Region 9 boys basketball: Desert Hills prevails over Dixie in 2OT; Cedar outlasts Crimson

ST. GEORGE — As the final week of the Region 9 boys basketball regular season began Wednesday night, the Desert Hills Thunder prevailed over Dixie in double overtime, while Cedar outlasted Crimson Cliffs by two points at home. Here’s a look at each of Wednesday’s games:

Desert Hills 78, Dixie 67 (2OT)

The Thunder got revenge on Dixie on their home turf, winning a thriller over the first-place Flyers.

Desert Hills jumped out to an early 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter only to see it slowly dissolve over the course of the game. Dixie would not take a lead until the 4:57 mark of the fourth quarter on a Jeff Cox toss-up in the post. From there, the Flyers drew out a four-point lead but also watched their advantage vanish slowly.

“I told (the Thunder) in the locker room, ‘I’m proud of you for your stick-to-it-ness and your grit,’ but we had it won and then we tried to give it away, had it won and tried to give it away and then we finally won,” Desert Hills head coach Chris Allred said.

Dixie basketball at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Feb. 17, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

With a 58-57 Dixie lead and under 10 seconds to play, Peyton Holmes missed a 3-pointer for Desert Hills and the rebound fell in the hands of Bronson Barben for the Flyers. Reggie Newby ripped the ball away and knocked it into the hands of Keegan Munson in the post, who went for the in-tight jumper and drew the foul with 2.9 seconds left. He hit the game-tying free throw before Dixie head coach Tyler Roberts iced him with a full timeout, and his missed second attempt sent the game to an extra period.

Barben landed a free throw to begin the scoring in overtime and put the Flyers ahead before Mason Landdeck drained a 3-pointer to put Desert Hills back on top. Newby hit an additional trey and the Thunder took a two-possession lead with 1:15 to go, 64-60. Holmes threw the ball away after receiving an inbound in his backcourt into the hands of Ethan Bennett, who pitched it to Barben to sink a three ball and bring Dixie within one with 45 seconds on the clock. Landdeck hit a pair of free throws before Barben drilled a game-tying three from the left side of the arc just under 30 seconds later. The score sat at 66-66 as time expired and another extra period was needed.

Following a broken play off the tipoff, Preston Vandermyde drove the lane and hit the layup, drawing the and-one to put Desert Hills up by three less than 10 seconds into the second OT. Cox hit a free throw and the score stood at 69-67 into the final minute. Landdeck hit two more free throws and Dixie, down by two possessions and not landing shots, needed to take the fouls and play catchup. Desert Hills hit seven more from the line and Dixie did not score to end the game. The Flyers did not land a field goal in the second overtime, scoring just one point over the final four minutes.

Dixie basketball at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Feb. 17, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Desert Hills went 24-for-36 overall from the line in the game, playing a major role in the victory. The Flyers were docked with 26 foul calls and a technical over the course of the game and had three players foul out, while the Thunder were called for 19 fouls. Holmes went 10-for-11 on 1-pointers while Landdeck went 7-for-11 and Munson went 5-for-6 at the line.

Isaac Finlinson led Dixie with 23 points on four 3-pointers and four additional field goals. He was banged up by the end of the game and was noticeably favoring his right leg by overtime. Barben scored 15 and DeHart scored 10.

Landdeck led the game with 26 points. Holmes scored 14, Newby scored 12 and Munson scored 11.

The Thunder complete their schedule a perfect 13-0 at the Thunderdome. They improve to 10-3 in Region 9 play and 18-3 overall. They travel to Cedar on Friday to wrap up the regular season.

Dixie drops only its second Region 9 game of the season, falling to 11-2 and failing to clinch the region title. It will get another chance on senior night Friday against Pine View.

Cedar 80, Crimson Cliffs 78

At Cedar, the Reds held off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by Crimson Cliffs, hitting a few key free throws late in the contest to seal the win.

Both teams came out shooting, with the first quarter ending 23-22 in favor of Cedar. The Reds then outscored the Mustangs 19-10 during the second quarter to take a 10-point halftime lead, 42-32.

Crimson Cliffs at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 17, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Crimson continued to nip at Cedar’s heels, slowly but surely narrowing the gap, thanks to timely 3-pointers by Trei Rockhill, Hudson Hawes and Cole Sampson. Sampson’s trey from in front of the Mustang bench with just under four minutes remaining gave the Mustangs a momentary one-point lead at 68-67.

Cedar responded with some clutch shots of its own down the stretch. Dallin Grant swished two free throws with 40 seconds left to give Cedar a 77-72 lead, but Hawes drained a 3 on Crimson’s next possession, pulling the Mustangs back within two.

Cedar turned the ball over shortly after inbounding it, but Crimson’s next 3-point attempt hit iron, and Cedar’s Zab Santana got the rebound. He kicked it out to Treyton Tebbs, who was fouled on the fast break. He made his first free throw but missed the second; however, Cedar was awarded the ball again due to the intentional foul. Ty Harrison then made two more free throws for Cedar with 12 seconds left to ice the game, as Cedar led by five, 80-75,

Crimson managed to hit one more 3-pointer right before the final buzzer to account for the final margin. It was the Mustangs’ 13th 3-pointer of the game, with Rockhill hitting six of those himself. He finished with a team-high 22 points, while Sampson added 20, Brock Felder contributed 16 and Hawes made 11.

For Cedar, Grant and Santana each had 23 points, while Tebbs and Harrison each finished with 12. Those four players accounted for 70 of Cedar’s 80 points.

“It was a great win for us,” said Cedar head coach Mark Esplin. “They came back on us and took the lead, but we got the lead back and made two big defensive stops, then were able to hit free throws.”

“I think we let them back in by taking some shots we’d hit earlier in the game,” he said. “We’ve got to learn that a great shot early in the game is not necessarily a great shot later in the game.”

The contest left both teams with 9-4 region records with one game left on the schedule. Cedar hosts second-place Desert Hills on Friday, while Crimson Cliffs hosts Snow Canyon.

— written by Jeff Richards

Pine View 47, Hurricane 45

On the road, Hurricane came within six and a half minutes of its second Region 9 win of the season. The Panthers happened to get the last basket in a back-and-forth fourth quarter that started with a 39-39 tie and saw the score even on three more occasions.

Hurricane at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Feb. 17, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The Tigers held a 41-39 lead before Justin Hall knotted the game up down low for Pine View with 6:10 remaining on the clock in the game. Joshua Bice did some dancing for Pine View to open up a lay in down low a minute later and take the lead, the Kruz Gardner won a battle with Bice on the other end of the court to open up a shot for him in the post to tie it again. Bensen Shepherd hit a fadeaway from inside the free throw line, putting the Panthers back in front and Jack Reeve executed a steal and drew a foul on his shot, sinking a pair of free throws to tie it once again with just over two minutes to play.

Jack Leavenworth had an opportunity for Hurricane just before the 1:30 mark, driving down the right side of the lane and attempting the layup. He just shorted it off the side of the rim. Shepherd cleaned up the rebound for Pine View and found Bice down low on the ensuing possession to give the Panthers what would ultimately be the deciding basket.

Bice recorded a steal around the 40 second mark and the Panthers were able to kill some time on a pair of fouls before Hurricane retained possession on a rebound. Bice took a charge with five seconds left from a rushing Kevin Bunn to put the ball back in the Pine View frontcourt and secure the win.

Gardner led Hurricane with 15 points and had seven rebounds. Bunn was second on the team with nine points.

Bice and Shepherd each scored 15 to tie atop Pine View’s scorers, while Rushton Shaw scored 11.

Hurricane falls to 1-12 in Region 9 and 2-19 overall. It concludes the regular season Friday at Canyon View.

Pine View improves to 4-9 and 5-14. The Panthers play the Flyers on the road on Friday.

 Snow Canyon 56, Canyon View 30

The Snow Canyon Warriors got off to a strong start at Canyon View, scoring the first 14 points of the game en route to a 22-5 lead after one quarter.

Things slowed down somewhat after that, but the Warriors managed to push the lead to 21 by halftime (33-12) and stay ahead by about 20 the rest of the way.

Lyman Simmons scored 20 to lead Snow Canyon, while Isaac Lyon added 15. The Warriors made eight 3-pointers as a team, while the Falcons made seven treys.

Jake Tom and Brenden Greenhalgh scored nine points apiece to tie as the Falcons’ top scorers. They each made three 3-pointers.

Snow Canyon improves to 8-5 in region play with the win, 15-6 overall. The Warriors are in fifth place in the Region 9 standings. They travel to Crimson Cliffs on Friday.

Meanwhile, Canyon View dropped to 0-13 in region play. The Falcons host Hurricane for Friday’s regular season finale.

— written by Jeff Richards

Friday’s game schedule (Feb. 19)

  • Pine View at Dixie
  • Hurricane at Canyon View
  • Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs
  • Desert Hills at Cedar

Region 9 boys basketball standings (as of Feb. 18)

  1. Dixie 11-2 (17-4)
  2. Desert Hills 10-3 (18-3)
  3. (tie) Crimson Cliffs 9-4 (17-4)
  4. (tie) Cedar 9-4 (14-6)
  5. Snow Canyon 8-5 (15-6)
  6. Pine View 4-9 (5-14)
  7. Hurricane 1-12 (2-19)
  8. Canyon View 0-13 (1-20)

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!