The rubber match – and the state championship – goes to the Snow Canyon Warriors.
Snow Canyon rode some fourth quarter momentum and an unlikely hero to the 4A State Championship with a 50-41 victory over Dixie High School Wednesday night at Dixie State’s Burns Arena.
“Zach Call is a kid who just does whatever we ask of him,” said Snow Canyon head coach Doug Meacham. “He came into the game and injected us with some much needed energy. He made some plays and helped us win the game. He’s done that all year long.”
The Warriors had their usual stars – center Lyman Simmons, athletic guard Owen Mackay and 3-point sharpshooter Bowen Hammer — but it was Call that provided a key two minute burst of energy just when Snow Canyon needed it most.
Dixie trailed most of the game, but went on a run late in the third quarter and took a two-point lead at 26-24.
In came Call, who played in-your-face defense, ran the floor and scored eight points in two minutes. Bronson Barben had just put Dixie ahead, but Call helped the Warriors by forcing turnovers and scoring on three fast break baskets. He also hit two free throws and just like that, Snow Canyon was up 32-26.
“I had a whole bunch of cooped up energy,” Call said. “The starters give us energy and it’s our job as bench players to give them energy when we get the call.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Snow Canyon turned to big guy Simmons to push the lead out to 10 points, prompting Dixie to take a timeout with under four minutes left.
But Dixie fought back by using the full-court press and forcing turnovers. Offensively, Kyle Lemke and Kean Webb helped keep Dixie close.
Lemke scored a couple of baskets and Cam Dyer hit a 3 as Dixie got within 41-38, prompting Meacham to take a time out himself. The break did a world of good for Snow Canyon as the Warriors came out of the timeout and scored seven straight points. Mackay hit a layup and was 5-for-6 from the line late in the game as the lead would push back out to double-digits.
Simmons and Will Warner hit late free throws as well as SCHS iced it from the line.
“This is the best feeling in the world,” Simmons said. “We’ve worked so hard for this. We believed from the beginning.”
The Warriors got 17 from the sophomore Mackay and 12 from the junior Simmons in improving to 23-2 on the year. SCHS made 13 of 16 free throws to clinch it.
Dixie, 19-5, got 13 from Lemke and 10 points from Barben.
Snow Canyon last won the state championship in 2002.
Deseret News 4A Boys All-Tournament Team
MVP — Owen Mackay, Snow Canyon
Lyman Simmons, Snow Canyon
Bowen Hammer, Snow Canyon
Bronson Barben, Dixie
Grant Carter, Dixie
Carter Davis, Sky View