HURRICANE — Jake Hawes, RJ Wilgar and Tyler Bennett combined to score 43 points as Dixie held off a late Hurricane rally to emerge with a 60-49 victory Wednesday night in the teams’ region-opener.
James Bennion had 17 for the Tigers, who pulled to within 51-45 with about three and a half minutes to play. But Bennion was called for his fifth foul on a drive by Bennett, who made both free throws with 3:18 left. Without their long-range bomber, Hurricane had no chance to rally.
“That was big for us because he’s such a great shooter,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Rebounding was huge tonight. We had several opportunities for second and even third shots because of our work on the boards.”
Dixie won the rebounding battle 31-23 and had 14 offensive boards.
“It was a scrappy game,” Cuff said. “They just kept coming back on us. It was an early game, for sure. Both teams are still trying to find themselves. But getting to the glass and getting to the foul line were the two big things for us.”
The game was nip and tuck for nearly three quarters, but Dixie started to pull away at the end of the third. Bennett and Izaic Blazzard both had big shots late in the third and Nate Crockett hit a 22-foot 3-pointer with a minute left to put the Flyers ahead 41-31 at the end of three.
Dixie, which made six 3-pointers in the game, got 19 points from Hawes, who is now at 22.5 points a game. The Flyers, 3-1 overall and 1-0 in region, play Springville Friday at 7:30 p.m. and battle Spanish Fork Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Ken Robinson Invitational.
Hurricane, 1-3 and 0-1, plays at home vs. Parowan Friday night.
Stats: Dixie 60, Hurricane 49
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