the first half. And it wasn’t like Pine View was on-fire from outside either. The Panthers finished with just three triples on the night, but it was the timing of the shots that was so important.
Sharp-shooters Jack Bangerter and Peterson nailed timely 3-pointers late in the game as Cedar had pulled to within two points. The shots were clutch for a couple of underclassmen. Bangerter is a junior and will likely be a team captain next year and Peterson is just a sophomore. Needless to say, the future of Pine View basketball looks bright.
“We have a great future, but our seniors have built this thing,” Larsen said. “All those kids that have gone through this and have gone through the hard times that we’ve had have built this up. We feel like we have a great future ahead of us.”
As Larsen paid tribute to his seniors and looked forward to the future the team has, it was only fitting that it was a senior who helped seal the deal for the Panthers against Cedar. Dallin Milne finished with 19 points, including several crucial sets of free throws late in the game to ice the game for his team. Milne’s effort helped the Panthers to a solid 88 percent shooting from the stripe and as a team Pine View missed just three throws. Cedar shot 73 percent from the free-throw line and missed eight freebies, ultimately creating the final six-point margin.
“I’m proud that we were able to make big free throws,” Milne said. “We talk about (how) a lot of these big region games come down to foul shooting. We’ve put a lot of extra time in. That’s a big part of my game, being able to make foul shots. I was glad I was able to make them when they counted.”
Pine View ends the season with a 13-9 overall record and a 6-6 mark in region play.
Cedar falls to 14-7 on the year and 8-4 in Region 9, tied with Desert Hills for second place. The Thunder had the chance to capture the second spot outright, but fell to Canyon View to remain deadlocked with the Redmen. A coin toss was held at the conclusion of the games and Cedar claimed the No. 2-seed by winning the toss. Despite losing its final regular-season game, Cedar will still host a first-round playoff game on Friday against Union, the No. 3 seed from Region 10. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.