4A boys state basketball tournament: Pine View hangs on against Hurricane; Canyon View eliminated

ST. GEORGE — The 4A boys state basketball tournament kicked off on Tuesday, with three Region 9 teams seeing first-round action. Pine View survived a fearsome fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Hurricane Tigers, while Canyon View lost to Tooele on the road.

Although Canyon View and Hurricane are now eliminated from playoff contention, the other six Region 9 teams will all play second-round games Friday night. Click here to see full bracket.

Here are recaps from Tuesday night’s two playoff games involving Region 9 teams:

Pine View 50, Hurricane 47

The No. 16 Panthers benefited from foul trouble early and often by No. 17 Hurricane, and it would eventually be a key contributor in the home victory.

Hurricane put Pine View into the bonus less than six minutes into game, and did so again in the third quarter. The first time around, the Panthers did not take advantage, scoring only five free throws in the first half. The story was different in the second half, as Pine View converted 12 times from the line, including nine in the fourth quarter.

Hurricane basketball at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Feb. 23, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

“I’m proud of the guys, they found a way to battle,” Pine View head coach Ryan Eves said. “They could have folded. They could have folded easy, but they did everything they could.”

The 1-pointers helped Pine View fend off a 24-point scoring effort from a cornered Tigers team. Hurricane entered the frame down by 10 points, and it was only that close thanks to a fortunate 3-pointer at the end of the third by Weston Larsen.

Pine View tallied the first bucket of the fourth, thanks to Benson Shepherd, but Hurricane took 13 of the next 14 points. Josh Leavenworth scored his first points of the game on an early 3-pointer in the quarter. Less than three minutes later, he had nine points and his team had drawn back within two points of the leader. Larsen hit a reverse layup shortly after and the teams were tied for the first time since the first quarter.

Things went south for the Tigers from there. Lucca Mamone hit a field goal before Shepherd scored four in a row from the line. Luke Wright hit a jumper and-one to pull Hurricane back within three. Mamone countered with his own traditional three-point play.

After Jack Reeve sank a 2-pointer, Mamone did it again. Down six with 2:30 to play, Wright landed a pair of free-throws then followed another two points from Leavenworth with a stop-and-pop from a tough angle near the right baseline and the score was knotted again with just over a minute to go.

Hurricane basketball at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Feb. 23, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The Tigers sent Mamone to the line to knock down two and Rushton Shaw knocked down one to reach the final score. Hurricane got one last chance at the buzzer with Esplin down the right wing, but Justin Hall swatted the shot attempt with less than two seconds on the clock to secure the victory.

Mamone led the game with 18 points. He scored seven in the fourth quarter and went 8-for-9 from the free-throw line in the game. Shepherd scored 15 to take second place for the Panthers.

Kevin Bunn and Leavenworth each scored 11 to lead Hurricane, while Reeve added nine.

It was the third time the Panthers beat the Tigers in a tight contest this season, as the first two games were decided by two points apiece. The Tigers, in a rebuilding year, see the campaign come to an end with five key seniors ending their careers with the program: Wright, Reeve, Leavenworth, Cason Esplin and Bubba Moore.

“It’s always hard on senior night,” Hurricane head coach Todd Langston said. “Those guys are going to be gone. We’re going to have a lot of underclassmen that are going to be good, so we just have to move on. Next man up mentality, unfortunately.”

The Panthers move on to face No. 1 seeded Juan Diego in Draper on Friday.

Tooele 52, Canyon View 36

At Tooele, the 14th-seeded Buffaloes defeated the 19th-seeded Canyon View Falcons in the first round of the 4A boys state playoffs, 52-36.

The teams played evenly throughout the first quarter, with Canyon View taking a two-point lead, 11-9.

Tooele came on strong during the second quarter, making an 18-5 run to take a 27-16 halftime lead.

“We came out in the third quarter after I challenged the kids at halftime, and we held them to two points for 7:59 before they hit a three at the buzzer,” said Canyon View head coach Rob Potter.

That last-second bucket gave the Buffaloes a 5-4 edge during the third.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Potter added.

Although the Falcons managed to cut Tooele’s lead to as few as eight points at one point in the fourth quarter, they could get no closer.

“We went down again by 10, then missed the front end of two one-and-ones and just didn’t have a chance to really cut into the three- or four-possession lead down the stretch,” Potter added.

Center Justin Rogers led all scorers with 24 points for Tooele, while Ethan Simmons added 11.

Canyon View was led by Dennis Farrow’s 14 points, while Andrew Barnes and Brenden Greenhalgh each added nine.

“I thought my seniors played really hard,” Potter added. “These six seniors have come a long way over the four years since they were freshmen. Unfortunately, it was just a tough season between COVID and how good Region 9 was, injuries, kids quitting, dads of players passing away … we kind of had it all this year, but I’m proud of these kids and I love them. These kids never quit on us all year.”

— written by Jeff Richards

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

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