ST. GEORGE — Day 2 of the Coach Walker Classic boys basketball tournament had a little bit of everything for local hoops fans.
Region 9 teams in the tournament went 2-3 on the day as the competitive field of 19 teams from around Utah led to some close contests on the hardwood.
And there was a little bit of an old-fashioned controversial ending thrown in there during the nightcap at Washington Fields.
Meanwhile, the two Region 9 teams not playing in the tournament, Hurricane and Dixie, both posted big wins.
Following are recaps of the seven Region 9 boys basketball games from Friday night, starting with the five participating in the Coach Walker Classic in St. George.
Manti 72, Cedar 67
The only 3A team in the tournament field, Manti, broke open a close game in third quarter behind Austin Thomas and his seven 3-pointers.
Cedar’s Easton Albrecht shoots against Manti in a Coach Walker Classic basketball game, Washington, Utah, Dec. 15, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
“We’re just really working on closing games,” Manti coach Devin Shakespear told St. George News after the Templars improved to 6-3 on the season. “Our guys are making smarter decisions, getting more confident and closing out quarters and closing out games. That’s a good sign for us.”
The defending 3A state champions lost by nine against Pine View after falling to Crimson Cliffs by three earlier this week.
“We love coming down here, being the only 3A school every year,” Shakespear said. “It gives our guys kind of that chip to look for and say hey, let’s go out and show what we’re capable of doing. We get to see good opponents and find out more of our weaknesses to become better.”
Cedar (1-8) started strong, taking leads of 13-10 after the first quarter and 27-26 at halftime before Thomas got hot in the third.
“We just didn’t close out the shooters,” Cedar coach Tyler Monks said. “We had a good lead coming out of half, and they punched us in the mouth and got some good looks and got rolling and we didn’t adjust.”
Landon Kreitzer poured in a game-high 28 points including two 3-pointers to lead the Reds.
“Landon has put in a lot of work, he’s played for us since he was a sophomore,” Monks said. “He’s just put in a lot of time and he’s earned it and he deserves it and our kids know that.”
Easton Albrecht chipped in with 12 points for Cedar’s cause. Seven other Reds scored at least a bucket in the setback.
“We’re learning. We’ve got a lot of new pieces and a lot of new players that have never played together,” Monks said. “We’re just trying to figure it out one game at a time and it’s been a tough preseason schedule.”
Riverton 55, Crimson Cliffs 54
Crimson’s Trevor Taylor drives against Riverton in a Coach Walker Classic basketball game, Washington, Utah, Dec. 15, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
The Mustangs (4-4) were behind all game before launching a furious fourth quarter rally.
Crimson had the ball and a one-point lead with 20 seconds left (see attached video). A controversial shot clock violation was called against the Mustangs, giving the ball back to the Silverwolves with six seconds remaining.
Evan Berrett collected the inbounds pass, ran the length of the floor and dropped in a teardrop bucket that provided the final margin.
Crimson managed a last-ditch heave with .8 seconds remaining but Riverton (4-1) held on to win. Berrett lead all scorers with 21 points in the victory for the Silverwolves.
Sean Felts put in a gutsy 19 points for the Mustangs while Drake Carroll netted 14 in the setback.
Desert Hills 65, Logan 54
The Thunder (5-3) never trailed against Region 11’s Bears, jumping to 26-21 lead at halftime and finishing the deal with a strong second half.
Jackson Holman paced the Thunder attack with 21 points including three 3-pointers. Ben Chase continued his outstanding tournament play with 17 points and six rebounds for the winners.
Chaz Holbrook netted eight points and Eli Allred scored seven for Desert Hills in the winning effort.
Pine View 84, Westlake 75
Classic host Pine View (5-3) led wire-to-wire and secured the high-scoring victory with a 30-point effort in the fourth quarter.
Leading scorer Nash Schroeder paced the Panthers again, tossing in a game-high 31 points including five 3-pointers. Teammate Griffen Shepherd scored 22 points and sank a 3 to back up Schroeder’s big night.
Trevor Condie (15 points) and Adam Moore (10 points) hit the double-digit mark for the winners and Caleb Schmitt rounded out Pine View’s scoresheet with six points off of two 3-pointers.
Maple Mountain 60, Snow Canyon 53
The Warriors (3-2) dropped their second consecutive contest while star Owen Mackay recovered from an injury suffered in practice before the tournament.
Maple Mountain enjoyed a significant free throw advantage in the win as the Golden Eagles went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe. Snow Canyon shot 2-for-4 from the free throw line in the defeat.
Snow Canyon’s Drey Smith led all scorers in the game with 18 points off of six 3-pointers.
The Warriors had leads of 26-23 at halftime and 47-43 going into the fourth quarter, but Maple Mountain dominated for a 17-6 effort in that final session to take the game.
Hurricane 72, Delta 66
At home in the Tigers Den, Hurricane (4-4) beat the 3A Rabbits after RJ Hurst exploded for 26 points and eight rebounds. He also finished with a 3-pointer, two assists and two steals for the victorious Tigers.
The Tigers overcame a 23-16 first-quarter deficit to take a 36-35 advantage at halftime. Hurricane kept the pedal down and took the third frame 23-14 before holding on in the fourth to edge Delta.
Cayleb Jackman posted a double-double in the win with 21 points and 11 boards for the Tigers while Brigham Kemp posted 10 points and four assists for the winners.
Dixie 74, Timpview 73 OT
The game of the night was on the road at 5A Timpview, where Dixie improved to 6-1 after a thrilling win that needed over time to decide.
Senior Kyle Lemke led the winning effort with 25 points for the Flyers, nine of which he scored in the critical OT session.
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