ST. GEORGE — The pictures told the story: Jed Newby with a huge ice pack on his shoulder. Kody Wilstead with bandages and ice on his foot. A concussed Jack Bangerter was already home, resting from his injuries.
Pine View led by 16 early in the game, but an injury in the second quarter to Bangerter seemed to deflate the Panthers. The senior guard, regarded as the best defender on the team, was blindsided by a screen right in front of the Pine View bench. Bangerter laid face down on the court for several minutes — reminiscent of Wednesday’s injury on the same court of Dixie’s Sam Guymon — before being helped up. He was evaluated in the locker room by Pine View trainer Mark Harris and sent home after a diagnosis of a concussion and, perhaps, a broken jaw.
It was like the air was let out of a giant balloon for Pine View. Canyon View rallied the rest of the game, eventually pulling to within five points before Chaz Peterson and Newby iced the game from the line.
“It really affected us,” Newby said. “Jack Bangerter is a huge part of our team, defensively and offensively. When he goes down, the first thought is, ‘Oh, I hope he’s OK.’ We want Jack on the floor. We really need him. But we still have to play hard, no matter who’s on the court.”
Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said his team was stunned at the sudden loss of one of their senior captains.
“Shock,” he said. “The kids look to him as that emotional and physical presence. I don’t care if you’re NBA or college or high school or whatever, when you lose a player that means that much to you as far as the leadership and toughness that he brings, it’s hard. That’s not to say Canyon View didn’t do some good things. That’s a well-coached team and they play hard.”
By halftime, the Falcons had trimmed PV’s 16-point lead down to 10 at 32-22. Derek Dunnell hit a pair of 3-pointers for CV to help close the gap.
Early in the third quarter, Pine View again surged and held a 15-point edge at 37-22. But Canyon View’s Koy Huxford got hot and Dunnell hit another 3-pointer to trim it to 44-36 at the end of the third.
Pine View never could quite shake the Falcons despite balanced scoring — Wilstead, Chaz Peterson and Ryan Koller all had 11 points and Collin Dowdell chipped in 10. Canyon View cut it five three times in the fourth quarter, but Pine View answered the bell every time and finished the game on a 5-0 run for the final margin.
“Rebounding was kind of tough for us tonight,” Dowdell said. “Stuff that we normally do, we just didn’t do it. Canyon View is scrappy. They go to the boards really well. But we got the job done.”
Pine View started the game with nine straight points, including buckets by Wilstead, Dowdell and a 3-pointer by Peterson. Bangerter also hit a 3-pointer in a dominating 21-7 first period.
“We started the game so well,” Larsen said. “Give Canyon View a lot of credit. They didn’t quit.”
Wilstead had 13 rebounds and 7 blocked shots to go with his 11 points, but CV out-rebounded the Panthers 42-40 despite giving up a big height advantage to PV. Nineteen of the 42 Canyon View rebounds were on the offensive end.
Huxford ended up leading all scorers with 15 points and Dunnell had a career-high 13. Ryan Jensen had 11 rebounds for the Falcons, who fell to 3-10 overall and 0-3 in region play.
The physical win was PV’s 11th of the year. The Panthers, 11-2 and 3-1, got an impressive line from Newby, who had 7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal.
“We’ve got to do a better job of settling our kids down and that’s my job as a coach,” Larsen said. “I should have taken on more of the role of Jack Bangerter in settling these guys down.”
The Panthers continue the region wars next Wednesday with a home battle against Cedar. Canyon View also plays at home Wednesday, hosting Desert Hills.
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