Region 9 boys basketball: Dixie challenged at home; Desert Hills, Cedar also win

Crimson Cliffs' Sean Felts (22) scores against Dixie's Kyle Lemke (12) in a Region 9 boys basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — For three quarters Friday night, it looked like Dixie was in prime shape for an upset.

But the Flyers went back to their high-flying ways in the fourth quarter and pulled out another big win at home.

Also in Region 9 boys basketball action Friday night, Desert Hills defended home court and walked away with a much needed win while Cedar got all the pieces to fit together in its most convincing victory of the year.

Snow Canyon had a bye.

Dixie 71, Crimson Cliffs 60

The third matchup of the season between these crosstown rivals didn’t end any differently than the previous two, but the Mustangs sure gave Dixie something to think about should they meet again in the playoffs.

Dixie’s Kyle Lemke (left) works against Crimson Cliffs’ Sean Felts (right) in a Region 9 boys basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

It was a collegiate atmosphere in the Hangar with Dixie’s pep band, two loud student sections and their cheerleaders.

A fast-paced contest saw Dixie jump ahead 18-13 after the first quarter. Crimson never went away, whittling down the deficit to 30-28 by halftime.

The Mustangs attacked the Flyers in the third quarter, twice taking a two-point lead.

Crimson Cliffs was on a roll until Jordan Roberts hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from beyond half court, giving Dixie a 53-52 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

“We had a rough first half, so we just had to bounce back some way,” Roberts told St. George News after the win. “And I thought, why not heave one to give us some momentum. It went in and gave us the momentum we needed and we had a great second half.”

Dixie played their game in the fourth quarter, ratcheting up the defense and forcing Crimson into three consecutive scoreless possessions.

The Flyers scored a couple of buckets in transition, retook the lead and never left any impression that they would lose.

Dixie’s Breckon Robinson (right) works against Crimson Cliffs’ Trevor Taylor (left) in a Region 9 boys basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“It all starts on defense,” Roberts said. “Once we got those three stops we had the momentum and we just dominated from there.”

Much of the game was an entertaining back-and-forth display from the two big men, Crimson’s Sean Felts and Dixie’s Kyle Lemke.

Lemke led all scorers in the contest with 27 points but Felts almost matched him, pouring in 25 for the Mustangs.

Roberts set up Lemke with a bounce-pass for a dunk on Dixie’s last score, capping Lemke’s big night and igniting the home crowd.

“I’ve been doing that with Kyle in practice, throwing it in off the bounce, but I didn’t think I would ever get the opportunity to do it in a game,” Roberts said. “So when that went down it was like a dream come true. That was sweet.”

Logan Weidauer had another big game for Dixie, quietly scoring 18 points including two 3-pointers. Roberts and Breckon Robinson each threw in 12 for the winners.

Crimson was led by Felts’ 25 points. Drake Carroll scored 10 and Trevor Taylor scored eight for the Mustangs.

Desert Hills 55, Pine View 45

Desert Hills’ Mason Rasmussen (0) scores against Pine View in a Region 9 boys basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

The Thunder secured the critical region victory behind Eli Allred’s 17 points.

Allred netted five of those in the first quarter, helping the home team take a 13-11 lead.

Allred sank a 3-pointer and another bucket in the second quarter, but Nash Schroeder scored six of his game-high 19 points in that session as visiting Pine View clung to a 21-20 lead at halftime.

Both teams continued to play strong defense in the low scoring contest. Desert Hills won the third quarter 14-12 and took a 34-33 advantage into the final session.

Mason Rasmussen and Chaz Holbrook both came to life for the Thunder down the stretch. Each scored five points in the final frame to help Desert Hills put the game away with a 21-12 win in the fourth.

Ben Chase sank two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for the winners. Rasmussen netted 11 for the Thunder.

No other Panther besides Schroeder scored in double digits. Griffen Shepherd finished with nine points for the Panthers and Trevor Condie scored six in the setback.

Cedar 77, Hurricane 51

At Hurricane, the Cedar Reds saw all five of their starters score in double figures in a convincing win over the Tigers.

Hurricane High School, Hurricane, Utah, June 7, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Cedar trailed 8-7 early on but finished the first quarter with an 18-4 run to take a 25-12 lead after one period. Five different Reds players scored during that rally.

The Reds kept their feet firmly on the gas during the second quarter, making 13 points in a row during a 15-1 run that gave them a comfortable 40-13 halftime lead.

Hurricane made up for its second-quarter drought by scoring 23 points during the third quarter, yet still trailed Cedar by 20 points at the end of three, 56-36.

The Tigers would get no closer than 17 points the rest of the way as Cedar cruised to an eventual 26-point victory.

“Glad to see our kids come out and play hard early in the game,” Cedar head coach Tyler Monks told St. George News after the game. “We did a great job sharing the basketball and attacking.”

Leading Cedar’s balanced scoring attack was Landon Kreitzer with 20 points, with Tate Stubbs adding 14, JT Jeter scoring 12, Easton Albrecht making 11 and center Taylor Davis adding 10.

In addition, Carson Visser came off the bench to contribute eight points, all in the first half.

“Having all five starters in double digits is a big thing for us because we didn’t rely on one person,” Monks added. “It’s always tough to win on the road in our region and we’re just glad to come out with a win tonight.”

As a team, Cedar shot 90% on free throws (9-of-10). In contrast, Hurricane converted just 15-of-31 free throws (48.4%).

Hurricane’s leading scorer was Brigham Kemp, who came off the bench to score 15 points, 14 of them in the second half. Quinn Gubler added nine points for the Tigers, while big man Cayleb Jackman scored eight.

– written by Jeff Richards

Region 9 boys basketball standings (overall, region):

  1. Dixie (16-3, 7-0)
  2. Snow Canyon (10-6, 4-2)
  3. Pine View (12-6, 4-3)
  4. Crimson Cliffs (9-8, 4-3)
  5. Desert Hills (10-8, 3-4)
  6. Cedar (4-14, 2-5)
  7. Hurricane (5-13, 0-7)

Region 9 boys basketball schedule, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m.:

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

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