Region 10 boys basketball: Snow Canyon, Crimson Cliffs, Hurricane open region slate with wins

ST. GEORGE — Six Region 10 boys basketball teams met in three games on the hardwood around St. George on Wednesday night.

At Snow Canyon, the Warriors overcame a first-quarter deficit to knock off Cedar, Hurricane came away from Pine View with a gritty road victory and Crimson Cliffs got a big home win over Desert Hills to start off Region 10 hoops action.

Snow Canyon 62, Cedar 57

Snow Canyon held on to beat defending 4A state champion Cedar 62-57 Wednesday night in front of a raucous Warriors student section. 

Cedar came out of the gate on fire, hitting shots and taking a 17-11 lead after the first quarter.

The Snow Canyon student section crowd, clad all in white, made its presence known throughout the contest. It got stoked up to a frenzy when the Warriors scored the last 10 points of the second quarter and took a 28-25 lead into halftime.

“We got the ball moving early and got open shots,” Snow Canyon junior Bowen Hammer told St. George News. “Just moved the ball around and got the ball into the shooters’ hands.”

Snow Canyon and Cedar play in a Region 10 basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

That description sounds a lot easier than it ended up being for the Warriors as every time Snow Canyon threatened to pull away, Cedar got back into the game and kept it close until the end.

A combination of cold shooting and consecutive 3-pointers by the Warriors left Cedar trailing 46-36 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Zab Santana scored two free throws for Cedar to open the frame, then Owen Mackay drove to the hoop and scored and Lyman Simmons stuffed home a rebound and Snow Canyon looked comfortably ahead at 50-38.

Another bucket by Mackay pushed Snow Canyon’s lead to 56-41 with 5:14 left in the game.

Cedar mounted a comeback. Santana had back-to-back buckets, Aaron Munson scored and Boston Garrett got an assist from Munson as the Reds cut the lead to 58-49 at the 2:35 mark.

Santana hit a free throw to get Cedar within seven points with 38.6 seconds left, after which Ty Harrison’s layup shaved the Snow Canyon lead to five at 59-54.

Santana came back down the floor and hit a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left, bringing the tally to 60-57 for the Warriors with 6.6 seconds remaining.

That’s when Hammer was fouled and calmly went to the free throw line for Snow Canyon with 4.9 seconds left on the clock.

“I’ve been preparing for this moment my whole life,” Hammer said. “I’m ready to make those free throws. Felt good.”

Snow Canyon and Cedar play in a Region 10 basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Hammer sank them both to provide the final margin. Hammer led all scorers in the contest with 29 points, including six 3-pointers. Simmons had 15 and Mackay contributed 8 points for the winners.

Snow Canyon improved to 4-0 early in the season and opened Region 10 play at 1-0.

There are 14 Warriors on the roster listed at 6-feet or taller, including the 6-foot-9 Simmons and and 6-foot-7 Carter Campbell. Hammer is 6-foot-5 and Mackay is 6-foot-4. 

“Our seniors are doing a great job leading everybody,” Hammer said. “They bring the effort and the energy to practice every day. They make us better. They’re the leaders of this team.”

Meanwhile, Cedar fell to 3-4 overall and 0-1 to start Region 10 play. Santana led the Reds with 23 points, while Harrison threw in 14 points and Munson added 10 for Cedar in defeat.

Hurricane 48, Pine View 40

At Pine View, the Hurricane Tigers built a big first-half lead, then held off a furious second-half rally by the Panthers to win the Region 10 opener, 48-40.

Pine View’s Bensen Shepherd drained a 3-pointer on the team’s first possession of the game, giving the Panthers an early 3-2 lead. However, the Panthers went through a cold spell after that, as Hurricane gradually built a 16-5 lead after one quarter. The Tigers’ run continued for much of the second quarter until Pine View finally broke the ice with a pair of free throws with two minutes left to make it 23-7. 

Hurricane led 25-11 at halftime, but the Panthers roared to life in the third, outscoring the Tigers 14-5 that period to narrow the deficit to five points, 30-25.

Hurricane boys basketball at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2021 | Screenshot image courtesy of Pine View High YouTube channel, St. George News

Pine View continued to rally during the fourth quarter, managing to get within two points on two different occasions. However, Hurricane sank enough free throws down the stretch, along with a couple of timely treys, to keep the Panthers at bay.

Carter Slack paced Hurricane with 15 points, while teammate Weston Larsen added 12 points, all on 3-pointers (he was 4-of-7 from behind the arc). Big man Kruz Gardner added eight points and collected a team-high 12 rebounds.

The Panthers were led by Nash Schroeder’s 16 points, while Bensen Shepherd added eight and Griffen Shepherd scored seven.

Hurricane improved to 4-2 overall, 1-0 in region play with the win, while Pine View dropped to 3-4 and 0-1.

The Panthers have a busy weekend coming up, as Pine View, along with Crimson Cliffs, is co-hosting the Coach Walker Classic invitational tournament featuring a dozen high school teams, including some subvarsity contests, taking place from Thursday through Saturday.

Following the various nonregion games over the holiday break, the Region 10 regular season will resume the first week of January.

— written by Jeff Richards

Crimson Cliffs 64, Desert Hills 49

Crimson Cliffs took a big lead to open the game and never looked back on its home floor, beating Desert Hills 64-49.

The Mustangs led 19-10 after one quarter and 33-19 at halftime.

Desert Hills boys basketball at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Dec. 15, 2021 | Photo by Mark Musgrave, St. George News

Hudson Hawes led Crimson Cliffs scorers with 20 points, including three 3-pointers. Jackson McKone scored 16 and Travis Matthews netted 12 points for the winners.

Crimson Cliffs upped its advantage to 49-38 at the end of the third quarter.

The Mustangs took advantage of a free throw disparity, hitting 15-of-19 from the line in the win. Desert Hills made 4-of-5 free throw attempts.

The Thunder was led in scoring by Lincoln Holmes and his 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Boston Holbrook contributed 14 points in the defeat, which dropped Desert Hills to 2-5, 0-1 to start the season.

Meanwhile, Crimson Cliffs improved to 5-2, 1-0 after the victory.

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