HURRICANE — Too bad Hurricane High School principal Daniel McKeehan can’t suit up for the Tigers.

Hurricane sophomore Quinn Gubler passes against Virgin Valley in a nonconference basketball game, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

For the second time this year, McKeehan sank a half-court, backwards shot and earned his student section some free pizza.

The scene Friday night during halftime of the Tigers game against Virgin Valley turned bedlam when McKeehan stepped to half-court and calmly tossed a two-handed, backwards heave that sailed smoothly through the rim.

It all started when Mountain Mike’s Pizza Hurricane franchisee Nic Lauritzen accepted an Instagram challenge from McKeehan.

McKeehan challenged that if he nailed the half-court backwards bomb, Mountain Mike’s would provide pizza for the Tigers student section before the game. And down it went on the first attempt.

Lauritzen ponied up 40 large pizzas for the Hurricane students before the boys game against Virgin Valley. The pie was still being served when McKeehan sank his miracle shot a second time Friday night, earning another round of Mountain Mike’s Pizza for the student section before the next home girls game.

See the attached video for McKeehan’s reaction.

Hurricane fans were equally delighted by the play of their Tigers, who overcame an eight-point deficit at halftime and rallied to beat their I-15 neighbors from Mesquite, Nevada 69-66.

“Fortunately we were able to get a few shots to fall,” first-year Hurricane head coach Adam Stout told St. George News. “Feels like they were all in and out. Then our guys finally started to rebound a little bit and that allowed us to sneak out the win.”

Hurricane junior Thailand Gubler passes out of a swarm of Virgin Valley defenders in a nonconference basketball game, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Hurricane senior Cayleb Jackman ignited for 26 points to lead the Tigers, most of them seemingly in the fourth quarter. He sank a 3-pointer, had one block and one steal and posted eight rebounds for the winners.

“He didn’t seem very locked in at the beginning but he turned it on when he needed to, and I could tell when he did,” Stout said about Jackman. “Had some energy to him. That was great, came in and obviously won the game for us.”

Other Tigers playing key roles in the victory were RJ Hurst (19 points including five 3-pointers), Houston Homer (eight points) and do-it-all point guard Quinn Gubler, who finished with seven points, a 3-pointer, three rebounds and three assists.

Off to a 3-4 start to the season, Hurricane next plays 3A Delta in the Tigers Den Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

“We got a long ways to go, but yeah, they feel like they can compete in every game,” Stout said. “Some things we got to get better at to make that happen.”

Dixie Flyers

Dixie (5-0) won a weekend tournament at Sky Ridge High School in Lehi and upped its season-opening unbeaten streak to five.

The Flyers dispatched Westlake 75-62 and 5A Herriman 65-49 before facing Region 9 backyard rival Crimson Cliffs in a neutral game for the championship on Saturday.

In the first of what will be at least three matchups this season, Dixie lead the Mustangs 36-23 at halftime and rolled to a 77-62 win behind Kyle Lemke’s 24 points.

Logan Weidauer and Jordan Roberts each threw in 19 points for the Flyers. Lemke was named MVP of the AllState Falcon Classic while Weideauer, Roberts and Breckon Robinson made the All Tournament team.

Dixie next plays on the road at 5A Orem Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

Crimson Cliffs Mustangs

Crimson Cliffs slipped to 3-3 after the loss to Dixie. The Mustangs beat Farmington 71-65 and defeated Copper Hills 77-73 to reach Saturday’s final.

Sean Felts and Scoop Johnson represented the Mustangs on the All Tournament team for their efforts.

Crimson Cliffs next plays Tuesday, Dec. 12 on the road at 3A Manti.

Pine View Panthers

Pine View is also 3-3 after a 1-2 road trip up north against Region 11 teams last weekend.

Pine View fell 79-60 at Logan and lost 66-53 at Bear River. However the Panthers did win, 59-43, at defending 4A state champion Sky View.

Senior Nash Shroeder scored a game-high 22 points in the win over the Bobcats. Trevor Condie chipped in with 13 points for the winners and Griffen Shepherd netted 11 points for the Panthers.

Pine View’s next game is at home Thursday, Dec. 14 against 3A Manti.

Desert Hills Thunder

Desert Hills senior Eli Allred scores in a nonconference basketball win over Sky View, Logan, Utah, Dec. 7, 2023 | Photo courtesy Cache Valley Media Group, St. George News

Desert Hills is the third Region 9 team that is currently 3-3 after also going 1-2 in Region 11 games last weekend.

Like Pine View, Desert Hills lost to Bear River and Ridgeline but beat Sky View 75-64 to come back to St. George at .500.

Eli Allred erupted for 34 points for Desert Hills in the win over Sky View. He had two 3-pointers, two rebounds, two steals and one block for the Thunder. Jackson Holman contributed 17 points for the winners and grabbed seven rebounds.

Desert Hills returns to the floor at home in the Thunder Dome Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. against new 4A opponent Spanish Fork.

Cedar Reds

The Reds are still looking for the right recipe and are 0-6 to start the season.

On a Region 11 road trip last weekend, Cedar lost at Bear River 72-60, at Logan 64-50 and at Sky View 58-56.

Cedar will seek its first win Monday night, Dec. 11 at home against new 4A opponent Mountain View. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m.

Snow Canyon Warriors

Snow Canyon has played the least amount of games here at the start of the season but remains unbeaten at 3-0. The Warriors last played December 7, beating 3A Canyon View 72-57 in the Jungle.

Owen Mackay poured in 22 points for the winners, sinking a 3-pointer to go along with his three rebounds and three assists.

Owen Iloa and Damon Ence threw in 14 points apiece for Snow Canyon and the Warriors combined for 25 rebounds in the victory.

Snow Canyon next plays 4A Cottonwood in the Coach Walker Holiday Classic at Pine View High School, Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.

Follow St. George News Sports and The Fan Sports Network for complete coverage of the Coach Walker Classic, which runs Thursday through Saturday in venues around St. George.

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