COMMENTARY — There’s an old Seinfeld episode in which Jerry, who had gotten an unfair head start in a junior high race, was mistakenly thought to be the fastest kid in his school. He never raced again, afraid of being found out. His repeated excuse for not racing again: “I choose not to run.”
Friday night, Park City figured the only chance it had to beat No. 1-seeded Snow Canyon was to turn the game into a full-court, fast-break track meet.
It seemed like a sound plan. After all, the Warriors averaged just 59 points a game this year and had only topped the 70-point plateau twice all season.
Much to the Miners’ surprise, it turns out the Warriors can indeed run the fast break with precision. Apparently, Snow Canyon mostly just chooses not to run.
The Warriors scored a season-high 77 points in a 15-point whipping of Park City and will be the only St. George-area boys basketball team at the Dee Events Center for the rest of the state tournament.
Here are some thoughts from Friday and Saturday’s first round playoff games on both the girls and boys side.
Biggest surprise: Easily the biggest shocker of the weekend was Dixie’s road win at Juan Diego. The Lady Flyers are obviously a good team, but Juan Diego had been a power house this season. The 19-3 Soaring Eagle were riding an eight-game winning streak and had been systematically dismantling opponents, often winning by 20 or 30. Not only that, JD had also scheduled a tough preseason in which it beat Skyline, West Jordan, Logan, Woods Cross, Syracuse and Snow Canyon. The Lady Flyers held Juan Diego to just four points in the second quarter and ended the Soaring Eagle’s playoff run before it ever got started.
Second biggest surprise: I’ll be honest, I just assumed Desert Hills was going to beat Wasatch Friday night. The Thunder, which had marquee wins over Spanish Fork, Morgan and Logan, plus two huge road wins at Cedar and at Snow Canyon, looked to be easy winners at a Wasps team that was 9-13 and had lost to Salem Hills, Maple Mountain and Park City. But that’s why they play the games. DH seemed to run out of gas after the long road trip as Wasatch outscored the Thunder by seven in the fourth quarter in the 52-46 win.
Best game of the first round: The Snow Canyon-Judge Memorial girls game had it all, with buzzer-beaters, huge 3-pointers and a see saw scoreboard. SC got a monster game from Megan Leavitt, who has been kind of quiet as of late. She scored 21 points and had 17 rebounds in the 61-57 victory.
Scary score: I realize it was lowly Carbon, but Morgan amassed 51 first-half points en route to an 86-49 win over the Dinos. The Trojans seem to be peaking at the right time, having won 15 in a row.
Region pride: With Dixie and Snow Canyon having won the aforementioned road games, southern Utah sports fans have got to be feeling a lot of pride as all four Region 9 girls teams advanced to the quarterfinals.
Here is the schedule of games for Thursday at Weber State:
Boys 3A Quarterfinals
Thursday at Weber State
Ben Lomond (14-9) vs. Snow Canyon (14-6), 9:30 a.m.
Bear River (16-7) vs. Judge Memorial (19-5), 11:10 a.m.
Spanish Fork (18-3) vs. Wasatch (10-13), 12:50 p.m.
Morgan (20-2) vs. Cedar (15-7), 2:30 p.m.
Semifinal games at 7:30 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. Friday
Championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Girls 3A Quarterfinals
Thursday at Weber State
Cedar (18-4) vs. Bear River (12-10), 4:10 p.m.
Carbon (16-6) vs. Dixie (15-7), 5:50 p.m.
Delta (15-5) vs. Snow Canyon (16-6), 7:30 p.m.
Morgan (19-2) vs. Desert Hills (20-2)
Semifinal games at 12:50 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Championship game is 5 p.m. Saturday.
At the top of the list was Zac Prince, who became just the 26th wrestler in state history to win four state wrestling titles. Prince beat Wasatch’s Spencer Heywood for the 152-pound title Saturday.
Snow Canyon Warrior Nokoni Slivers had perhaps the most exciting match of the finals, winning the state championship at 182 by beating Wasatch’s William Hortin 10-6 in overtime.
Cedar’s Dusty Hone won his third state championship by beating Victor Almanza of Delta at 126. Kolby Lloyd of Cedar beat Desert Hills’ Devan Judd as those two went 1 and 2 at 145.
Other southern Utah top 3 finishers: Josh Pettus of Hurricane was third at 120. Cameron Williamson of Cedar was third at 195. Tyler Stevenson of Desert Hills was second at 220.
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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