Sky View 66, Crimson Cliffs 58
When the 4A brackets came out and Sky View coach Kirk Hillyard saw his team was penciled in for the 9:30 a.m. quarterfinal, he of course thought, “not again.”
Last year the Bobcats had the 9:30 a.m. quarterfinal in Richfield and endured a disastrous second quarter on their way to the 20-point loss to Desert Hills.
Fast forward a year and Sky View found itself playing the early 4A quarterfinal game again, this time even further from home at Dixie State.
Unlike a year ago, though, Hillyard thought his team handled the less-than-ideal scenario much better. No. 4 Sky View used a big second quarter of its own, then held off a fourth-quarter flurry from No. 5 Crimson Cliffs to hold on for the 66-58 victory to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
Sky View led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but Crimson Cliffs fought back and cut it to 59-58 with 1:40 remaining. The Bobcats answered with a key 3-pointer from Carter Davis that pushed the lead back to four and from there they managed to seal the win from the free-throw line.
Davis led Sky View with 19 points, with Logan Deal adding 14 and Tanner Davis chipping in 12.
“We turned the ball over uncharacteristically a few times there in the fourth quarter. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball but we made enough winning plays at the end to get it done,” said Hillyard.
Sky View endured the poor stretch in the fourth quarter thanks in large part to its great second quarter in which it outscored Crimson Cliffs 20-9.
“We pushed the ball. We got the ball out and ran in the second quarter. I thought that was a big key for us, got us a couple of easy baskets, we didn’t haven’t to grind out offense all the time,” said Hillyard.
Crimson Cliffs’ Jordan Eaton scored 25 points to lead all scorers, and came up big in the second half as his team fought back from the big double-digit deficit.
For Sky View, the victory was its fifth straight, which came on the heels of a four-game losing streak in the middle of region play.
“We weren’t playing very good defense during that stretch, doesn’t matter who’s in, whose out, as a team we didn’t play very good defense,” said Hillyard. “We focused on rebounding, keeping guys in front of us and guarding better. In these five wins that we’ve got I thought we defended well.”
Snow Canyon 58, Hurricane 34
Snow Canyon looked every bit the part of the No. 1 seed in its 58-34 quarterfinal win over Hurricane.
After a tight first quarter, the Warriors started to open things up with a strong second quarter and then pulled away for good in the second half by limiting the Warriors to just 15 points.
“Defensively I told them it travels, and I thought we did a better job especially in the second half,” said Doug Meacham.
“We have a deal where if we keep a team under 40 we’re getting donuts for them in the film session. So I’ve got to go get donuts,” added Meacham, who said the preferred donuts for the team are Lin’s Bakery.
This is the eighth time Snow Canyon’s coaches will be buying donuts for the team.
Owen Mackay led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points, while Lyman Simmons added 11 and Walker Morrison 10.
Dixie 41, Cedar City 34
Despite playing an awful half of basketball on Thursday, No. 2 Dixie still somehow found a way to grind out a victory in Thursday’s 4A quarterfinals.
After scoring just nine points in the first half and 20 through the first three quarters, Dixie ratcheted up the execution in the fourth quarter by scoring almost every time it touched the ball on its way to the 41-34 over defending state champion and No. 7 Cedar City.
“Came in at halftime and basically said ‘that’s not us, we’ve got to buy into the Fly family.’ It’s not one individual, we have to have everybody buy into one play at a time instead of winning the quarter or winning the half, and we just started building off of that. And the momentum kind of switched,” said Dixie coach Tyler Roberts.
Grant Carter gave Dixie its first lead of the game at 25-24 early in the fourth quarter on a baseline 3-pointer. From there, both offenses started dialing in the execution with one tie and four lead changes over the next five minutes.
Cedar City cut Dixie’s lead to 36-34 with 59 seconds remaining on a Zeb Santana layup, and after Dixie missed the front end of a 1-and-1, the Reds were in great position to try and tie the game. It never got a shot off as Dixie stole the ball.
Out of the timeout, Roberts ran a set play to get a shot at the rim for big man Kean Webb, which the players executed to perfection leading to a dunk and a 38-34 lead with 20 seconds left to effectively finish off the game.
Carter led Dixie with 14 points, with Jordan Roberts adding a dozen.
Ridgeline 75, Green Canyon 44
Kaden Cox and his Ridgeline teammates were dialed in early in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
Ridgeline made four very quick 3-pointers to start the game — three from Cox — as in a blink it led by a dozen and the onslaught never subsided.
No. 3 Ridgeline added to its lead every quarter as it rolled past No. 6 Green Canyon for the easy 75-44 victory at Dixie State.
Kaden Cox scored 22 points and finished with four 3-pointers to pace the Riverhawks into Friday’s semifinals.
“These kids have been prepared for this for a long time, and we’ve been playing the best basketball we’ve played all year for the past month and a half or so and the kids are really in a good place preparation wise and mindset wise,” said Ridgeline coach Kyle Day.
Cox added to his streak of making at least one 3-pointer every game this year. As a team, Ridgeline finished with eight 3s.
Ridgeline beat Green Canyon by double digits in each of their two region meets, and it raced to a 23-8 lead after the first quarter as history started to repeat itself.
Peyton Knowles added 12 points for Ridgeline, with Jake Smith chipping in with 11.
“I thought we defended really well and set the tone early,” said Day.
“These kids have been hungry for this to get here and have an opportunity to prove themselves so they’re really excited.”