Team effort pushes Panthers past Willardson, Wildcats; Region 9 hoops roundup

ST. GEORGE – When it’s one man vs. a whole team, well, the results are not usually a surprise.

Pine-view-smrichfield-smBrandon Willardson exploded for 32 points against Pine View Friday night, but the Panthers came out on top 65-57 with balanced scoring and an effective full-court press.

“(Willardson) is a talent,” said Pine View head coach Darrell Larsen. “Jed Newby played outstanding defense on him and he still got 32. We were able to limit their other players though and came away with the win.”

Willardson came out firing, scoring 11 of his team’s 13 points in the first quarter. Panther guard Chaz Petersen and center Kody Wilstead helped PV keep pace, scoring seven out of the 10 Panther points.

In the second quarter, the Wildcats got a heavy dose of Collin Dowdell. The Panther post man scored five baskets and, combined with seven points from sixth man Ryan Koller, the Panthers carried a slim one-point margin into the locker room, 31-30.

Collin Dowdell
Collin Dowdell

“We made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Kody and myself,” said Dowdell. “Our guards and wings are good at delivering the post entry pass.”

The third quarter saw many players on both teams contribute. Six different Panthers tallied baskets as Pine View outscored the Wildcats by 11. At the end of the quarter, Wildcat guard Jaylon Steck drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Wilstead with four seconds left. The loose ball found its way into Newby’s hands. Newby dished the ball quickly to a streaking Jack Bangerter, who got the layup off before time expired. The ball was swatted by Willardson, but only after it had hit the backboard and Bangerter was awarded the basket on a goaltending violation. The Panthers ended the third up 53-41.

“I think our press got to them in the third,” said Petersen. “We turned the ball over and they also rushed some shots.”

In the fourth quarter, Willardson again took command of the Wildcat offense to try to pull them back into the game. He scored two 3-pointers in 40 seconds to pull Richfield to within 55-47. The Panthers extended the lead again to 11, 62-51, with less than a minute to go. Willardson would again hit two 3-pointers, this time in a 10-second span, and with 22 seconds left, the Wildcats were trailing 63-57.

Pine View beat the Richfield press and a bucket by Chaz Petersen ended the scoring for the final result, 65-57.

“I was happy with our overall game,” Larsen said. “Several players got some playing time so that we could continue our intensity. They not only had to work for every basket, but they (Richfield) had to expend considerable energy just to get it over half court.”

Dowdell, Wilstead and Koller paced Pine View with 13 points apiece. Petersen chipped in 11. Newby scored eight and also drew the defensive assignment against Willardson. For Richfield, Steck joined Willardson in double figures with 13 points.

Pine View collected its ninth win against only two losses and will host Dixie in Region 9 action on Jan. 8. The loss drops Richfield to 6-3. The Wildcats will host Manti on Jan. 10.

STATS: ricpv1314

BOYS BASKETBALL
Virgin Valley 54, Hurricane 50

The Tigers made a valiant comeback after a double-digit deficit in the first half, but fell just short late in the game at Mesquite Nev.

The Tigers led 8-7 midway through the first quarter, but the home-standing Bulldogs dominated the next eight minutes of game time, outscoring Hurricane 16-3 in that span to push to a huge 23-11 lead. Sparked by a pair of Jayce Housley 3-pointers, the Tigers fought back to within 28-23 at the half.

Hurricane opened the second half on a 6-0 run. Kaden Langston started the third quarter with a 3-pointer, then hit another after a Cody LeBaron steal to make it 29-28 with 5:16 to go in the third. But the Bulldogs responded with a run of their own, reeling off eight straight points, to make it 36-29 with 2:11 to go in the third. A LeBaron trey cut it to 38-35 just as the quarter ended, but that would be a as close as Hurricane would get.

The Bulldogs lead ballooned back to nine before the Tigers hit a couple of late shots to make the final score a bit closer.

Hurricane, 5-7, went 4-1 over two holiday tournaments before dropping this final preseason game. The Tigers, who were led by LeBaron and Langston, with 15 points each, beat Waterford and Enterprise last weekend and will resume region play having won 5 of their last seven games. Hurricane hosts Desert Hills next Wednesday night.

STATS: VV 54, HHS 50

Cedar 70, Tooele 54

This game was tied with 4:20 to play after THS’s Justin Pollmann hit a jumper in the lane. After that, it was all Cedar as the Redmen went on a 16-0 run over the next three minutes.

Weston Bettridge broke the tie with a 3-pointer, then the baskets started cascading in for CHS. Kordan Nielson scored four quick points, then Bettridge hit another trey, making it 58-48. Dustin Staggs and Nielson hit consecutive shots in the lane before another Staggs bucket closed out the 16-point outburst. Pollmann finally hit another shot to stop the bleeding, though the game was firmly in hand for Cedar at that point.

The two Redmen stars, Staggs and Nielson, combined for 48 of Cedar’s 70 points. Bettridge added eight points as Cedar improved to 5-5 on the year. The Redmen had dropped four straight before Thursday’s 50-43 win over Grantsville. CHS continues play in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at CHS, then begins region play at home against Hurricane next Friday night.

STATS: CHS 70, THS 54

Canyon View 65, Rockwell 52

The Falcons halted a six-game losing streak with the double-digit win. Down 22-19 midway through the second quarter, CV rattled off 10 straight points, with Keaton Kringlen leading the way.

Canyon View led 34-24 at the half and extended the lead to 46-30 with a minute to go in the third. It ballooned to 52-34 early in the fourth quarter, with the Marshalls creeping to within 61-52 late in the game.

The Falcons, 3-7, were led by Kringlen’s 15 points. Koy Huxford added 11 and Derek Dunnell and Ty Nielson had 10 each. Rockwell was led by Preston Hansen’s 16 points.

CV plays one more game in the Hodson Classic, a 4 p.m. match-up with Grantsville at CVHS. The Falcons host Snow Canyon Wednesday night to resume region play. Rockwell, 6-4, is a charter school in Utah County and competes at the 1A level.

STATS: CVHS 65, RHS 52

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Desert Hills 86, Juan Diego 58

It was supposed to be a tight contest between the top-ranked Lady Thunder and the third-ranked Soaring Eagle, but DH blew it open in the first half, opening up a 17-point edge (40-23) by intermission.

Desert Hills has tons of experience, but it was sophomore Kenzie Done and freshman Ashley Beckstrand that led the way in the run-and-gun affair. Done had a couple of 3-pointers and 21 points and Beckstrand nailed five treys and finished with 15 points in the easy win.

Blair Bliss, Karlee Myers and Haley Bodnar all scored in double-figures as DH improved to 11-1. The Thunder play at Hurricane Tuesday night. Juan Diego fell to 8-3.

Dixie 36, Enterprise 33

Dixie overcame a double-digit deficit in the first half to record the road win. Liz Empey had 14 points and Alexa Estridge added 8 as the Lady Flyers outscored the Wolves 15-6 in the final period. Dixie, 6-4, plays third-ranked Juan Diego Saturday night.

Cedar 58, West 46

Shay Bauman had 14 points and Courtney Morley added 13 as Cedar improved to 6-5. The Lady Reds play Stansbury at 1 p.m. at CHS Saturday.

Hurricane 52, Grantsville 25

Hurricane, 7-3, dominated from the get-go, rushing to a 16-2 start. The Lady Tigers have won six of their last seven games and were led by Brooklyn Gubler’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Hurricane plays North Sanpete Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cedar High.

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