ST. GEORGE —  Three of the top four teams in Region 9 earned important victories Wednesday night, and the boys’ basketball standings still show the Dixie Flyers firmly in control.

The No. 2-ranked team in the 4A classification left no doubt with a convincing 76-56 win over Pine View. The Flyers are now 18-3 overall and 9-0 in the region, with a visit to second-place Snow Canyon on Friday night’s schedule.

Speaking of the Warriors, they fended off a feisty Cedar squad, besting the host Reds 58-49.

And Desert Hills outlasted Crimson Cliffs 72-61 to move into third place. Hurricane had a bye but returns to the hardwood Friday night against the Mustangs.

Desert Hills 72, Crimson Cliffs 61

The Thunder fed off the energy of a loud home crowd and never let Crimson Cliffs get closer than three points in the second half.

“It was a fun game,” Thunder coach Chris Allred said after the win. “The students were awesome, the crowd was great. I was just really proud of the boys and how they competed.”

Eli Allred went off for 30 points in the win. It was obvious that he was feeling it early as he made shots from distance and drove to the rim with authority.

The senior shooter for Desert Hills netted six points in the first and followed them with 10 more in the second quarter to fuel the Thunder to a 36-31 lead at halftime.

“For us to be very good the ball has got to move,” coach Allred said. “We’ve got to share the ball, it can’t be directed at just one individual otherwise we get really easy to defend.

“That was the key thing tonight, we just had a lot of guys hit big shots, especially down the stretch when we needed them,” he added.

Ben Chase finished with 10 points for the winners, including two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Jackson Holman sank three critical 3’s as part of his 13-point effort and Chaz Holbrook contributed eight points to the Thunder’s cause.

Crimson Cliffs did not go away quietly, especially senior Steele Barben.

Less than five hours after signing his letter of intent to play football at Utah Tech, Barben erupted for his biggest basketball game of the season.

Barben sank a game-high five 3-pointers and poured in 20 points for the Mustangs. Senior center Sean Felts led Crimson with 22 points but he was held to a single bucket in the fourth quarter.

With a bye on Friday and two region games remaining next week, the Thunder gets a needed break to rest up before the final push to the state tournament.

“The biggest thing for us next week is we just want to finish competing at a really high level,” coach Allred said. “Just be consistent with that going into the playoffs.”

Dixie 76, Pine View 56

The Flyers recovered from a shaky start at home to remain unbeaten in Region 9 games.

Pine View hit shots early and took a 17-13 lead after the first quarter.

But that was as far as Dixie would fall behind as the Flyers dominated the second quarter and took a 40-28 lead at halftime. They wouldn’t lose the lead again.

Kyle Lemke erupted for 25 Dixie points, scoring from the paint with precision. Dixie shot a subpar (for them) 6-for-16 from the 3-point line but countered that with dominant inside play.

Logan Weidauer scored 16 for the winners, Jordan Roberts threw in 14 and Breckon Robinson contributed 12 more for Dixie.

Roberts dished out 11 assists for a double-double.

Trevor Condie led the visitors with 13 points. Nash Schroeder sank a 3 and netted 11 Pine View points but was the only other double-digit scorer for the Panthers in the setback.

Dixie finished 6-for-7 from the free throw line while Pine View converted 5-for-11 charity tosses.

Region 9 boys basketball standings (overall, region):

Dixie (18-3, 9-0)
Snow Canyon (13-6, 7-2)
Desert Hills (13-8, 6-4)
Crimson Cliffs (10-10, 5-5)
Pine View (12-8, 4-5)
Cedar (4-17, 2-8)
Hurricane (5-15, 0-9)

Region 9 schedule for Friday, Feb. 9:

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

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