Girls basketball: Warriors, Thunder still undefeated in region play

ST. GEORGE – Many expected Snow Canyon and Desert Hills to check off easy wins Tuesday night and for Cedar and Pine View to play a tight game. However, that scenario played out in the reverse as Snow Canyon won by only six over Hurricane and the Lady Thunder got a game from Dixie through three quarters before putting some distance in the fourth and winning 56-38. Meanwhile up north, Pine View lost big after taking an early lead vs. the Lady Reds.

Desert Hills 56, Dixie 38

The Lady Thunder came out explosive in the first half against Dixie. Ashley Beckstrand would score the first nine points for Desert Hills. Kelsea Barker got two early baskets, but Beckstrand’s 3-pointer with two minutes remaining in the first gave Desert Hills its first double-digit lead 14-4.

desert-hills-logodixie-logo“We wanted to come out and play intense,” said Desert Hills forward Rilee Jensen. “We were really up for our last game against Cedar and we did not want to let up against Dixie.”

Taylor Whitson got a basket and two free throws for the Lady Flyers to close out the quarter only down six.

The second quarter saw Dixie go dry. They went scoreless through the first six and a half minutes. Lexie Paxton’s 3-pointer broke the drought but the lead was 24-11. Desert Hills closed on a 4-3 run, doubling up Dixie on the scoreboard 28-14. Beckstrand finished the first half with 22 points.

Desert Hills' Ashley Beckstrand (24), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Desert Hills’ Ashley Beckstrand (24), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Hot shooting by the Lady Flyers got them quickly back into the game in the third quarter. Whitson caught foul trouble early, but four consecutive Dixie 3-pointers sparked a 12-6 run. Keisha Jones and Paxton each had one while Aspen Bair hit on a pair to pull the Lady Flyers to 34-26. Barker’s steal and fast break layup pulled the Flyers within 39-32 with just over one minute to play in the third.

“In the first half, we were getting shots out of our sets,” said Dixie head coach Jaime Araiza. “We have had trouble finishing all year and tonight was no exception. In the third quarter we got some momentum from our wings’ shooting.”

Desert Hills closed the quarter on a 4-0 run to lead 43-32 going into the fourth. In the final period, Desert Hills shut down the Dixie shooting. After a rebound and put back by Barker to pull the Flyers within nine, the Lady Flyers scoring the remainder of the game consisted of four free throws. Jensen was assigned most of the night to shadow Dixie’s Barker.

“I like the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player,” said Jensen. “I think our intensity is infectious. When we see each other playing tough defense, the intensity spreads to other players.”

Desert Hills' Jessica Bills (42), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News
Desert Hills’ Jessica Bills (42), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Girls Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Beckstrand sat for the entire fourth quarter. “Ashley had 30 points and we had a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter,” said Thunder head coach Ron Denos. “This was a game where some of our younger players could get some valuable experience.”

In the fourth quarter, Jensen and Kylie Williams scored 11 of the Thunder’s 13 points.

“I told them to be aggressive,” said Denos. “There are times when we are stagnant on offense. Tonight we scored some good baskets on drives to the basket.”

Jensen and Williams scored eight apiece for the Thunder. Bair led Dixie with 14 points. Barker added eight. Whitson and Paxton scored six apiece.

With the win, Desert Hills remains undefeated in region play (3-0) and sports an overall record of 8-6. Dixie falls to 0-3 in region and 2-12 overall. The Lady Thunder travel to Pine View on Thursday. Dixie will travel to Snow Canyon.

Snow Canyon 55, Hurricane 49

The Lady Tigers kept pace with Snow Canyon through the first quarter 9-9. But the second and third quarters saw the Lady Warriors outscore Hurricane by 15 points, 34-19. The Tigers made a run in the fourth but could not pull any closer than the final margin.

snow-canyon-logohurricane-logo“We put our subs in with 2:30 remaining,” said Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden. “They pressed us and caught fire. They went on an 18-4 run during that stretch. We had to put our starters back in for the final 45 seconds.”

Shaylee Reed led Snow Canyon with 19 points. Madison Mooring joined her in double figures with 14. Sydney Bott and Lindsy McConnell scored eight and six points, respectively.

Taylor Anderson led Hurricane with 13 points. Morgan Huntsman scored 11. Jayden Langford scored nine. Kylee Stevens and Carrie Marshall each scored eight.

Snow Canyon moves to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in league play to keep pace with Desert Hills atop the standings. Hurricane drops to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in Region 9. The Lady Warriors will host Dixie on Thursday night. Hurricane will travel to Cedar.

Cedar 57, Pine View 32

Cedar got its first region win of the season with a victory over the visiting Lady Panthers.

cedar-logopine-view-logoPine View started the game with its tough defense and held a first quarter lead of 13-9. But Cedar was able to increase its scoring quarter by quarter while limiting Pine View to single digit scoring in the remaining three quarters.

The Lady Reds put up 23 more shots than Pine View and hit their field goals at a higher percentage (40-35). Cedar also forced the Lady Panthers into 16 turnovers while committing only six.

Individually, Cedar’s Jessica Whetman and Hannah Williams led all scorers with 12 apiece. Courtney Morley and Carly Davis each had eight. For Pine View, Stefani Gleave led with nine points. Natasha Fiame and Tayvia Ah Quin scored six apiece.

Cedar moves to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in region play. Pine View falls to 9-5 overall and is also 1-2 in region. Cedar will host Hurricane on Thursday while Pine View will host Desert Hills.

Stats: pvcedg11916 (1)

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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