ST. GEORGE — The high school 4A girls basketball season is off to a fast start and local teams are figuring out their identities on the hardwood.

Below are a couple of box scores and an early-season glance at Region 9 teams.

Desert Hills 52, Springville 31

The Thunder (1-2) enjoyed home-court advantage Dec. 1 and rolled to a 20-4 lead after one quarter. They upped the advantage to 27-13 at halftime and never looked back against the Red Devils.

“Our big thing was to come out focused and key on defense,” head coach Ron Denos, in his 10th year at Desert Hills, told St. George News.

Desert Hills senior Jenna Brown drives against Springville in a non-region girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“They got after it defensively and that turned it on offensively for us,” Denos added. “We had a few flaws tonight offensively but overall I thought our defense was pretty solid.”

Senior Jenna Brown led all scorers with 16 points for Desert Hills. Hannah Heaton scored 15 and Ashtin Hansen netted 10 for the winners.

Desert Hills isn’t scheduled for another game until Dec. 12 when they open Region 9 play against Pine View at home.

“I want to see them come out focused and ready to play each game,” Denos said. “I want to improve each game. We do have a lot of seniors this year. Last year was a lot of learning.

“Now it’s just a matter of putting everything together and fine-tuning some stuff,” he added. “They need to come out with confidence and believe in each other. I’m excited for this year.”

Snow Canyon 58, Olympus 56

The Warriors (3-1) survived a scoring freeze in the third quarter and held on to defeat the Titans in a nailbiter Dec. 1.

After racing to a 39-22 lead at halftime, Snow Canyon was shut down to the tune of a 5-point third quarter.

Olympus went on to win the fourth quarter 16-14 but ran out of time after a Titans 3-point buzzer-beater ended the contest.

“First half, yeah, we looked really good,” first-year Snow Canyon head coach Sue Hoskins told St. George News.

“We anticipated at some point a team is going to key in on Olivia Hamlin,” Hoskins said. “I thought the girls adjusted really well once they started to move the ball, kids that had to step up took great shots.”

Snow Canyon junior Olivia Hamlin goes up for two against Olympus in a non-region girls basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Hamlin, the 5-foot-9 junior scoring machine that has led Snow Canyon the past two seasons, sank a 3-pointer and scored 26 points to pace the Warriors.

But Olympus clamped down on Hamlin in the third quarter and the Titans would not go away, down 44-40 going into the final session.

“When her teammates get used to the fact that she (Hamlin) is going to get keyed on in different ways, they will adjust,” Hoskins said. “We haven’t been in a lot of those situations yet, but as the season goes on and we get put in that situation, I know that the other kids will step up.”

Kelly Howard backed up Hamlin with 12 points, including a 3-pointer. And junior guard Joey Jensen scored nine points along with two huge 3-pointers to help the Warriors win.

Snow Canyon went undefeated in region play last year (12-0) and finished 18-6 overall.

The Warriors fell in the 4A state semifinals to Sky View, which lost in the championship game to undefeated state champion Ridgeline (25-0). 

Snow Canyon next plays at home Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. against Canyon View.

A couple of the squads in Region 9 had more active pre-region schedules, led by the Hurricane Tigers. 

Hurricane scored 12 points in the fourth quarter at home Dec. 2 against Olympus, fueling a 46-45 win.

The Tigers improved to 4-2 overall and next play Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at home against Enterprise.

Cedar (3-1) beat Canyon View, Carbon and North Sanpete before falling 38-45 against Beaver on Nov. 30.

The Reds next play Dec. 7 at Timpanogos.

Crimson Cliffs (2-4) beat Delta 53-42 on Dec. 2. The Mustangs next play at home Dec. 7 at 8:30 p.m. against Hunter.

Pine View is off to a 1-2 start, losing 31-46 at Juab on Nov. 30. The Panthers next play at home against Hillcrest Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.

Dixie is 1-1 after beating East and falling to Kirtland Central (New Mexico). The Flyers next travel down I-15 to Nevada for a tipoff against Moapa Valley Dec. 7.

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