ST. GEORGE — A couple of “firsts” were the order of the day in Region 9 girls basketball Tuesday night.

Snow Canyon gutted out a 58-52 win over Cedar to avoid its first region loss of the season and remain firmly in first place. The Warriors are 18-1 overall and a perfect 9-0 in Region 9.

Crimson Cliffs, meanwhile, earned its first region victory of the season, knocking off Desert Hills 49-47. And Dixie moved above .500 in region play, outdistancing Pine View 66-32.

Hurricane had a bye but returns to the court Thursday night against Crimson.

Snow Canyon 58, Cedar 52

Olivia Hamlin reached another milestone in leading the Warriors to the victory in a battle pitting the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Region 9 as well as the No. 2 (Snow Canyon) and No. 3 (Cedar) teams in the 4A girls Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

“It was huge,” Snow Canyon coach Sue Hoskins told St. George News after the win. “I told my girls they’re (Cedar) gonna beat a lot of teams in the state tournament. They just execute well. I think defensively our steals kind of kept us in the game and then we out-powered them.” 

A lineup deep with quick-handed guards makes Snow Canyon’s pressure defense tough to crack.

Add Hamlin’s poised leadership and team execution and the Warriors are working towards being a very tough out at the state tournament next month.

Snow Canyon had its pressure defense working early against Cedar as the home team took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter and upped that advantage to 30-25.

As a team the Warriors pilfered 13 steals from the Reds, led by Hamlin’s game-high five thefts. Junior teammate Joey Jensen posted four steals, senior Kyza Andrews had two and both Kelly Howard and Sydney Crowton recorded a steal in the win.

The Warriors enjoyed a 44-35 lead in the fourth quarter and milked the clock to victory in a hard-fought fourth frame.

Hamlin led all scorers with 30 points in the contest, enough to put her over the 1,500 career points mark.

“It feels good, it’s all because of my teammates,” Hamlin said, noting that many of those points were scored off of assists from Howard or Jensen.

“I like it when they get the ball and push it up, and I just run with them and go finish,” Hamlin said. “That’s how we roll in transition.” 

Howard chipped in with three 3-pointers and 20 points for Snow Canyon and Jensen netted six. Fetua Tapasa rounded out the Warriors’ box score with two points.

Gabby Gomez, the leading 3-point shooter in 4A, made three treys and scored 15 points to pace the Reds.

Annalyse Shimada contributed 14 points for Cedar’s cause and Kiara Hansen finished with 13 points in the setback.

Region 9 girls basketball standings:

Snow Canyon (18-1, 9-0)
Cedar (15-5, 7-3)
Dixie (10-10, 5-4)
Desert Hills (8-10, 5-5)
Hurricane (11-9, 4-5)
Pine View (4-16, 2-7)
Crimson Cliffs (5-15, 1-9)

Schedule for Thursday, Feb. 8:

Snow Canyon at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Crimson Cliffs at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Pine View at Cedar, 7 p.m.

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