Region 9 boys basketball recap: Big 4th quarter by Bennett gives Dixie the win

Ethan Bennett carries the ball for Dixie basketball in its road win at Crimson Cliffs, Washington, Utah, Jan. 15, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Region 9’s second week of boys basketball concluded Friday night with four games all decided by at least 10 points. Following are recaps from the action:

Dixie 68, Crimson Cliffs 58

Ethan Bennett scored 14 points in the fourth quarter help the Flyers pull away on the road at Crimson Cliffs.

Ethan Bennett of Dixie drives the lane, Dixie basketball at Crimson Cliffs, Washington, Utah, Jan. 15, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The Flyers entered the fourth quarter with the slimmest of leads — one point. Bennett benefited from a large defensive focus on Isaac Finlinson, opening lanes for him to drive deep in the lane and find layups. He scored six from the field in the final quarter. It made up for a contained game by Finlinson, who didn’t score a field goal during the last three quarters.

“With our team, it’s almost like they take turns,” Dixie head coach Tyler Roberts said. “Isaac had a great first half and then they focused on him. Then I ran a few little sets to get Ethan going in the second half and once he sees one go in, he starts feeding on that. ”

Dixie claimed 12 of the game’s first 15 points to take an early edge. They rode that advantage to a 25-16 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Trei Rockhill takes a jumper for Crimson Cliffs basketball against Dixie at home, Washington, Utah, Jan. 15, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The Mustangs responded before the half, holding Dixie to just two field goals in the second quarter and rallying to come within one point at the halftime buzzer, 35-34. The one-point deficit held at the third horn at 47-46 as the teams battled back and forth. Crimson Cliffs took its first lead of the game in the period on a jumper by Hudson Hawes at the 6:11 mark of the third.

Trei Rockhill led Crimson with 19 points including five from behind the arc. Cole Sampson reached 10 and Brock Felder had 11 and was two boards short of a double-double.

The 58 points were the fewest the Mustangs have scored all season, which Roberts said was a goal of his coming in.

“My goal tonight was to hold them to the least amount they’ve scored all year,” Roberts said. “That was a big part of last year. I still believe in being the best defensive team in the state.”

Bennett finished with 23 points and Finlinson had 13, nine of which came in the first quarter. He landed all five of his free-throw attempts from there on out.

Crimson Cliffs falls to 2-2 in league play and 10-2 overall. The Mustangs next travel to play Canyon View on Wednesday.

Dixie improves to 10-0 and remains perfect through four league games. The Flyers host the Snow Canyon Warriors next Wednesday.

Desert Hills 74, Pine View 53

The Thunder remain undefeated after taking down the Pine View Panthers on the road.

Pine View scored six of the game’s first eight points but watched the Thunder go on a 13-point run before the buzzer to take an early 15-6 lead. The Panthers did not play from ahead again.

Mason Landdeck led the Thunder with 28 points and went 15-for-15 from the free-throw line. Preston Vandermyde also reached double digits for Desert Hills, scoring 11.

Bensen Shepherd led Pine View with 21 points, scoring nine on a trio of 3-pointers in the third quarter. Lucca Mamone also reached double digits with 11 points.

Desert Hills has won all 12 of its games overall and all four Region 9 contests. It hosts Hurricane next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Pine View drops to 2-8 and 1-3. The Panthers will travel up to Cedar City to play the Reds on Wednesday.

Cedar 70, Canyon View 40

Dallin Grant leaps for the shot for Cedar basketball at home against Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Cedar, the Reds overcame a lackluster start to overpower Canyon View by 30 points.

Canyon View started off strong, taking an early 11-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Cedar then closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 14-11 lead into the second period.

“The first four minutes, maybe as bad of basketball as we’ve played for a long time,” said Cedar head coach Mark Esplin. “It was ugly. We let them dictate, we got beat on backdoors because we were lazy … but with that said, I think our five starters plus the two that come off the bench early all took a deep breath, gathered their stuff and went played hard.

“It’s hard sometimes to flip that switch, but when we do, we can score with just about anybody,” Esplin added.

Cedar’s offense continued to roll throughout the second and third quarters, with the Reds scoring 21 in each of the two frames while holding the Falcons to 12 and five points, respectively.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Reds had extended the lead to 30, allowing reserve players on both teams to take the floor for the final stanza.

Guard Treyton Tebbs led Cedar’s balanced scoring attack with 15 points, while post players Luke Armstrong and Dallin Grant added 14 apiece. Zab Santana made 13 points, including three of the team’s six 3-pointers on the night. Gaige Savage added nine points for Cedar.

The Falcons were led by Dennis Farrow’s 12 points, with Hayden Zobell adding nine and Andrew Barnes making eight.

Cedar, which improved to 8-3 overall, 3-1 in Region 9, will next host Pine View on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Canyon View (0-4, 1-11) will host Crimson Cliffs that same evening.

— written by Jeff Richards

Snow Canyon 48, Hurricane 29

The Warriors held Hurricane to single digits in every quarter to pull out the win at home.

“I thought our defense was really solid this game,” Snow Canyon head coach Doug Meacham said. “I was really proud of our effort.”

The Tigers held around in the first half, entering the midway point down 20-17. The Warriors ran away in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 17-4 and building what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. Lyman Simmons scored seven of his game-leading 18 points in the frame.

Blake Munson also reached double digits for Snow Canyon, scoring 11 on a trio of 3-pointers and an additional field goal.

Zac Call scored nine from the bench and was integral to the team’s defensive effort, Meacham said.

“(Call) made the most of his minutes, competing on the defensive end and crashing the offensive boards,” Meacham said. “He gave us a big lift this game.”

Bubba Moore led Hurricane with nine points.

Snow Canyon improves to 9-3 and 2-2 in Region 9 play. It travels to Dixie on Wednesday.

Hurricane falls to 1-11 and 0-4 in league. The Tigers travel to Desert Hills next.

Update Jan 16, 8 a.m. point totals for Bennett, Finlinson corrected

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