ST. GEORGE – Sometimes a play just works and for Dixie, it almost worked too well Wednesday night.
With seven seconds left and missing their point guard, R.J. Wilgar, who had to leave the game in the first quarter with a concussion, the Dixie Flyers had the ball out of bounds under their basket tied with Canyon View at 55. “We ran an out-of-bounds play and got the ball to Tyler Bennett for a layup,” said Dixie head coach Ryan Cuff. “The only problem was we scored with four seconds left, enough time for them to get a good shot off.”
That shot, a 3-pointer taken by Koy Huxford at the buzzer, fell awry and Dixie preserved the victory 57-55.
It was a thrilling ending to a closely contested game between two teams playing for pride. And though neither squad will be headed to the postseason, there was still plenty on the line.
“I am real proud of my guys, losing R.J. (Wilgar) at the beginning of the game, and being down by 13 in the first half,” Cuff said. “They fought back. Sam (Guymon) returned tonight and he had a great game. He has been our missing piece.”
Guymon had not played since being injured Jan. 8 against Pine View. The Flyers have gone 2-5 in his absence, including an earlier loss at home to the Falcons. Guymon returned with a vengeance, matching Bennett’s total of 16 points to lead all scorers. Jake Hawes also scored in double-figures with 11 points.
Dixie matched the Falcons basket for basket in the first quarter and at the end of one held a two-point lead, 16-14. In the second quarter, Canyon View heated up and took advantage of some misses and turnovers at the other end to outscore the Flyers 15-2 and take a 31-18 advantage. Dixie would close the quarter on an 8-4 run to pull within nine, 35-26.
Dixie turned the tables on the Falcons in the third quarter, limiting them to eight points and pulling even by the end of the quarter at 43-43.
The fourth quarter mimicked the action in the first with hard-nose man-to-man at both ends with the teams playing to a draw until Bennett’s shot at the end.
For the Falcons, Huxford led with 16 points. Travis Bettridge scored 10.
With the victory, the Flyers move to 11-9 overall and assured themselves of a winning season. Dixie is 4-7 in Region 9 play. The Flyers will host Cedar Friday night to close the season. Canyon View falls to 6-15, 3-8 in region play. The Falcons travel to Hurricane Friday for their final game of the season.
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