Coaches pick Thunder, media tabs Panthers to win Region 9

ST. GEORGE — The votes are in and have been tabulated – and once again the media and the coaches disagree as to which team will win Region 9.

Quincy Mathews with a layup, Desert Hills vs. Centennial, Nev, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 2, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Quincy Mathews (22) was tabbed by media and coaches as this year’s likely MVP. File photo from Desert Hills vs. Centennial, Nev, Boys Basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 2, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Coaches and local media participated in Monday afternoon’s Region 9 Media Day. As part of the event, members of both parties submitted anonymous votes as to which teams would win the region in boys basketball this season and which players were most likely to make the all-region team or be named MVP.

Not surprisingly, just like football this year and basketball last season, the two entities did not agree on a clear-cut winner. The coaches narrowly tabbed Desert Hills as the likely team to be crowned region champ, while the media picked Pine View to win it all.

For the coaches, the voting was extremely close for the top three teams. D-Hills received 42 points with two first-place votes. Pine View received 41 points, but had one more first-place vote with three. Dixie was just a hair’s breadth behind with 40 points and two first-place votes. Cedar was picked fourth with 25 points with Hurricane chosen fifth with 20 points. Snow Canyon, which finished first last season, but graduated all but one experienced player, was picked sixth with 17 points and Canyon View, which will move to a new region in the fall of 2015, was picked seventh with 11 points.

Pine View at Mondays Region 9 Media Day, l to r, Coach Darrell Larsen, Chaz Peterson, Blake Ence, Garrett Bowker and Jed Newby. | Photo courtesy Devin Dixon
Pine View at Region 9 Media Day; L-R: Coach Darrell Larsen, Chaz Peterson, Blake Ence, Garrett Bowker and Jed Newby, St. George, Utah, Dec. 8, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Devin Dixon, St. George News

In the media poll, with five participants (STGNews‘s Andy Griffin, ESPN Radio’s Devin Dixon and Mike McGary, KSUB’s Chris Holmes and Spectrum freelancer Stephen Vincent) Pine View came out the clear choice for first with 34 points and four first-place votes. Dixie and Desert Hills each received 28 points, with Dixie receiving the only other first-place vote. Hurricane was tabbed to take fourth with 15 points and Cedar chosen fifth with 13 points. Both Snow Canyon and Canyon View finished the media poll with 11 points.

The player voting was close as well. Each participant, coach and media member, was asked to pick three players who could potentially be named MVP or All-Region. Desert Hills swingman Quincy Mathews received the most voted, making 11 of the 12 ballots. Pine View center Kody Wilstead was named on 10 of the 12 ballots and Dixie’s Jake Hawes made 8 of the 12.

Others receiving votes for MVP-All-Region were Pine View’s Chaz Peterson (2), Hurricane’s Kaden Langston (2), Dixie’s RJ Wilgar (1), Cedar’s Kyle Wood (1) and Snow Canyon’s Jacob Frei (1). All five of those players are guards for their respective teams.

Kody Wilstead
Kody Wilstead

A lot of the talk around the media event centered on Wilstead’s decision to postpone his LDS Mission to Argentina a couple of months so he could complete his senior season. In a Region 9 season that seems to have a dearth of big men, Wilstead’s return to the Panthers sent ripples that could be felt throughout the region. Wilstead averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds last season.

Other hot topics included Dixie’s small, but quick four-guard line-up, the recovery time of Hurricane’s Langston (broken ankle), the continued growth of Mathews, the sharpshooting of guards like Pine View’s Garrett Bowker, Hurricane’s James Bennion and Cedar’s Kyle Wood, and the movement of Canyon View to a new region next season.

Check back in St. George News’s sports section for previews on all these issues coming in the next couple of days.


To watch the Region 9 Media Day, click here:

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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