Boys Basketball Schedule

Tigers, Warriors win big as Walker Classic concludes

Tigers, Warriors win big as Walker Classic concludes
Written by Andy Griffin
December 17, 2017

ST. GEORGE – The lights were a little brighter and the court a little longer as 13 teams got to experience the thrill of playing on an NCAA basketball court the last three days in the Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic at Dixie State’s Burns Arena.

“It was an awesome tournament and it was managed well by Dixie State,” said Pine View coach Ryan Eves, who was the official host of the tourney. “The Walkers do way more for us than we could ever do for them, but it was nice to honor Coach Walker and his family. There were some good teams here and the games were pretty competitive.”

Darin Walker was a longtime assistant coach in baseball and basketball at Pine View and was a big supporter of local sports for underprivileged youth.

In all, 18 varsity games were contested with all but one of those played at Burns Arena, which measures 94-feet long (compared to a regulation high school court that is 84-feet long). There were also 18 junior varsity games, 18 sophomore games and six freshman games.

There were 13 teams at the Walker Classic, with 6A Fremont emerging as the only team to win three games over the three days, The Silver Wolves (7-2) defeated Alta on Thursday, beat Maple Mountain on Friday and then edged Pine View on Saturday.

Region 9 teams Dixie and Snow Canyon won both games they played in at the Classic, while Manti, Logan, Hurricane, and Green Canyon all went 2-1 over the three days.

Alta, Roy and Maple Mountain won one of their three games, while Desert Hills went 0-2 and Pine View and Uintah dropped all three of their games.

Here’s a recap of Saturday’s action as well as the final Walker Classic results and standings.

Hurricane 61, Roy 43

The third day on the road, playing on a longer court than usual, seemed to have taken it out on the 5A Royals as they wilted under the Tigers’ defensive pressure in this one. Roy managed just 16 points in the first half and finished a dismal 12 for 47 from the floor in the game, 26 percent.

Meanwhile, Jackson Last continues to play transcendent basketball. The senior guard scored 29 points with five rebounds and three assists in the game, bumping his season average up 23.2 points per game, third in 4A behind Brantzen Blackner of Canyon View (23.8) and Bridger Noles of Spanish Fork (23.3).

Roy’s only lead of the game came at 2-0 when Ben McBride scored inside in the first minute. But Last’s onslaught began shortly after that. He nailed a 3-pointer and then buried three straight free throws to quickly make it 6-2. An Adam Heyrend layup and a Last jumper pushed it to 10-2.

Late in the first period, Caleb Koski’s 3-pointer pulled the Royals to within 10-7, but Last matched it on the other end just before the buzzer to make it 13-7.

Roy pulled to within 19-15 midway through the second quarter, but Last and Russell Neild led a charge that put the game heavily in Hurricane’s favor as the Tigers closed out the half on a 9-1 run.

Last’s third trey of the game midway through the third quarter made 39-20 and the rout was on from there.

The Tigers moved to 2-3 on the young season with the Royals having an identical 2-3 record. Hurricane plays at Canyon View next Wednesday in the two schools’ region opener, then the Tigers participate in the Tri-State Holiday Classic in Las Vegas Dec. 27-29.