ST. GEORGE — There’s a youth movement at Desert Hills and, after a little bit of a rough start to the season, the youngsters are starting to put it all together.
Sophomore Elly Williams, making her first varsity appearance after dominating at the JV level, had 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals, and another soph, Ashley Beckstrand, stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, as the Lady Thunder dominated Dixie 60-49 Tuesday night.
“Elly never played varsity before,” Thunder coach Gary Tomlinson said. “We brought her up tonight and she was a huge factor. I gotta play somebody like that, who steps up and can contribute to the team. Not bad for a 10th-grader. And we’ve got a lot of them.”
A sparse crowd, very different from the packed houses Desert Hills played for en route to the state championship last season, was appreciative of the effort of the young DH team, which evened its region record to 1-1 (5-4 overall) with the win. Along with Beckstrand and Williams, DH got good performance from a whole passel of other underclassmen.
Juniors Rylee Jensen and Kenzie Done helped a lot. Jensen had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Done finished with 7 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds. Junior Kylie Williams had 10 points and sophomore Kendyl Larson chipped in 4 points and 10 rebounds.
Dixie entered the game 4-1 and 1-0 in region with a win over Hurricane. But the Lady Flyers fell behind early on the road, giving up an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter. Alexa Estridge had put Dixie up 6-5 at the four-minute mark. But Done’s putback started the run, giving DH a lead it would never surrender. Her score was followed by consecutive inside baskets by sophomore Taylor Salisbury and Elly Williams. Jazmine Olivas capped the run with a jumper that made it 13-6 with 90 seconds left in the first quarter.
“It’s confidence with these young girls,” Tomlinson said. “Once you get the two points, the four points, the confidence comes. And when the confidence comes, the consistency comes.”
Dixie closed to within 15-10 at the quarter break, but D-Hills opened the second with five quick points as Done hit a trey and Beckstrand drove the lane for two, pushing the lead to 20-10 a minute into the second. The Flyers cut the deficit to six a couple of times in the second and third quarters, but by late in the third, it had ballooned to 46-28.
It was a bounce-back win for DH after opening the region with a 45-43 road loss to Cedar.
“Cedar’s a really good team and they took it to us,” Beckstrand said. “Playing a home game (tonight) was really comforting and stress-relieving. We got this win and we’re 1-1 in region and we can move forward now. We can do this.”
Beckstrand, who had 40 and 31 points the last two games to help the Thunder get a pair of non-league road wins, was thrilled to have more offensive help in the game.
“It’s awesome to see your teammates really step up to the plate and see what they can do,” she said. “Every game’s not going to go your way, but it’s really nice to see that your teammates can step up and come big, so that was nice.”
Estridge was solid for Dixie, tossing in 21 points. Another senior, Aubri Challis, had 12.
Desert Hills plays at Lehi Friday night and at Timpanogas Saturday, then takes a big break before resuming region play Jan. 8 at Pine View.
Dixie is at a tournament in Mesquite, Nev., this weekend and will play Enterprise on Dec. 30.
Pine View 58, Hurricane 46
Amber Archibald opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Lady Panthers and it was a foreshadowing of things to come as PV never trailed the rest of the night.
The closest Hurricane would get the rest of the game was 51-42 midway through the fourth quarter.
Claire Newby led the way for PV with 13 points and Natasha Fiame added 10 points. Pine View, now 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in region, also got 8 points and 6 rebounds from Breana Moeai.
Hurricane, which was second in the region to Desert Hills a year ago, fell to 0-5 on the year, 0-2 in region. Morgan Huntsman had 13 and London Steglich had 11 for the Lady Tigers.
Pine View takes a big break with its next game Jan. 6 at Dixie. Hurricane hosts Enterprise Wednesday night.
Stats: Pine View 58, Hurricane 46
Canyon View 47, Snow Canyon 43
The Lady Warriors looked good for a half. But SC couldn’t hold onto an eight-point lead, getting outscored 27-15 in the second half in the loss.
Shontae Clark was lights out for the visiting Falcons, hitting six 3-pointers en route to a 22-point night. Abbie Corry added 11 for CV, which improved to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in region play. Canyon View plays at the 2A/3A Preview in Richfield this weekend.
Snow Canyon, 2-6 overall and 0-2 in region, was led by Shaylee Reed’s 17 points. Madi Mooring and Nikenna Durante both added 10 for the Warriors, who play at American Fork Friday night and at Carbon Saturday.
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