ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills and Springville both suffered heartbreaking two-point losses Friday night in the Ken Robinson Invitational. Somebody had to take out their frustration on Saturday.
It would be the Thunder who would respond to come away with a win against the Red Devils, 40-28. The Desert Hills defense was overwhelming for the Red Devils, who came in averaging 53 points per contest. Employing a man-to-man in the first half, DH held Springville to only 12 points. Switching to a full-court press in the second half, Coach Wade Turley’s squad limited Springville to only 28 total points.
“We played great defense the first half,” said Turley. “We switched to the full-court because our offense needed a jump start. We wanted to generate some turnovers for some easy baskets.”
In the first quarter, the Thunder took a 12-5 advantage, led by two buckets from Quincy Mathews. The second quarter saw both offenses go anemic. Springville actually won the quarter to pull with in 17-12 as both teams combined for a total of four baskets.
In the second half Desert Hills utilized its full-court press. If the desired turnover was not produced, it served to slow down the Red Devil offense.
“We were getting shots in the first half,” said Thunder wing Marcus McKone. “They just weren’t falling. The press helped us get some easy shots. And once a couple go down, you get in a rhythm. Quincy (Mathews) got on a roll.”
While the Red Devils’ defense seemed to match Desert Hills intensity, they could not stop Mathews. After Desert Hills guard Logan Forsyth scored the Thunder’s first basket of the second half, Mathews took over and scored the Thunder’s next 18 points.
“I had a quickness advantage on the guy guarding me,” said Mathews. “Normally I can draw the double-team and dish to an open teammate. But no one ever came to help and I got to the basket a lot today.”
Mathews finished with a game-high 23, after scoring 28 Friday night.
Springville, which failed to have any player reach double-figures, was led by Kaden Hillstead with eight points. Logan Hokanson and McKone finished with six and five points, respectively, for the Thunder.
Springville drops its third straight with the loss to go to 2-4. Desert Hills moves to 4-2 (1-0 in region play) with the win. The Thunder will face Region 9 rival Dixie Wednesday night on the Flyers’ home court.
Dixie 73, Spanish Fork 70 (F/OT)
By Andy Griffin
Jake Hawes scored 7 of his team’s 9 points in overtime, and assisted on the other two, as the Flyers won their fifth game of the year. Dixie’s only loss was a double-overtime defeat vs. Grantsville.
Hawes, who averages 21.8 points a game, scored 10 points in the first quarter, then managed just four more points the rest of regulation. But he came alive by hitting a 3-pointer and knocking down two other shots in the extra period. Nursing a 71-70 lead with under 30 seconds left, Hawes drove the baseline and found teammate Richard Guymon for an easy layup to put the Flyers up three.
The Dons got away a couple of shots in the closing seconds of the OT, but neither was even close and the clock ran out on this thriller.
“We played not to lose there at the end of regulation and allowed them to get back in the game,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “Once we started attacking on offense, we started to control the game again.”
Dixie started the game well, building a 16-4 lead early and the Flyers never trailed. But Spanish Fork spent the next three quarters chipping away at Dixie’s lead. The Dons finally caught Dixie with two minutes left in the contest on a pair of free throws by Taylor Anderson.
Over the final 120 seconds, the same pattern would repeat itself with Dixie taking the lead and Spanish Fork tying it up. With it knotted at 64-all, Dixie worked for a final shot and Hawes got a pretty good look, but it rolled off the side of the rim.
In the OT, however, Hawes could not miss, helping the Flyers go up by five with two minutes left. Behind the sharp shooting of Benson Rhees, who finished the game with 28 points, SF climbed to within 71-70, though Hawes’ sweet dime to Guymon stopped the run.
Hawes finished with 21 and RJ Wilgar added 19 for the Flyers. Tyler Bennett had 13 before fouling out with about two minutes left in regulation and Guymon knocked in 10.
“That’s a very good team we played today,” Cuff said. “It definitely helps us get ready for those great teams in Region 9.”
Pine View 56, Tuba City (Ariz.) 55
Cody Ruesch and Kody Wilstead both hit late baskets and Garrett Bowker’s free throw put PV up four with just seconds left to ice the win. The Warriors hit a trey at the buzzer to close the game to a one-point final score.
The game was close all the way. Pine View’s biggest lead was 16-10 in the first quarter. Tuba City’s best advantage was 31-27 at the half and at 51-47 early in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers made their run at that point, scoring six unanswered to take a 53-51 lead on baskets by Bowker, Jed Newby and then Ruesch.
TCHS got a free throw to cut it to 53-52, but Pine View’s lead grew to 55-52 when Chaz Peterson set up Wilstead for an easy deuce. Moments later, Bowker hit the game-clinching free throw to make it 56-52.
Pine View, 7-0, has a home region game Wednesday vs. Hurricane and then two tough non-league games vs. Maple Mountain and Viewmont Thursday and Friday.
Carbon 59, Canyon View 58
With the score tied at 56-56, Carbon’s Brad Williams hit the go-ahead free throw and Garrett Blanc made two more to make it 59-56 with just seconds remaining.
Keaton Kringlen had 15 to lead the way for CV, while Nielson added 11. The Falcons play their first region game at home vs. Snow Canyon Wednesday night.
Carbon, 4-4, got 12 each from Cole Fossat and Payton Fausett.
Stats: Carbon 59, Canyon View 58
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