4A boys basketball playoffs: no upsets among Region 9 teams as higher seeds advance

ST. GEORGE — There ended up being no upsets in Friday’s second-round playoff action involving Region 9 boys basketball teams, as home teams Desert Hills, Dixie, Cedar and Crimson Cliffs all coasted to convincing wins. The only nailbiter was at Snow Canyon, where the Warriors lost a big lead before prevailing over the Logan Grizzlies by two points in overtime. Meanwhile, Pine View fell on the road at top-ranked Juan Diego.

The five Region 9 teams who won on Friday will travel to the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Monday to play in the 4A quarterfinals. Monday’s four winners will then play in Tuesday’s semifinals, with the championship game scheduled for Wednesday. Click here for full bracket and schedule.

Here are recaps from Friday night’s action.

No. 4 Desert Hills 71, No. 13 Cedar Valley 50

The Thunder tightened up defensively after the first quarter and held Cedar Valley scoreless for more than 10 minutes in the middle of the game to pull away.

The Aviators matched the Thunder blow-for-blow early, playing to a 16-16 tie at the first horn and had a lead late in the frame.

Cedar Valley basketball at Desert Hills High School, 4A state playoffs, St. George, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Desert Hills emphasized a full-court press in the second quarter and it completely stifled Cedar Valley. The Aviators sat on 29 points for the majority of both the second and third quarters as Desert Hills ran their scoring up into the 50s, allowing it to move to its bench players with more than 10 minutes left in the game. The Aviators struggled to set up offensively and even tried some deep, half court passes on inbounds to get their system going, but to no avail.

“We knew they wanted to control the tempo and we wanted to force them to play to where they weren’t comfortable,” Desert Hills head coach Chris Allred said. “In the first quarter, we just didn’t do a good job of pressuring them. Once we changed that, once we kind of forced our will defensively, then that’s kind of when we got going and made a run.”

Justin Judkins was a key player for the Thunder, leading the game with 19 points, 12 of which came in the second quarter. Judkins factored heavily into the successful press and made an impact on both sides of the court.

Reggie Newby scored 17 for Desert Hills as well on five 3-pointers. All of his points came in the first half. Peyton Holmes and Preston VanderMyde each had 11.

The Thunder advance to face No. 5 seed Sky View in the 4A quarterfinals Monday morning in Richfield, with tipoff scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

No. 6 Cedar 65, No. 11 Green Canyon 48

At Cedar, the Reds started off slowly against Green Canyon, scoring just eight points in the first quarter to the take an 8-5 lead. Dallin Grant scored Cedar’s first bucket, after which Treyton Tebbs and Zab Santana each made a 3-pointer to account for the first quarter scoring.

Green Canyon at Cedar, 4A boys basketball playoffs, Cedar City, Utah. Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar then went on a 15-2 run to start the second quarter, eventually extending the lead to 20 points at halftime, 33-13.

The Reds managed to keep a double-digit lead throughout the second half, withstanding a couple late rallies by the Wolves. Cedar’s lead still stood at 20 until Green Canyon swished one last trey at the buzzer.

Tebbs finished with a game-high 15 points, while Santana added 14 and Grant made 11.

Leading the scoring for Green Canyon was Jared Anderson with 14 points, with Brady Smith adding 13.

Cedar next plays Region 9 rival Crimson Cliffs, the 4A tournament’s No. 3 seed, in the quarterfinals in Richfield on Monday at 2:30 p.m.

— written by Jeff Richards

No. 2 Dixie 80, No. 15 Bear River 49

The Flyers defense helped them build out a 25-8 lead after the first quarter and Dixie never looked back from there. 

Bear River at Dixie, 4A boys basketball playoffs, St. George, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

Carson Forsey scored 20 points to lead the game, with Isaac Finlinson tallying 19 right behind him. Alessio DeHart scored 10 and Ethan Bennett scored nine as 11 Flyers found the scoresheet.

The Bears went toe-to-toe with Dixie in the second quarter as both teams scored 16, but the Flyers won each of the other three quarters by a minimum of five points.

The Flyers return to the quarterfinal round in their quest for a back-to-back championship.

The Flyers advance to play No. 7 seed Ridgeline at 12:50 p.m. Monday, at the 4A quarterfinals in Richfield.

No. 1 Juan Diego 72, No. 16 Pine View 39

The Panthers struggled to score early and were overmatched on the road. Pine View scored four points in the first quarter and nine in the second, trailing by 25 at halftime.

Benson Shepherd and Joshua Bice each scored nine to lead Pine View. Shepherd hit a trio of 3-pointers in the loss.

Pine View’s season ends with a 6-16 record. It finished sixth in the Region 9 regular season.

No. 3 Crimson Cliffs 74, No. 14 Tooele 53

Trei Rockhill did Trei Rockhill things to set the tone early and everything else fell into place for Crimson in its first home playoff game in program history.

Tooele at Crimson Cliffs, 4A boys basketball playoffs, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Rockhill landed from downtown four times in the first quarter and had 14 points total in the frame, guiding the Mustangs to a 25-17 lead at the first intermission. 

Tooele’s Justin Rogers kept it in the game early, scoring nine points in the first quarter and leading the game with 23 points. 

“We had our hands full with Justin Rogers but were able to do a better job in the second half and extend our lead,” Crimson Cliffs head coach Kasey Winters said. “I thought our guys put together a solid game in our most important game of the season.”

On top of Rockhill’s 20 points, the rest of the usual suspects also had productive games for Crimson. Hudson Hawes scored 14, Cole Sampson scored 13 and Brock Felder scored 10. Jordan Eaton scored six but was “fantastic” on defense according to Winters, playing a pivotal role in the backcourt. 

The Mustangs face Cedar in the quarterfinals, a team they beat by five and lost to by two in the regular season and played to a tie in the Region 9 standings. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

No. 8 Snow Canyon 67, No. 9 Logan 65 (OT)

The Warriors defended the Jungle from a resilient comeback attempt by Logan that forced overtime. 

Snow Canyon controlled the game through the first three quarters, leading by 18 at the end of the third quarter, 47-29. The Warriors’ defense was dominant and they were scoring. But Logan came storming back in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 53 on a Jadin Penigar 3-pointer with 45 seconds left. The score held there into overtime, with Logan outpacing Snow Canyon in the fourth, 24-6. 

In overtime, Snow Canyon jumped out to a quick lead after Lincoln Polatis dished a behind-the-back pass to Brenton Childs in the post, setting up an uncontested shot. Polatis swished a 3-pointer shortly after and gave the Warriors a five-point edge less than a minute into overtime. Blake Munson hit a pair of free throws at the 2:31 mark and the lead was up to seven. Logan battled back with a pair of free throws of their own on top of a 3-pointer in the next 45 seconds to pull back within two again.

Polatis countered with another trey, to which Penigar crashed the post, hit the layup and drew the foul, sinking the free throw to pull once again within two. After Isaac Lyon missed on a pair of crucial free throws, Logan landed one and was within one point with 43 seconds left. Munson landed a one-pointer to get back up two and Logan attempted an ill-advised 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, which was deflected out of bounds and turned over to Snow Canyon.

Lyon earned some redemption by hitting a free throw after taking the time management foul from Logan, making it a three-point game and forcing Logan to shoot from the arc. Munson was fouled again and hit both of his from the line to make it a two-possession game with just a few seconds remaining. Penigar hit a deep three before the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough to draw even.

The Warriors landed 10 shots total from the arc, three each from Polatis, Lyon and Walker Morrison. Munson, who had the other one, led the Warriors with 12 points. Polatis and Morrison each had 11 and Lyon finished with 10. Penigar hit five 3-pointers alone and led the game with 25 points.

Snow Canyon advances to take on No. 1 Juan Diego in Monday’s quarterfinals, with tipoff scheduled for 11:10 a.m.

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

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