CEDAR CITY — With six region losses, Canyon View’s backs are squarely up against the wall. Another loss and the playoffs are pretty much history for coach Rob Potter’s squad.
Facing that do-or-die prospect, the Falcons played some of their best basketball of the season, defeating first-place Pine View 67-59 Wednesday night, forging a double-digit lead in an impressive third quarter en route to the satisfying home win.
“They just hit shots and out-played us,” Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said. “People are going to say we weren’t ready or didn’t play hard, but that’s not the case. Canyon View just came out and played hard and got us out of our game. They were ready and were well-coached and limited us to one shot and you know, the shots just weren’t falling for us tonight.”
For most of the season, it’s been Keaton Kringlen and Koy Huxford leading the way for Canyon View, but the duo had a third party step up in the name of Sterling Barnes. The junior forward missed a career-high by a single point in pouring in 17 as the Falcons went on an 18-8 run in the third period, changing a halftime tie into a 43-33 advantage headed into the fourth quarter. CV even pushed the lead to 13 at one point before the Panthers began an inspired comeback, led by point guard Chaz Peterson.
Peterson, also a junior, helped Pine View close to within five late in the game. He scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the final quarter as the Panthers closed to within 60-55. But Peterson missed a runner in the lane that would have made it a three-point game. Moments later, at 63-57, PV had a chance at a 3-pointer with under a minute to go that would have again cut the lead to three, but the shot caromed off the rim.
Pine View had to finish the game without two of its top scorers in center Kody Wilstead and shooting guard Jack Bangerter, both of whom fouled out. Normally the duo combine for about 25 points and 20 rebounds, but were disqualified with a combined 16 points and 10 boards.
“This may be a good thing for us,” Larsen said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve tasted the bitterness of losing. We have some issues that winning has covered up that need to be addressed. But everything is still there for us. We still control our own destiny. Our goals are still intact. It will be a little harder now. But we still just need to go out and win basketball games.”
The Panthers still hold a half-game lead over Snow Canyon in the Region 9 championship race. Pine View, which is 16-3 overall, is 8-2 in region with two games left (at Cedar and home vs. Desert Hills). SC is 7-2 with three games left and Cedar is 6-3 with three games left.
For the Falcons, they still must be perfect the rest of the way to have a shot at the playoffs. The Falcons, 6-13 overall, are 3-6 in region play. They play at Desert Hills Friday. A win would pull them to within a game of the Thunder, who are currently 5-4 in region.
Stats: CV 67, PV 59
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