ST. GEORGE — The boys basketball team from Pine View High School played its first game of the season Tuesday night, and judging from the outcome, fans are in for a lot of excitement as action heats up on the hardwood.
The Panthers got a game-high 19 points from Bensen Shepherd and outscored Canyon View 5-1 in the overtime session to secure a 66-62 victory at home.
“Just hustling and hard work,” Shepherd told St. George News after the win. “We got a lot of guards, so we have to get up and press and go as hard as we can all game.”
The contest was hard fought throughout as Canyon View led 19-15 after the first quarter.
Pine View took leads at halftime and before the fourth quarter, but the Falcons kept it close and forced the overtime session in a game that was ultimately decided from the free-throw line.
“We hope to get some bigger wins, but we’re not afraid of overtime,” Shepherd said. “We’re not afraid of close games.”
Shepherd started off strong with a jumper and a drive to the hoop early in the game, but the Falcons countered with two 3-pointers from Jace Farrow and a 3-point play from Cole Springer and Canyon View won the first quarter.
“They kept coming, they played great,” Pine View coach Ryan Eves said about the Falcons. “So it was a fun game. Good for us just to win a tough game, nothing wrong with that.”
The home team took a 25-24 lead after two quarters and led 40-36 going into the fourth.
Ruston Shaw heated up for the Panthers late in the second, hitting back-to-back buckets to propel Pine View to the lead. Shaw finished the game with 12 points.
Canyon View rallied in the fourth quarter. The key moment in the game came at the 2:09 mark, when a contentious foul call against the Panthers led to Eves getting a technical.
“We got a couple tough calls going our way, but I put us in a bad spot with that technical,” Eves said. “But these guys battled like I knew they would. This is a tough, physical group of great kids.”
David Evans hit three free throws from the original foul call, Andrew Barnes sank both technical foul shots, and Farrow netted another free throw on the ensuing Canyon View possession, turning what was a 54-51 deficit into a 57-54 Falcons lead.
But Shepherd answered in the last minute with a 3-point play and two free throws to give Pine View the lead back at 61-60 with 15.8 seconds left in regulation.
Barnes was fouled on Canyon View’s last possession, and he made 1-of-2 free throws to force the overtime session at 61-61.
The extra four minutes were scoreless until the very end, when Shepherd and Turner Williams hit two quick buckets back-to-back to secure the win.
The Panthers (1-0) shot 21-of-31 from the foul line in the victory.
Barnes led Canyon View with 18 points while Evans threw in 17. Canyon View slipped to 1-2 to start off the season and shot 20-of-30 from the charity stripe in defeat.
Canyon View is at Desert Hills on Dec. 8 while Pine View next plays Thursday night on the road against Mountain Crest.
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