CEDAR CITY — The annual Steve Hodson Cancer Classic basketball tournament got under way on Wednesday with host team Canyon View winning both of its varsity contests.

Canyon View girls vs. Stansbury, Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Not long after Lady Falcons smothered Stansbury 63-8 earlier in the evening, the Canyon View boys outlasted Hurricane 78-74 to cap off a full day’s worth of games.

This year’s tournament has been scaled down from last year, with just eight varsity teams participating (four girls and four boys). Additionally, sub-varsity girls teams from Cedar and Enterprise high schools are taking part.

A total of 16 games took place on Wednesday, nine in Canyon View’s main gym and seven in the adjacent auxiliary gym.

The four varsity contests were staged in the main gym throughout the day, with junior varsity games taking place in between. Sophomore and freshman games were staged in the auxiliary gym (see full schedule here).

The popular invitational tournament is staged annually between Christmas and New Year’s in memory of Steve Hodson, a former basketball coach at Canyon View, Cedar High and Southern Utah University who died of cancer in 2008.

Proceeds from the sale of admission tickets, concessions and other donations go toward financially helping selected individuals in the community who are fighting cancer.

This year’s designated recipient is Michelle Brown, who is battling thyroid cancer. She is the wife of CVHS art teacher and swim coach Kirt Brown. 

Wednesday’s girls varsity games

South Sevier 42, Dixie 26

Dixie girls vs. South Sevier, Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In the first varsity game of the tournament, the South Sevier Rams defeated Dixie 42-26.

Dixie center Kealah “Lala” Faumuina made an inside shot on Dixie’s first possession to give the Flyers an early 2-0 lead. However, the Rams went on to outscore Dixie in each of the four quarters to eventually win by 16. 

Post player Kinley Jensen led the Rams with 14 points, with guard Sydnee Patterson adding 11. Dixie was paced by Faumuina’s 11 points, with Jaycee Bundy adding five.

South Sevier improved to 8-1, while Dixie fell to 5-5.

Canyon View 63, Stansbury 8

Canyon View jumped out to a 19-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a lopsided win over Stansbury. 

Maya Nichols scored 15 points for the Falcons and fellow guard Maylee Spencer added 14, although neither played much in the second half, when the team’s reserve players took over. All 16 players on Canyon View’s roster saw action, with 10 of them scoring.

Canyon View improved its overall season record 5-5, while the Stallions dropped to 1-7.

Wednesday’s boys varsity games

Panguitch 75, Grantsville 73 (OT)

In a tightly contested battle, the Panguitch Bobcats held on to defeat the Grantsville Cowboys in overtime.

Panguitch’s Cache Eyre attempts a shot vs. Grantsville, Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

After trailing 34-30 at halftime, Grantsville outscored Panguitch 19-10 during the third quarter to lead by five heading into the fourth.

Trailing 63-62 with less than 20 seconds left in regulation, Panguitch made a key steal, followed by a fast break during which Daxton Miller was fouled. Miller missed the first free throw but made the second, tying the game 63-63. Grantsville then missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

Panguitch led throughout the 4-minute overtime, taking an eight-point lead with less than one minute left. However, Grantsville hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close within two points. The Bobcats were plagued by poor free throw shooting throughout the game, going 50% overall (18-for-36), including just 2-for-14 down the stretch.  Following two more Panguitch misses from the line, the Cowboys drove down for a potential game-tying shot but missed a layup as time ran out.

Cache Eyre led Panguitch with 27 points and 15 rebounds, with Miller scoring 19 points and Cameron Parkin contributing 13 points.

For the Cowboys, Decker Dzierzon led the way with 16 points. He was one of four Grantsville players who finished with double figures.

Panguitch improved to 10-1 on the season, while Grantsville dropped to 3-5.

Canyon View 78, Hurricane 74

In the final game of the day, host team Canyon View held off a late Hurricane rally to defeat the Tigers by four.

Canyon View boys vs. Hurricane, Steve Hodson Cancer Classic, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon View led 36-31 at halftime, then extended the advantage to 11 points after three quarters.

The Falcons were able to keep their lead at about 8-10 points for most of the fourth period, although Hurricane did chip it down at the end.

Leading the Falcons’ offensive attack with a one-two punch were Carson Miles and Felps Sanders, who scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.

Hurricane was paced by RJ Hurst’s 26 points and seven rebounds, while center Cayleb Jackman added 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Canyon View is now 5-3, while Hurricane is 4-6

2023 Hodson Cancer Classic

Thursday’s varsity games

(Girls) Dixie vs. Stansbury, 11 a.m.
(Boys) Hurricane vs. Panguitch, 2 p.m.
(Girls) Canyon View vs. South Sevier, 5 p.m.
(Boys) Canyon View vs. Grantsville, 8 p.m.

Friday’s varsity games

(Girls) South Sevier vs. Stansbury, 9:30 a.m.
(Boys) Hurricane vs. Grantsville, 12:30 p.m.
(Girls) Canyon View vs. Dixie, 5 p.m.
(Boys) Canyon View vs. Panguitch, 8 p.m.

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