4A girls basketball state tournament: Dixie, Canyon View advance

ST. GEORGE — Wednesday night, one day after the 4A boys state playoffs kicked off, the 4A girls followed suit, with four Region 9 teams taking the court for the first round. Dixie successfully defended its home court against Snow Canyon, while Canyon View topped Ben Lomond at home. Elsewhere, Crimson Cliffs fell to Bear River.

Here are recaps from the action:

Dixie 57, Snow Canyon 44

The No. 15 Dixie Flyers advanced after fending off No. 18 Snow Canyon’s second comeback bid at the Hangar this season. Dixie scored 21 points in the third quarter to build out a strong enough lead to keep the Warriors at bay in a 21-point fourth quarter of their own. It was enough for the Flyers to stave off elimination and advance to round two of the playoffs on Friday.

“It’s about these girls realizing that what they’re doing works,” Dixie head coach Ryan Forsey said. “Now they come away with a win like this, and it’s an important win. It validates the efforts over the last couple weeks.”

Snow Canyon basketball at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Feb. 24, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The teams played close in the first half to a 17-21 Dixie lead, but Snow Canyon didn’t lead after Taylan Whitehead’s basket to open the scoring was nullified by a Kealah Faumuina free throw and Jaide Bundy 3-pointer immediately after. The Flyers stretched the score to 6-14 late in the first quarter, but an eight-point run for Snow Canyon pulled it back within two late in the second. Addy Shaffer bookended the scoring spree for the Warriors with a pair of field goals herself to account for the four-point lead Dixie took into halftime.

Dixie spread it out in the third quarter on the backs of freshman Faumuina and senior Katie Mills in her final home game of her career. Mills hit a trio of 3-pointers in the quarter and Faumuina scored eight.

Shaffer and Emily Tauillili each contributed baskets in the frame as well. Defensively, the Flyers held the Warriors to just six points in the frame. The end result was a 42-23 lead entering the fourth.

It would be more than enough cushion, though the Warriors showed a lot of the same grit as they did when they erased a 14-point trail at halftime in a 46-45 win over Dixie on Feb. 11. Snow Canyon opened the fourth on an 11-6 run and closed the gap to nine points with just under two minutes to play.

“I was just proud of them for not quitting,” Snow Canyon head coach Dan Roden said. “A lot of teams would have. We haven’t quit all year.”

Sophomore Ebony Lealao scored eight points of the Warriors’ in the frame. Fellow sophomore Natalie Olson hit a pair of 3-pointers, as well.

But ultimately foul trouble and the shots the Warriors didn’t make came back to haunt them. Seven of Dixie’s 11 free throws came in the fourth quarter.

Faumuina led the game with 20 points. Shaffer added 15 for Dixie. Olson led Snow Canyon with 14 points, while Lealao had 11.

Dixie will travel to Desert Hills on Friday to face off against the No. 2 seeded Thunder. Tipoff will be at 5:30 p.m.

Canyon View 61, Ben Lomond 19

At Canyon View, the No. 12 seeded Falcons jumped out to an early lead on the 21st seed Ben Lomond Scots and never looked back, rolling to a commanding 61-19 victory.

Canyon View ‘s pressure defense forced several Ben Lomond turnovers in the opening quarter as the Falcons opened up an 11-2 lead over the first few minutes.

Ben Lomond at Canyon View, 4A girls basketball playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 24, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon View went on to lead 35-10 at halftime. Then, during the second half, the Falcons continued to pull further ahead, even as their reserve players took the floor for much of the last two periods.

“We worked on defense a lot at practice,” said Canyon View coach Jaycee Barnhurst. “I just told the kids, ‘You have to have the ball to win and that means we need to improve our defense. We need to get steals, we need to get into passing lanes and we need to rebound.’”

“That was our focus coming into tonight, to make this team work for every single point they got, and I felt like we did that tonight.”

All 14 players on the Falcons’ roster saw action in the game, and 12 of them scored. Addison Newman and Harlee Nicoll each scored 10 to lead the Falcons’ balanced offensive effort, while Myka Taylor and Deirdre Barton each added seven points.

For Ben Lomond, Avery Beadles led the way with eight points, followed by three other players with three points apiece.

Next up for the Falcons will be a trip to Logan to take on the No. 5 seeded Logan Grizzlies on Friday, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

“They’re good,” Barnhurst said of the Grizzlies. “They’ve got a good ballplayer that’s signed with BYU. She’s athletic. She’s tough. Everybody on their team can make 3s. We’ve watched a lot of film. We’re prepared but we’re gonna have to play well.”

— written by Jeff Richards

Bear River 54, Crimson Cliffs 22

No. 20 Crimson Cliffs went on the road and fell to No. 13 Bear River and saw its season come to an end.

Scoring started slow, with only two baskets in the first three minutes, both going Bear River’s way. Riann Gines got the Mustangs on the board with a free throw at the 4:46 mark. Whitley Stookey scored Crimson’s first field goal shortly after to pull the Mustangs back within a point before Bear River went on an 8-3 run to end the quarter.

The second quarter didn’t go much better for Crimson as the Bears scored 20 and held Crimson to four. It wouldn’t be until three minutes into the third quarter that Crimson breached double digits on the scoreboard. By that point, Bear River already had scored 41.

Stookey and Ashtin Hansen each scored six points to lead Crimson Cliffs.

The Mustangs finish 2-19 on the season, but graduate no players, so they will have a lot of youth to build from going forward.

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

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