ST. GEORGE — Things got a little rough out at Snow Canyon Friday night, but the Desert Hills Thunder emerged from the fray with a 66-55 road victory over the Warriors at the Jungle.
Quincy Mathews had 29 points and Marcus McKone made five 3-pointers as part of his 24-point night as the Thunder slowly pulled away from the home team for the win. DH stays a half-game out of first place with the victory, while Snow Canyon falls out of playoff contention with the loss.
“They were kind of cheap-shotting us just a little, but we just got to keep our heads,” Mathews said. “That’ll help us stop their runs and let us pull of the victory.”
The Thunder, who are 15-5 overall and 8-2 in region, kept pace with Pine View with the win. Desert Hills also broke a two-game losing streak in the process.
“One of the things we’ve worked on is finishing games,” Thunder coach Wade Turley said. “We struggled a little bit against Pine View finishing that game off, and Dixie, too. So that was a point of emphasis — being able to finish games.”
The Thunder built a double-digit lead with a strong third quarter. McKone was hot from deep, converting open looks to quick triples on the scoreboard. The D-Hills defense slowed down the dangerous outside shooters of Snow Canyon in the process.
“We just had to regroup and make sure we got out on their shooters,” Turley said. “Then we wanted to push the basketball and put pressure on them defensively. We had Marcus hit some nice open 3s that kind of helped us also.”
Desert Hills outscored Snow Canyon 22-15 in the third, turning a 26-20 lead into a 48-35 advantage. The Warriors were able to cut the lead under 10 a couple of times in the fourth quarter, but never seriously threatened the Thunder down the stretch.
Logan Forsyth only had two points for the Thunder. But the DH point guard dished out a whole heaping of assists, finishing the night with eight dimes, plus three boards and three steals.
The trio of Kade Potter, Jacob Frei and Justin Loveless accounted for most of the scoring for the Warriors. Potter had 15 and the other two finished with 12 each.
Desert Hills, 15-5 overall and 8-2 in region, has a pair of home games left against lower-division teams. The Thunder host Canyon View Wednesday and Hurricane on Friday to close out the regular season.
Snow Canyon, 7-12 and 3-8, has just one game left, a road trip to Dixie next Wednesday.
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