GARLAND, Utah — It took so much energy, so much intensity to force the extra period, Desert Hills simply had nothing left in the tank.
Down six with less than three minutes to play, the Thunder rallied and forced overtime, but got outscored 10-0 in the extra frame and fell to Bear River 53-43 Saturday night. It broke a four-game winning streak for DH, but most importantly, it ended the season for the Thunder, who will have to watch the rest of the Region 9 playoff teams compete in the state quarterfinals in the Centrum next Thursday.
Down 42-36, Quincy Mathews hit a big 3-pointer to pull D-Hills within 42-39 with 2:39 left. The Thunder pulled to within 43-41 after a basket and a missed Bears free throw. Mathews again stepped up, this time drawing a foul in the lane. The junior forward calmly hit two charity shots to tie the game with 1:15 to play, making it 43-43. Neither team would score the final 75 seconds of regulation, though both had shots. D-Hills had the final shot, but a desperation trey was off the mark.
In the overtime, Desert Hills turned the ball over on its first two possessions and Bear River scored both times, making it 47-43. After a miss, the Bears started working the clock and Desert Hills was forced to start fouling. The Bears made their freebies, resulting in the lopsided final score.
Senior Jordan Hokanson put forth a mighty effort for the Thunder, scoring 20 points, including six 3-pointers. Mathews had 12 points and 11 rebounds. The duo combined to shoot 11 for 28, 39 percent, and scored 32 of the team’s 43 points. The rest of the Desert Hills team shot just 3 for 26 (12 percent) and scored just 11 points. As a team, Desert Hills made just 8 of 19 free throws, 42 percent. In contrast, Bear River hit 23 of 26 charity shots, an impressive 88 percent. The Bears also made 4 of 9 on 3-pointers.
Parker Lewis led Bear River with 16 points despite hitting just 1 of 12 shots from the field. It was a different story from the line for Lewis, who made 11 of 12 charity shots. Landon Cornwall added 10 points for Bear River, which plays Morgan at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the state 3A quarterfinals at SUU’s Centrum Arena. Morgan defeated North Sanpete 70-52.
Desert Hills finishes the season 13-9.
Cedar 50, Grantsville 45
Dustin Staggs had one of his best nights as a Redman, dominating the paint for the first three quarters and scoring 24 points in the CHS win.
Cedar led most of the game, although the home-standing Cowboys pulled to within one and two several times late in the game. The free throw prowess of Kordan Nielson helped preserve the win for the Redmen, who head home for the state quarterfinals.
Nielson, Cedar’s senior point guard, made six straight free throws in the game’s final minute to preserve the lead. His first two, with 48 seconds left, gave Cedar a 45-41 lead. But Grantsville hit a trey to make it 45-44 just seconds later. Again Nielson was fouled and his two makes made it 47-44 with 19 seconds left. After a Cowboys miss at the other end, Nielson and the Redmen were able to ice the game and clinch the ticket to the next round.
Cedar had led by as many as 10 in the second half before the furious rally by Grantsville in front of a raucous crowd in Tooele County. Nielson finished with 15 points as the Redmen, 14-8, will move on to play Juan Diego at 11:10 a.m. Thursday morning at SUU’s Centrum Arena. The Soaring Eagle (19-2), playing without injured star Gabe Colosimo, squeaked out a 33-31 win over Juab Saturday night.
Grantsville, the co-Region 11 champ got 17 points from Devin Adams. The Cowboys end the year with an 18-4 record.
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