Region 9 girls basketball: Teams fight through injuries

ST. GEORGE — Teams battled through injuries and absences from key players around the league as week three of Region 9 girls basketball kicked off Tuesday night. There were tight contests as a result, but a game that had figured to be a heavyweight slugfest between Pine View and Cedar turned into a blowout as the Reds felt the weight of missing two of their top scorers.

“That time of the year,” Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos said of the various players who sat out due to illness or injury.

Here are the recaps from Tuesday night’s action.

Pine View 53, Cedar 26

At Pine View, both teams had to figure out how to compete without their top scorers. Senior center Averi Papa was out with illness for the Panthers, while Cedar’s Abby Davis is out with a thumb injury she sustained in a game last Thursday. The Reds were also without guard Braylee Peterson.

Ultimately, it was the Panthers that adapted best and pulled away quickly. Pine View went on a 12-0 run to start the game and didn’t look back from there.

Cedar basketball at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

“You always want to win fair and square,” Pine View head coach Ben Luce said. “It’s just bad luck for them to lose one to injury and sickness in the same game. We’ll have full squads the next time we play, and it’ll be up there, so it’ll be a little bit different.”

Alex Olson, who may be a team’s go-to scorer for anyone other than Pine View, led the way for the Panthers scoring 21 points. She scored five points during the pull-ahead scoring spree and landed four from the perimeter over the course of the game.

Aly Schmitt played strong in the post in Papa’s absence, scoring 13 points.

Though the Pine View defense played well, Cedar still missed out on some opportunities early. They landed only three field goals in the first half and one in the first quarter. Gracie Morales led Cedar with seven points on three field goals.

Pine View improves to 11-1 and 4-1 in Region 9. The Panthers host the Hurricane Tigers on Thursday.

Cedar falls to 6-6 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Reds host Crimson Cliffs next.

Desert Hills 59, Hurricane 43

Also without one of their stars, the Thunder fended off a persistent Tigers team in the fourth quarter on the Thunder’s home court. Desert Hills center Shailee Bundy, who recorded double-doubles in both games last week, was out with an injury.

Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

“It took us three quarters to learn how to play without Shailee,” Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos said.

Hurricane did not let Region 9’s last remaining undefeated team off easy. As late as the end of the third quarter, the Tigers were within three points of the Thunder, but as Denos said, it took them three quarters to figure out how to play without their key post controller. The Thunder finally figured it out in the fourth, piling on 23 points and holding Hurricane to nine. Julia Jacobsen scored as many points as the Tigers team on her own in the final frame and finished with 12 points total for the game.

Four players reached double digits for Desert Hills, with Enid Vaifanua leading the way with 18. Sa’de Turlington had 11 and Alivia Cluff scored 10.

Lydia Prince scored 16 and Haley Chesley made 11 for Hurricane.

Desert Hills sits at 9-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in Region 9 play. The Thunder will host Dixie on Thursday.

Hurricane falls to 5-7 and 3-2 in league. The Tigers travel to Pine View next.

Canyon View 55, Crimson Cliffs 53 (OT)

At Crimson Cliffs, the visiting Canyon View Falcons edged the Mustangs in overtime.

Canyon View basketball at Crimson Cliffs, Washington, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo courtesy of JR Robinson, St. George News / Cedar City News

After playing even the first quarter, the Falcons went on a 15-4 run during the second quarter to take a double-digit lead at halftime, 27-17.

Crimson Cliffs then went on a 13-2 run after the break, holding the Falcons to a single basket in the third as they galloped back to take a 30-29 lead after three.

With 1:49 left in regulation, sophomore Riann Gines got fouled while driving for an inside bucket. She converted the free throw to complete the three-point play and put the Mustangs ahead 41-38.

On Canyon View’s next possession, Payton Lister got fouled and converted one of two FT, but the Falcons stole the ball back almost immediately and Harlee Nicole made a shot from the baseline to tie the score again, 41-41 with 1:15 on the clock.

The Mustangs missed their next two shots before turning the ball over, after which Canyon View senior Addison Newman drained a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to put the Falcons up 44-41.

Gines then made one of two FTs on Crimson’s next possession, and Newman did the same for CV. Gines then got fouled inside with 15 seconds left and again made one of two to make it 45-43 with Canyon View still on top.

With 4.7 seconds left, the Mustangs fouled CV’s Myka Taylor, who missed both free throws. Crimson rebounded, and freshman Kenadee Richey drove the length of the floor and made a layup at the buzzer to send the game into overtime tied at 45 apiece.

Crimson almost scored on the wrong basket after getting the jump ball to start the four-minute overtime, but a teammate rebounded the miss and moved the ball back up the floor in the right direction, where Gines was once again fouled. She made one of two free throws to put the Mustangs up by one, 46-45.

Both teams came up empty handed over the next few possessions, which were marked by missed shots and turnovers. Jaden Johnson finally broke the ice for Canyon View with a eight-footer from inside the key to make it 47-46 for the Falcons.

The Mustangs then missed two more field goals and two more free throws before Canyon View’s Harlee Nicole took an assist from Newman and scored from the left side, getting fouled on the play. She converted the free throw to put CV up four, 50-46, with just over a minute left.

Gines then drove inside and scored but missed the ensuing free throw, leaving the Mustangs down 50-48.

During the final minute of the overtime, Canyon View went 5-for-6 from the line, with Erin Robinson and Johnson each making two FTs and Newman swishing one. Crimson Cliffs, on the other hand, went just 1-for-5 from the line during that last minute of the game.

It was Johnson’s two free throws with 14 seconds left that gave Canyon View the final four-point lead it needed to pick up its first region win of the season.

Newman led the Falcons with 18 points, while Nicoll added nine and Robinson scored eight.

For Crimson Cliffs, Gines finished the game with 31 points, including eight in the OT. Teammate Richey added 13 for the Mustangs.

“We had a difficult time stopping Gines tonight,” Canyon View head coach Jaycee Barnhurst said afterward. “A win is a win, but we have some work to do tomorrow to prepare for Snow Canyon on Thursday. We’re not content with how we played tonight.”

“Those free throws at the end were huge for us,” she added. “We’ve struggled from the line in the recent past.”

Canyon View improved to 4-9 overall with the win, 1-4 in Region 9 play. The Falcons host Snow Canyon on Thursday.

Crimson Cliffs dropped to 2-9 overall, 0-5 in region play. The Mustangs will travel to Cedar to face the Reds on Thursday.

— written by Jeff Richards

Dixie 45, Snow Canyon 41

The Flyers survived a close contest buzzer-to-buzzer on the road.

Dixie at Snow Canyon basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Ebony Lealao hit a pair of free throws halfway through the second quarter to give Snow Canyon a 19-18 lead, but Kealah Faumuina landed a pair of 1-pointers of her own in response to put Dixie back on top shortly thereafter. The Flyers scored the only four points in the rest of the half to take a five-point lead into the midway point.

After Lealao’s free throws, Snow Canyon did not score for more than seven minutes into the third quarter. The Warriors fought back and took a two-point lead into the final frame.

Dixie took the first 10 points in the fourth quarter to storm out into the lead as Addy Shaffer took over for the Flyers in the fourth. She scored 10 points and went a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in the final eight minutes alone of her 21 total in the game. Shaffer picked up the scoring as Faumuina, who had 15 points in the first three quarters, got into foul trouble and was limited to just a pair of free throws in the fourth.

It was too much for the Warriors to answer, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Snow Canyon scored six points in the final 40 seconds.

“We knew we would get a fight from Snow Canyon,” Dixie head coach Ryan Forsey said. “Give them a ton of credit. They made shots from distance and that kept them in the game. … But I’m proud of our girls for facing some adversity, making free throws and learning how to put away a team that just keeps coming at you.”

Lealao led Snow Canyon with 11 points. Natalie Olson had 10 and Tyler Mooring had nine.

Shaffer’s 21 points topped Dixie. Faumuina was the only other Flyer to break into double digits, with 17 points total.

Dixie moves to 6-5 and 4-1 in league play. The Flyers travel to Desert Hills on Thursday.

Snow Canyon falls to 1-10 and is winless through five Region 9 games. The Warriors head up north to play Canyon View next.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!