COMMENTARY — Intensity. For seven and a half weeks.
That’s what it’s going to be like for the hoops teams in Region 9. On Feb. 26-28, the best 3A teams in the state will gather at the Maverik Center in West Valley City to decide the state champion. Between now and then, teams will be fighting for region crowns and playoff spots in hopes of making it there. There are no more breaks, no more holidays and no more non-league grudge matches with northern Utah teams.
It all starts tonight for the girls with a couple of pretty good match-ups as up-and-comer Pine View visits Dixie, Snow Canyon goes to Hurricane and Canyon View heads a few miles south to take on Cedar.
The Pine View-Dixie game features a pair of teams who are hoping to crack into the top group of teams. As in years past, four teams from the region will make the playoffs. But the spot all teams want is to be in the top two, where a home playoff game against a lesser opponent is the reward. It’s widely believed that Cedar and Desert Hills will get those two spots, but the Panthers and Flyers have high hopes as well. Pine View is 2-0 in region, but hasn’t faced either D-Hills or Cedar. Dixie is 1-1, having dropped a road game at the Thunder.
Meanwhile, Snow Canyon and Hurricane, at this point, are just hopeful that a playoff spot is in the future for them. Both squads are 0-2 in region and have had long losing streaks in the preseason. The winner gets an all-important region win and a playoff team is going to need four or five of those. The loser is in an 0-3 hole, something that will be hard to overcome.
Cedar and Canyon View have both already had a bye and are both 1-0 in region. But the Lady Reds are heavily favored and definitely can’t afford a slip-up here if they want to compete for the region crown.
For the boys teams, region play resumes Wednesday night during this huge week. The first region battles out of the holiday break feature Dixie at Pine View (a Triplecast game!), Hurricane at Snow Canyon and Cedar at Canyon View. All three games look to be very competitive.
The Dixie-PV battle is a must-win home game for the Panthers if they want to win the region. Pine View was picked by the media to take the title and the Panthers have not disappointed so far, racking up an 11-0 record, including region wins over Snow Canyon and Hurricane. Dixie, meanwhile, is hoping to get one back after dropping a home game to Desert Hills before Christmas. The Flyers, 8-3 and 1-1, have a bye on Friday.
Pine View, however, has a road game at Desert Hills Friday. It’s doubtful the Panthers will be overlooking Dixie even with the big game looming Friday. But PV better bring its A-game as Dixie is playing well. The Flyers’ three losses have been by two points or less or in overtime.
Like on the girls side, Snow Canyon and Hurricane are two boys teams with not much hope at winning the region, but lots of hope of making the postseason. The Warriors, 5-5, have been flashy at times, beating teams like Mt. View and Woods Cross. But they’ve also had some rough outings, losing big to Pine View, Richfield and Orem. Hurricane, 3-9, has also struggled with consistency. The Tigers haven’t topped the 60-point mark this season and only scored 21 in a game against a Nevada school over the holiday.
Unlike the girls game, the battle between Canyon View and Cedar should be very close. Cedar is 5-4 with an 0-1 region record and the Redmen have beaten decent teams, like Uintah and Morgan. Canyon View, 6-4 and 0-1, is on a four-game winning streak. They also beat Uintah, but the Falcons other wins have come against bad teams like West and Delta. CV has also lost big several times. Home court for the Falcons should make this a buzzer-beater-type contest.
This week’s basketball schedule (Triplecast = games broadcast on 106.1 FM, KCSG-TV and streaming on STGNews.com):
1/06 – Tuesday
Canyon View at Cedar, 7 p.m.
Pine View at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
1/07 – Wednesday
Cedar at Canyon View, 7 p.m.
Dixie at Pine View, 7 p.m. (Triplecast!)
Hurricane at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
1/08 – Thursday
Desert Hills at Pine View, 7 p.m.
Hurricane at Canyon View, 7 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Cedar, 7 p.m.
1/09 – Friday
Canyon View at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Cedar at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m. (KDXU AM-890)
Pine View at Desert Hills, 7 p.m. (Triplecast)
Kanab at Pine View, 5 p.m.
1/10 – Saturday
Dixie at Bishop Gorman, Nev. JV, 7 p.m.
Fans of the sport have a chance to see (if they hurry) a special event tonight at Utah Valley University as Simplii presents the Utah All-Star Duals. Four wrestlers from Region 9 will compete in the 43-match extravaganza (click here to read more about it).
As well as the special event, region wrestling will continue throughout the month, with region taking place Feb. 6-7. The 3A State Tournament this year is at Utah Valley University on Feb. 13-14.
“This Week in Region 9″ is a weekly column written by Andy Griffin exploring the happenings in Region 9 at all sports venues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. George News.
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