ST. GEORGE — Region 9’s girls basketball teams started off the new year on Thursday night as the Cedar Reds and Dixie Flyers each improved to 2-0 in region play, while Snow Canyon won its region opener at Crimson Cliffs.

Cedar 50, Desert Hills 32

Cedar’s Gabby Gomez is guarded by Ellie Westhoff of Desert Hills, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 4, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Cedar, the Reds used a strong third-quarter surge to pull away from the Desert Hills Thunder. 

The first half was evenly played, with the Thunder leading 11-10 after one quarter and the Reds holding a slim two-point lead at halftime, 23-21.

The Reds started off the third with a 7-0 run and went on to outscore the Thunder 15-4 that quarter. Desert Hills’ only points of the frame came on two free throws by Mylee Villanueva and an inside shot by fellow sophomore Tess Peterson.

The Reds continued to extend their lead during the fourth quarter, as sophomore point guard Gabby Gomez added eight more points to finish with a game-high total of 22. Senior center Kiara Hansen finished with 10 points, while junior forward Annalyse Shimada added eight.

Desert Hills was led by Jenna Brown’s 10 points, with Peterson adding eight.

Cedar improved to 10-2 overall with the win, including 2-0 in Region 9 play. The Reds next play at Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

Meanwhile, Desert Hills, fell to 4-6 overall, 1-1 in region play. The Thunder went 2-2 during the Tarkanian Classic tournament in Las Vegas right before Christmas (Dec. 18-21). Next up for Desert Hills is an away game at Hurricane on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

Snow Canyon 58, Crimson Cliffs 39

At Crimson Cliffs, the Snow Canyon Warriors overcame a sluggish start to roll to a 19-point win over the Mustangs.

Olivia Hamlin of Snow Canyon takes a shot vs. Crimson Cliffs, Region 9 girls basketball, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 4, 2024 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Crimson started strong, taking a 15-8 lead after one quarter. The Warriors then bounced back with a 15-6 run during the second quarter to take a 23-21 halftime lead.

Snow Canyon then outscored the Mustangs 21-10 during the third to build a double-digit lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. 

Junior guard Olivia Hamlin led the Warriors with 19 points, while teammate Kelly Howard added 18.

The Mustangs were led by Kinsey Plewe’s 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Summer Adams added nine points, while Alyssa Whittaker scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Snow Canyon improved to 10-1 overall with the win, 1-0 in Region 9 play. The Warriors next host Pine View on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Also next Tuesday, the Mustangs, now 4-6 overall and 0-2 in region, will host the Cedar Reds.

Dixie 51, Hurricane 44

At Hurricane, the Dixie Flyers used a solid fourth quarter to push past the Tigers, 51-44.

The evenly fought game was tied 6-6 after one quarter and 35-35 after three. However, the Flyers outscored the Tigers 16-9 during the fourth to come away with a seven-point victory.

Kealah Faumuina and Brinlee Bennett led Dixie with 14 points apiece, while Hurricane was paced by Abby Stout and Laynee Walker, each scoring 11.

Dixie improved to 7-6 overall with the win, including 2-0 in region play. The Flyers have a bye next Tuesday but will host Pine View on Thursday, Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, Hurricane dropped to 6-6 overall, 0-2 in Region 9. The Tigers host Desert Hills next Tuesday, Jan. 9.

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