ST. GEORGE — Desert Hills came out flat against Nevada foe Spring Valley Friday night, but a huge second quarter from Quincy Mathews helped to save the day as the Thunder held on for a 57-50 win in the Thunderdome.
“I challenged the kids before the game because I felt like they were overlooking this team a little bit,” Turley said. “The kids kind of get that mind set that this should be an easy one. I tried to get them to not think that way. This was a learning experience tonight. I think these kids realize that we can’t just show up and blow people out if we don’t play hard.”
DH actually found itself down to SVHS 16-15 midway through the second quarter. That’s when Mathews took over the game. The senior forward scored the next 13 points for the Thunder, leading his team to a 28-22 halftime lead.
“When I looked up at the scoreboard and they had taken the lead, it just kind of clicked in my head that as a team leader I’ve got to do everything I can to win the game,” Mathews said. “It just kind of clicked in for me. I knew I had to do something.”
Mathews hit a pair of jumpers, a pair of contested layups and even had a three-point play in the run.
“Quincy is that type of player,” said DH center Tanner Leishman. “He can take over a game if he wants to. I played club ball with him this summer and there were numerous times where we needed a bucket and we just went right to Quincy because we know he would get us that bucket.”
Aided by Mathews heroics, Desert Hills was able to build the lead all the way to 15 at 48-35 early in the fourth quarter. But the plucky Grizzles didn’t fold. Behind the outside shooting of Ryan Goecke and Travis Walton, Spring Valley went on a 12-2 run to pull within 50-47 with under a minute to play.
But Walton was called for an intentional foul when he grabbed Leishman. The big guy made his free throws, then Logan Hokanson hit two more after the Thunder were awarded the ball after the freebies, making it 54-47 with half a minute to play and it was over from there.
“With our size, I think our kids just took it for granted that we would out-rebound this team,” Turley said. “But they were physical and a well-coached rebounding team.”
The Thunder, 9-3 on the season, won the battle of the boards 38-25, though they were down two at the half on the glass. Mathews had 11 boards to go with his game-high 20 points. Leishman had 11 points and 6 rebounds for D-Hills, which is off until next Friday’s big battle with Pine View.
“I’m pumped for region,” Mathews said. “These are my last 10 games of region and I’m going to do as much as I can to help our team get a region championship.”
Pine View 62, Richfield 45
In Richfield, the Panthers had a quick start and then blew the game open in the third quarter.
Garrett Bowker opened the game with a 3-pointer and helped Pine View to an 8-0 start before the Wildcats finally got on the scoreboard. The Panthers led by double-digits most of the first half and held a 32-20 halftime edge.
Any thoughts of a Richfield comeback were quashed in the opening moments of the third quarter. Another Bowker trey made it 35-20 and started a 9-0 PV run to make it 41-20 midway through the third. Pine View eventually went up by 28 at 61-33 on a Carter Milne 3-pointer with 4:24 left in the game. Richfield closed the game on a 12-2 run to make the score a little more respectable.
Four different Panthers reached double-digits in scoring, including Cody Ruesch with 12, Bowker with 11 and Milne and Kody Wilstead with 10 each.
Pine View, 11-0, will hist Dixie in a key region match-up Wednesday night as region play ratchets up for the next five weeks leading up to the state tournament.
Stats: Pine View 62, Richfield 45
Dixie 75, Delta 34
Jakes Hawes hit four 3-pointers and had 20 points as the Flyers dominated every facet of the game with the timid Rabbits.
The Flyers last played 13 days ago, but looked sharp from the get-go, winning their seventh game in 10 outings. James Eardley had 9 points and Ethan Langford chipped in 8 as Dixie won its second straight.
The Flyers will play one last non-league game Saturday at 2 p.m. vs. Nevada’s Spring Valley. The Grizzles are 5-8 after Friday night’s loss to Desert Hills.
Tanner Lefevre had 14 points for Delta, which fell to 1-5 on the year. The Rabbits play at Canyon View Saturday at 5 p.m.
Orem 69, Snow Canyon 38
A miserable third quarter doomed the Warriors on the road Friday night as a 32-25 game at the half turned into a 53-29 blowout just eight minutes later.
Snow Canyon had no match for the inside prowess of Richard Harward, who tallied 24 points for the Tigers. Orem, 9-2, has won three straight and had beaten teams from Hawaii, Washington, California and Colorado this season.
Kade Potter led Snow Canyon with 10 points, though the Warriors were outscored in every quarter of the game.
Snow Canyon, 5-4, has lost two straight and faces 5A powerhouse Lone Peak in Alpine Saturday afternoon at 1:30. The Warriors host Hurricane Wednesday as region play resumes.
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