ST. GEORGE — It’s hard not to peek ahead as Dixie and Desert Hills set up a first-place matchup next Wednesday with blowout wins Friday night. Meanwhile, Pine View, which starts region play with four of its first five region games on the road, grabbed a win at Snow Canyon Friday night.
None of the games was very close, although SC made a run at the Panthers late and Hurricane hung in there with Dixie until the fourth quarter. Here’s a wrap-up of Friday’s action:
Pine View 54, Snow Canyon 49
The Panthers built a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter and then held on for dear life to record the win.
“It’s always a physical game against Snow Canyon,” Pine View forward Cody Ruesch said. “You have to keep your cool and try not to argue with the refs or get into it with other players. Physicality is always a key in trying to beat Snow Canyon.”
Without any sugar coating, it was an ugly first half. The Panthers held a 15-12 lead at halftime, with both teams struggling with their shooting touch.
But with Pine View crashing the boards on the offensive end, the Panthers started to pull away in the third quarter. Tyler Johnston and Brandon Yates each hit a 3-pointer and Ruesch and Trey Farrer both had put backs as PV pushed the lead to 28-20. A trey by Warrior Kobe Tupu pulled Snow Canyon within 31-25 heading into the final period.
But Pine View started the final quarter on fire. Yates hit another 3-pointer and Ruesch and Farrer each scored inside to push the Panther lead to 13.
The Warriors got a glimmer of hope when Ruesch was called for his fifth foul with 4:03 left in the game. With the big scorer out of the game and a renewed energy in the full-court press, SC started to chip away. With just over a minute left, the Warriors fouled out Pine View’s other big guy, Farrer, and had the ball with just a five-point deficit.
But a deep 3-pointer was off the mark and Pine View’s Steve Bangerter was able to secure the rebound. The Panthers then hit six of their final eight free throws to put the game away.
“We just tried to remain calm and not turn the ball over too much,” Johnston said. “They forced some turnovers on us, but we pushed through it and ended up getting the win.”
Ruesch had a phenomenal game, scoring 18 points and ripping down 15 rebounds. Farrer added eight and eight.
“That’s all I preach — rebound, rebound, rebound,” Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said. “They have to go get rebounds. If we’re supposed to be the biggest team in the region, then we better show it by going and rebounding. And it can’t come from just one kid. We’ve got four or five really good rebounders on our team and they’ve got to go do it.”
The teams shot a similar percentage in the game (PV led 36 percent to 35 percent for SC), but the Panthers owned the glass with a 39-26 advantage. Free throws were also big as PV made 18 of 26 (69 percent) while Snow Canyon hit just 9 of 19 (47 percent).
Johnston finished the game with nine points for PV, making all six of his free throw attempts. Yates added seven more for the Panthers, who improve to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in region.
Tupu led SC with 12 points, though he fouled out with 4:57 left in the game. Justin Loveless had 11 and Brock Staheli added nine. SC fell to 5-6 overall with the loss, 1-1 in region play.
The Panthers play their first home region game next Wednesday against Cedar, then hit the road again Friday with a grudge match against Desert Hills.
The Warriors take on Wasatch Academy Monday at 2 p.m. (Monday is a national holiday), then head back to region play with a home game against Hurricane Wednesday. Wasatch Academy, which plays as an independent in basketball, recently beat the No. 3-ranked team in the country.
Dixie 57, Hurricane 39
In a game that was much closer than the final 57-39 score, at least for three quarters, the Dixie Flyers invaded Hurricane and defeated the Tigers on the second night of region play.
The Tigers hit the second quarter running as guard Kirt McDaniel made two driving layups and tied the score at 19 with about four minutes left in the period. The score stayed close for the remainder of the half and the teams went into the locker room knotted at 25.
Most of the third quarter saw Dixie start to pull away and Hurricane answer. With about one minute left in the third and the Flyers hanging on to a three-point lead, Dixie started a full-court press and half-court trap.
The Flyers continued the strategy to start the fourth quarter and soon held a 12-point lead, thanks in part to Bennett’s penetrating offense and a couple of “and-1” layups.
“It’s nice to have a kid like Tyler on your team,” said Flyers coach Ryan Cuff. “He’s pretty special.”
Hurricane struggled to score in the final quarter and Dixie closed out the night playing keep-away with the basketball and headed home with the victory.
Bennett finished with 22 points as the Flyers made half their shots (22 of 44) in the game. Richard Guymon and James Eardley added a dozen points each.
For the Tigers, who shot just 34 percent (15-44) from the floor, McDaniel had 14 points and Reagan Hinton added 11.
The Flyers improved to 2-0 in region, 12-3 overall with the win. Dixie plays at Desert Hills in a battle for first place next Wednesday night. The Flyers then host Snow Canyon Friday night.
Hurricane slipped to 0-2 in the region with the loss, 7-8 overall. The Tigers are at Snow Canyon Wednesday and then host Cedar Friday.
Stats: DHS 57, HHS 39
Desert Hills 72, Cedar 49
The Thunder may want to schedule more games at Cedar High with the way they shot the ball in the Redmen’s gymnasium.
Marcus McKone had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Jayce Jones chipped in 10 points as DH turned an 18-15 lead into a 32-18 blowout with a 14-3 run midway through the second quarter.
Cedar pulled to within eight a couple of times in the third quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Ty Simister and Hokanson, plus a three-point play by Tanner Turley, gave DH an insurmountable 53-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Thunder played a nearly flawless contest, even making 9 of 10 free throws and only turning the ball over seven times.
Parker Haynie had 16 points and Mason Fakahua and Keenan Nielson had 13 each for the Redmen, who shot 46 percent (21-46) from the floor.
Hokanson also had six assists for D-Hills, which has won six games in a row and is 12-1 on the year (2-0 in region).
Fakahua had seven rebounds for CHS, which fell to 5-7 overall and 0-2 in region.
The Thunder host Dixie Wednesday and then play at home against Pine View Friday in a brutal week made a little easier by the friendly confines of the Thunderdome.
The Redmen have road games next week at Pine View on Wednesday and Hurricane on Friday.
Stats: DHHS 72, CHS 49
Canyon View 52, Juab 35
The Falcons jumped on the Wasps from the get-go and never let Juab back into the game on their own home court.
Brantzen Blackner led the way with 13 points as CV led 16-5 after one period and 30-14 at halftime.
Xavier Stoker added 12 points and Spencer Jensen made three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points for the Falcons, who are now 11-6 overall and 2-0 in Region 12.
Canyon View plays a key region game next Friday in a road trip to Richfield. The Wildcats are a half-game back in region play after blowing out North Sanpete 70-53 earlier this week.
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