Snow Canyon 47, Sky View 45
Twenty years since winnings its only state championship in school history, Snow Canyon will finally get a chance to play for another.
Lyman Simmons scored on a rebound-putback with three seconds remaining following a clutch steal by Will Warner as Snow Canyon stunned Sky View 47-45 in a wild 4A semifinal at Dixie State on Tuesday night.
Momentum swung wildly in the fourth quarter, no more so than with 10.5 seconds left when Snow Canyon’s bench was called for technical foul for running onto the court mistakenly thinking a timeout had been called after Kaleb Anderson-Foreman made two free throws to give Snow Canyon the 45-43 lead.
Sky View’s Hayden Howell promptly tied the game with the technical free throws, which gave the Bobcats a chance to win it coming out of a timeout.
Snow Canyon guard Will Warner had other ideas.
First, a quick flashback to Dec. 30 in the Riverton Holiday Tournament championship game. In that game, Snow Canyon and Kearns were tied 51-51, but Warner stole the inbounds pass and drove in the for the game-winning layup.
In almost an identical scenario on Tuesday night, Warner recognized Sky View trying to loft an inbounds pass and he leapt to stab it first. This time, however, he didn’t have a clear path forward for a layup and instead kicked it back to teammate Bowen Hammer.
Hammer’s hot shooting in the third quarter — 4 for 4 on 3-pointers — had helped Snow Canyon shoot its way back into the game after a very slow start, so Hammer was the perfect player to try and bury the game winner. He airballed the runner though. No problem. Simmons was in perfect position to corral the rebound and put it back in off the glass.
Sky View was out of timeouts and delayed getting the inbounds pass in as time expired.
“As soon as I saw Will would get the steal a shot was going to go up so I just ran straight to the rim, it fell right to me and I put it in,” said Simmons.
As for the steal, Warner used past experience put himself in a position to be successful.
“They kind of lofted it up there a little bit. Against Kearns earlier in the season the same thing happened where they did it and lofted it and I went and got it, so I was like I’m going to get it. I didn’t want to end the game there,” said Warner, who only scored two points on the night.
Snow Canyon coach Doug Meacham summed it up best, “I love our guys’ refusal to lose.”
Watch how @SCwarriorsports just beat Sky View in 4A semis. Game was tied on the inbounds. Great steal by Will Warner, and then game-winning rebound outback by Lyman Simmons. pic.twitter.com/YMINkrwXOk— James Edward (@DNewsPreps) February 23, 2022
Snow Canyon will play in the state championship game on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Dixie.
Since its last title game appearance in 2002, Snow Canyon has appeared in just two semifinal games, losing both in 2013 and 2014.
Snow Canyon and Sky View came into the game as two of the highest scoring teams in 4A, but the first half didn’t play out that way as Sky View led 19-14 at the break. It was their lowest-scoring first half of the season for both teams.
“They did a good job of taking away the spots where we wanted to attack. Their length bothered us, and I think it was a credit to how they were guarding us to be honest,” said Meacham.
Both offenses started warming up in the third quarter though, with Hammer making four 3s in the quarter for Snow Canyon which took a 34-32 lead into the fourth.
In the final quarter there were three ties and five lead changes with neither team leading by more than three points.
Hammer led Snow Canyon in scoring with 17 points, while Simmons finished with a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Carter Davis led Sky View with 14 points in the heartbreaking loss.
Dixie 56, Ridgeline 47
No. 2 Dixie held No. 3 Ridgeline to one of its lowest offensive outputs of the season on Tuesday night as the Flyers booked their place in the 4A state championship and a grudge match with top seed Snow Canyon.
Dixie built an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter against Ridgeline, gave it almost all away, and then quickly regained it on its way to the 56-47 semifinal win at Dixie State.
Dixie will meet region rival Snow Canyon in the 4A championship Saturday night at 6 p.m. The teams split the season series in tight defensive games in which neither team scored above 49 points.
“What a great opportunity. To be able to have it here in Southern Utah and to have two Southern Utah teams what a great opportunity for the guys. They’ll remember that for the rest of their lives,” said Dixie coach Tyler Roberts.
Early on, Ridgeline looked like it might be the team playing in the championship as Carson Cox came out red hot making three 3-pointers, including a three-quarter court shot that gave Ridgeline the 18-12 lead.
Over the next two quarters, the Riverhawks’ offense virtually vanished as it scored just 11 points over the next two quarters with Dixie taking a 39-29 lead into the fourth.
With the double digit lead, Dixie started to take the air out of the ball, but it slowly backfired as a 3-pointer by Cox and then a 3-point play by Kaden Cox helped Ridgeline cut the lead to 40-39 with 4:26 remaining.
As quickly as Dixie gave the lead away, it ripped off a 9-0 run to effectively put the game away.
“We stopped attacking, which is probably my fault, but we still want to attack out of our spread game but we were just really play to waste time. We still needed to attack out of it, but a great learning experience for coaches and players,” said Roberts.
Kyle Lemke’s layup helped Dixie go back ahead 42-39, and then it slowly crept up from there.
Bronson Barben led Dixie with 18 points, with Grant Carter chipping in with 16.
Carson Cox led Ridgeline with 18 points on five 3-pointers in the loss.