ST. GEORGE — With two weeks remaining on the regular season schedule, key matchups this week could go a long way in determining the crowded middle of the pack in Region 9 boys basketball.

Hurricane’s Ethan Staples moves the ball vs. Pine View, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 24, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Snow Canyon and Crimson Cliffs square off Wednesday night. They are currently second and fourth in the standings behind Dixie, which plays on Wednesday night against Hurricane. Third place Pine View, meanwhile, has a bye on Wednesday and then travels to Snow Canyon on Friday.

These are The Fan’s Games of the Week.

Current 4A RPI rankings put Dixie at No. 2 behind Layton Christian, with three Region 9 teams following: Pine View (7th), Snow Canyon (12th) and Crimson Cliffs (13th).

Catch the action on The Fan

If there’s a pivotal matchup, rest assured we’ll bring you not only live coverage but the best after-game reports available. This week, Kaden Foremaster and Ben Lindquist will be behind the mics Wednesday night for Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs.

And on Friday, Foremaster and Connor Collins will have the call for Desert Hills at Hurricane while Devin Dixon and Collins handle Pine View at Snow Canyon.

Check out the St. George News website and app for up-to-date scores, stats and standings as our team of E. George Goold, Jeff Richards and Aaron Crane fan out to cover the Region 9 hardwood.

And weekdays on The Fan, catch Dixon from 7-9 a.m. on The Drive and Foremaster and Mark Musgrave from 4-6 p.m. as they present From The Bleachers.

Who’s got game?

Crimson Cliffs at Snow Canyon

Crimson Cliffs’ Trevor Taylor lets a shot fly against Pine View during a Region 9 boys basketball game St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

At this point, it does not look like either the Warriors or the Mustangs can win the region with Dixie now 7-0 and undefeated. In fact, three of the Mustangs’ eight losses this season have come from the Flyers.

The good news is Crimson was only down by one going into the fourth quarter last week. The surging play of Sean Felts has been fun to watch his last three games as he’s scored 39, 35 and 27 points.

The last time these two teams collided, the Warriors got a game-winner from Owen Mackay, so Crimson is looking forward to the rematch at home.

Watch for Trey Kelsh and Mackay Lindquist to be a spark for each team in this contest. The Battle of the Bigs will be fun in this one too as Carter Campbell and Owen Iloa will have their hands full with Felts.

Hurricane vs. Desert Hills

The Thunder are coming off last week’s split with a loss to Snow Canyon and a win over Pine View. And the Thunder can’t sleep on the Tigers who are hungry for their first Region 9 win.

Both these teams could be getting a boost to the lineup as Jackson Holman hopes to be back soon and Cayleb Jackman returned last Friday against Cedar. Jackman poses a size problem for the Thunder, Holman is one of the most dangerous shooters in Region 9.

Snow Canyon  vs Pine View

Snow Canyon’s Damon Ence (3) attacks the rim against Pine View in a Region 9 boys basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 10, 2023 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

The host Panthers are sitting at No. 7 in the RPI rankings, and a win strengthens their chances. Meanwhile, the Warriors sit at 12th and a win here should boost their RPI as well.

Both first-year head coaches Amico and Ball have impressed this season, and they know the value of a bye followed by a home game in the postseason.

The Jungle will be rocking for this one and Nash Schroeder and Owen Mackay is the matchup within the matchup. But Griffin Shepard is closing in on 1,000 career points; if he has a big week, he could get it. Expect this one to be settled late in the fourth quarter in what could be a Region 9 instant classic.

— Compiled by Devin Dixon

Scorebook stat leaders 

Region 9 has four scorers in the top 10 in the 4A ranking as follows: 1. Owen Mackay, Snow Canyon, 23.5 points per game; 4. Kyle Lemke, Dixie, 21.3; 5. Sean Felts, Crimson Cliffs, 20.8; 7. Eli Allred, Desert Hills, 18.1.
Dixie’s Jordan Roberts leads the entire state with 11.7 assists per game.
Hurricane’s Cayleb Jackman leads the entire state with 4.9 blocks per game.

Region 9 boys basketball schedule

Wednesday, Jan. 31

Dixie at Hurricane
Desert Hills at Cedar
Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs

Friday, Feb. 2

Pine View at Snow Canyon
Desert Hills at Hurricane
Cedar City at Crimson Cliffs

Region 9 boys basketball standings (overall, region):

Dixie (16-3, 7-0)
Snow Canyon (10-6, 4-2)
Pine View (12-6, 4-3)
Crimson Cliffs (9-8, 4-3)
Desert Hills (10-8, 3-4)
Cedar (4-14, 2-5)
Hurricane (5-13, 0-7)

Click here to view last Friday’s recap.

Beyond Region 9

Key games this week in 2A Region 18 include Beaver at Kanab and South Sevier at Enterprise on Wednesday, and Kanab at Enterprise on Friday. South Sevier (15-5, 8-1) leads the region, followed by Enterprise (14-5, 7-1), Kanab (14-5, 6-2 and Beaver (9-7, 5-3).

Canyon View (11-7, 6-4), which is tied for third with Emery (14-5, 6-40 in 3A Region 12 behind Manti (15-5, 8-2) and Richfield (11-7, 7-3), hosts Emery on Friday.

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