With nothing to play for, it would have been easy for the Cedar Lady Reds to have a terrible game Thursday night at home against Pine View. They didn’t. Conversely, with lots to play for, it would figure that the Desert Hills Lady Thunder would play their best game of the season at last-place Hurricane. That didn’t happen either.
Cedar finished Region 9 with a perfect 12-0 record by defeating Pine View 60-49 and will head into the state tournament riding a win streak that dates back to 2014 and spans 11 games. Desert Hills, meanwhile, shot just 33 percent and had to fend off a pesky Hurricane team 38-34 at the Tiger’s Den.
The two teams will host first-round playoff games next Saturday against Region 12 foes. Cedar will play Richfield (time to be determined) and Desert Hills (8-4 in region) will host either Juab or North Sanpete (the two tied for second in Region 12 and will likely have a coin toss to break the tie).
Meanwhile, with Pine View falling to Cedar, the idle Snow Canyon Warriors (7-5 in region) end up with the third seed from the region, meaning they will travel to either Juab or North Sanpete (the winner of that coin toss) next Saturday night. Pine View (6-6) will settle for fourth and will travel to Carbon to take on the Lady Dinos. The Lady Panthers were 6-3 and in second place, but lost the final three games of the season.
The other region game Thursday night was just for pride, with the Dixie Flyers ending their season on a high note with a 65-52 win over Canyon View. Neither team will be participating in the postseason.
Here’s a rundown of the night’s action:
Desert Hills 38, Hurricane 34
The Lady Thunder just couldn’t shake the Tigers, who only won one region game all year. Neither team shot well, but Desert Hills was able to grind out the win with a late surge.
“I think we’re kind of burned out right now,” Kenzie Done said. “I was like, oh man, we’ve got to get this going again.”
It looked like Desert Hills was finally going to blow the game open as the Thunder closed the third quarter on a 13-1 run. Ashley Beckstrand had a three-point play with 2:36 to go in the quarter and she also set up two straight baskets in the quarter’s final 25 seconds with pretty assists to Megan Wiscombe and Elly Williams to make it a 31-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
But things went ice cold for D-Hills and Hurricane used the 4:50 scoreless stretch to regain a 32-31 lead. Tiger senior London Steglich had a pair of free throws that had cut the lead to one, then hit a driving layup to put her team on top with 3:27 left in the game.
“Offensively, we just kind of stood around a lot,” DH coach Ron Denos said. “We threw up bad shots and that’s going to make it so you can’t hit anything. We’ve got to leqarn from that and hopefully find some energy and get moving a little more.”
Seventeen seconds after Steglich put HHS on top, Kylie Williams hit a 14-footer from the left baseline to end the long scoring drought and give D-Hills the lead back at 33-32. Just a few seconds after that, Carrie Marshall put Hurricane on top 34-33 with a bucket inside. It would turn out to be the last lead of the night for the Tigers.
Beckstrand tied the game on a free throw with 2:05 left. She actually made the second charity shot, but DH was called for a lane violation, leaving it at 34-34. After a Hurricane miss, Done hit the biggest basket of the game, splitting the Hurricane defense for a contested layup with 1:25 to go.
The Tigers then turned the ball over and D-Hills was able to run the clock down to 28.7 seconds before Hurricane finally elected to foul Beckstrand, who nailed two more freebies to make it 38-34 and ice the game.
Beckstrand had 12 points, though she suffered through a 2 for 11 shooting night from the floor. She made up for it from the line, hitting 7 of 8 free throws. Done had eight points. DH hit just 14-43 from the floor for 34 percent. Hurricane was even worse. The Tigers were 13-50 (26 percent), though they did hit 8 of 9 free throws.
Desert Hills is 14-7 overall and actually has a make-up game Tuesday (5:30 p.m.) against Maeser Prep out of Nevada.
Hurricane, which got 14 points from Steglich and 11 rebounds from Morgan Huntsman, finishes the year 3-18.
Stats: DH 38, HHS 34
Cedar 60, Pine View 49
The Lady Reds played like the region champs on this night, running ahead to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.
Pine View shaved nine points off the lead in the fourth quarter, but the outcome was never in doubt as the Lady Reds improved to an impressive 18-3 on the year. Last season, with nearly all underclassmen, Cedar made it to the state semifinals before falling to mighty Desert Hills. This year, the experienced Lady Reds will be one of the favorites heading into the state tourney.
Cedar will host 5-16 Richfield next Saturday. The Reds beat the Wildcats 47-33 earlier this season in the 3A Preview Tournament at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
Pine View, which got 10 points from freshman Claire Newby, will try and get a road win next week in a visit to Region 12 champ Carbon. The 15-7 Dinos have only played one Region 9 foe, defeating Snow Canyon back in mid-December 47-29.
The Panthers, 10-8 overall, are in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Dixie 65, Canyon View 52
The Lady Flyers overcame a double-digit deficit in the first half with a huge third quarter in cruising past the Falcons.
Seniors Alexa Estridge and Aubri Challis led the way with 21 and 16 points and Kelsea Barker chipped in with 13 as the Dixie closes the season on a winning note, improving to 11-10 in the process, though Dixie is just 4-8 in region.
The Flyers outscored CV 20-10 in the third and 17-8 in the fourth for the win.
Canyon View, 6-16 and 4-8, got 23 points from Shontae Clark.
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