ST. GEORGE — Pine View found another gear Wednesday night and drove right past Snow Canyon for a region-opening 74-57 win at the Warriors Jungle Gymnasium.
“That’s a credit to our senior leadership,” PV coach Darrell Larsen said. “They said, OK, they’re making runs, let’s go down and make some big shots ourselves. We have faith in these kids that they can figure things out. They’re smart kids that understand what needs to be done.”
The second half followed a repetitive pattern, with Pine View pulling out ahead by six or eight or 10, then Snow Canyon hitting some big shots, usually 3-pointers, to pull the game within one possession. Such was the case early in the fourth quarter as the Panthers held a 48-42 lead, but Jake Frei nailed a trey to make it 48-45. Pine View answered with a Garrett Bowker 3-pointer to make it 51-45.
Moments later, Snow Canyon pulled to within 55-53 on another trey by Frei. With 4:25 left in the game, the Warriors were within striking distance. But then the pattern broke.
Pine View started to go inside to Kody Wilstead and Jed Newby and Snow Canyon started missing long balls. PV scored nine straight points to make it 64-53 before a free throw by Brock Staheli broke that run. But it was the first double-digit lead of the night and Pine View wasn’t done.
A Wilstead putback was followed by a Frei free throw, making it 66-55 with 2:22 left. The wheels officially came off for SC when the Panthers scored seven more in a row to make it 73-55 with just under a minute to play.
Then the moment happened that had most fans around the region buzzing. After a play at the Snow Canyon offensive end, Staheli took a shot at Newby, shoving him to the floor. Wilstead, seeing what he perceived as a cheap shot, responded with a two-handed shove of Staheli that sent the Snow Canyon junior sprawling. Both Staheli and Wilstead were ejected from the game as play came to a grinding halt while game officials worked to bring the situation under control.
“I didn’t see the whole thing, but the parts I saw was a young man standing up for his teammate,” Larsen said of Wilstead’s part in the melee. “(Kody’s) not a kid that just blows his fuse. He’s very, very collected and understands that there was a reason for it. For Kody it, ‘My teammate and I got your back.’ And he literally did that.”
Both players will be suspended for their next game. For Wilstead, he will miss the opening round of the NGS Invitational in Page, Ariz. Staheli will have to sit out the Warriors non-league game Friday night at home against Carbon.
Chaz Peterson was one of the big reasons Pine View did not surrender the lead in the second half. The Panthers point guard had back to back three-point plays early in the third which came just a minute apart. He scored the first eight points of the second half for PV and helped the lead grow to 39-30 with 4:20 left in the third.
“It’s a good thing to have a point guard as quality as him, strong and can get to the basket,” Larsen said. “We didn’t play our greatest game. This is a very tough place to play and it got kind of sloppy at times. But it’s a win on the road against a quality opponent.”
Peterson led all scorers with 21 points and Wilstead had 19. Both had four assists, while Newby had 13 points and 5 rebounds.
Snow Canyon’s 3-point shooting kept them in most of the game. The Warriors hit nine treys, including three each by Kade Potter and Brad Grisenti and two by Frei. Frei led SC with 17 points and Potter had 13.
Pine View is now 4-0 overall and 1-0 in region. Snow Canyon falls to 0-2 and 0-1. The two teams meet again Jan. 23 at Pine View.
Stats: PV 74, SC 57
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