ST. GEORGE — Westlake rallied to outscore Desert Hills 5-1 in the game’s closing seconds and the 5A Thunder beat the 3A Thunder 51-49 on the opening day of the Desert Hills Christmas Invitational.
Ashley Beckstrand, making a near-miracle recovery from surgery, returned and scored 18 points for D-Hills. The speedy point guard was expected to be out until mid-December, perhaps even missing the Thunder’s first two region games. But she was back on the court just 11 days after surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst.
She nearly led the DH Thunder to an upset win.
Back to back 3-pointers by Desert Hills guards Rylee Jensen and Kylie Williams gave DH a 48-46 lead with under a minute to play. After a steal, Westlake’s Leilani Hansen hit a pair of free throws to tie the game. The 5A Thunder then took the lead on a basket by Annie Cochran with 17.1 seconds left.
Beckstrand made 1 of 2 free throws to cut it to 50-49, but DH was unable to get off a shot after a Westlake free throw put the margin to two.
DH dropped to 1-2 with the loss, while Westlake is also 1-2. D-Hills plays at home Friday against Pleasant Grove at 7:30 p.m.
Granger 58, Snow Canyon 55
The Lady Warriors also lost a close game in the first round of the DH Christmas Tourney. Snow Canyon trailed by 12 points at 46-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but rallied behind Nikenna Durante, who had 18 points and two 3-pointers.
Madi Morring added 11 and Shaylee Reed had 10 for SC, which dropped to 0-2 on the young season. The Warriors play again Friday at Desert Hills, battling Westlake at 4:30 p.m.
Delta 59, Hurricane 31
It was a rough night for the Lady Tigers, who trailed by just three at the half. But Hurricane was outscored 26-2 in the third quarter.
Taylor Anderson led Hurricane with 10 points, but the Tigers fell to 0-2 with the loss. Hurricane’s next game is a region battle at Dixie next Tuesday night.
Delta, 3-0, was led Ciara Edwards with 14 points and four 3-pointers.
Canyon View 49, Beaver 43 (F/OT)
It took an extra four minutes, but Canyon View flew past Beaver and improved to 1-2 on the year. Shontae Clark had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Falcons, who outscored the Beavers 12-6 in the extra frame.
Abby Yardley had 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Beavers, who fell to 1-2 with the loss.
Dixie 67, Richfield 61
Jake Hawes and Tyler Bennett were nearly unstoppable in the road win for the Flyers. The duo combined for 52 points and six 3-pointers as Dixie pulled away for the victory.
Hawes, a senior swingman, and Bennett, a junior shooting guard, lit it up from outside and also helped Dixie ice the game with 15 of 20 free throw shooting. Hawes finished with 30 points and Bennett had 22 as Dixie captured its season-opener.
The Flyers travel to Richfield for the 2A/3A Preview tournament this weekend. Dixie battles South Sevier at 5:30 p.m. Friday night and Grantsville at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Sevier Valley Center.
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