ST. GEORGE — A famous Christmas song chimed “You have everything you need if you just believe.” The Pine View Lady Panthers can relate.
With a new coach and a new attitude, the program that lost all 20 games last season won its seventh game of the current season and absolutely stunned the defending state champion Desert Hills Thunder Thursday night at PVHS.
The 49-43 Panther win was the first for PV over Desert Hills in nearly four years. Since a 46-41 win on Jan. 20, 2011, DH had won seven straight against Pine View by an average score of 66-28 — including blowout scores of 82-20 and 71-29 last season.
“You have to believe every time to you play,” Pine View coach Chris Brinagh said. “You have to believe, no matter if you’re up, no matter if you’re down. I’m just so proud of the girls today”
While the Thunder boast the star power of Ashley Beckstrand and Kenzie Done, Pine View won this game with a solid team concept. Eight different Panthers scored and five of those had at least four points. Sarrah Pierce led the way with 13 points and Tayvia Ah Quin had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Still, even though many folks just witnessed the surprising outcome at The Pit, it was hard for some to believe it just happened.
“I definitely believe it,” Pierce said. “We wanted it so much and we worked so hard.”
The thing is, Pine View was just the better team on this night. The Lady Panthers took the lead at 17-16 midway through the second quarter and never trailed again. Desert Hills made a couple of runs and pulled within a point several times. But Pine View weathered every storm and answered every run with one of its own.
PV led 26-19 at the half and pushed the advantage to eight several times. But the Thunder cut it to 33-32 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Beckstrand found Rylee Jensen for an open jumper. Over the next five minutes, the Panthers pushed the lead back out to 43-36 behind the inside play of Pierce, Ah Quin and Natasha Fiame. Pine View made just enough free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win.
“Confidence is one of the differences,” Ah Quin said. “It was strictly defense. We just needed to get back and tighten up on defense. Defense wins championships.”
The Thunder hit just 29 percent from the floor (18 of 63) and a paltry 12 percent from beyond the arc (2-17). DH also struggled at the line, hitting just 5 of 17 for 29 percent.
Pine View was better from the floor, making 18-45 (40 percent), but the Panthers missed all four 3-point attempts and made just 13 of 32 free throws (41 percent). Still, Brinagh was a happy first-year coach.
“You gotta win the ugly ones, too,” he said. “They can’t all be pretty.”
Pine View moves to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in region play, a game and a half ahead of Desert Hills and a half-game behind Region 9 leader Cedar. Pine View hosts Canyon View in its next region game Tuesday night.
Beckstrand had 22 points to lead all scorers, though she hit just 2 of 10 from beyond the arc. Desert Hills, 7-5 and 1-2, is at Snow Canyon Tuesday night.
Stats: PV 49, DH 43
Cedar 62, Snow Canyon 37
The Lady Reds turned a close game at halftime into a blowout in the third quarter.
Holding a slim 17-15 lead at the break had Cedar fans nervous. But coach Jim Elison must have lit a fire at halftime as Cedar dominated the second half. Midway through the third quarter, Morgan Myers hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 13-0 run for CHS, turning a 25-23 lead into a 38-23 blowout. The fourth quarter was more of the same as the Reds outscored the Warriors 20-12 in the final period.
Shana Foley led the way for Cedar, notching 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Myers added 11 points and five boards. Ten different Lady Reds found the scoring column.
Cedar is alone in first place in region play with a 3-0 record (9-3 overall), a half-game ahead of Pine View and a full game ahead of Dixie and Canyon View. The Lady Reds are at Dixie Tuesday night.
Snow Canyon, which was led by Shaylee Reed’s 11 points and nine more by Nikenna Durante, fell to 4-10 overall and 1-3 in region play. The Warriors host Desert Hills Tuesday night.
Stats: Cedar 62, SC 37
Canyon View 41, Hurricane 34
The Lady Falcons jumped ahead with a big second quarter to beat the visiting Hurricane squad.
The Lady Tigers were within 11-8 early in the second, but Shontae Clark led a big 16-3 run as Canyon View pushed the lead to 27-11 before the half. Abbie Corry started the run with a short jumper and Clark ended it with a driving layup.
Hurricane, led by Chelsi Cahoon’s 18 points, made a little run in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than the final seven-point margin.
The Falcons, now 4-9 overall and 2-1 in region, play at Pine View Tuesday night.
The Tigers, 2-11 and 0-4, are off Tuesday and travel to Cedar next Thursday.
Stats: CV 41, Hurricane 34
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