Boys Basketball Schedule

Last lights it up as Tigers sweep in Vegas; DH wins, Dixie falls

Last lights it up as Tigers sweep in Vegas; DH wins, Dixie falls
Written by Andy Griffin
December 28, 2017

It’s the final week of tuneups as boys basketball gets set for the long region haul beginning Jan. 5. Three southern Utah teams started the final week of holiday tournaments on Wednesday, with Hurricane grabbing a pair of wins in Las Vegas, Desert Hills picking up a victory in Salt Lake City and Dixie dropping its first loss of the year in a game played at Riverton High School.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s contests:

Tri-State Holiday Classic in Las Vegas
Hurricane 62, Lowry (Nev.) 59
Hurricane 63, Shadow Ridge (Nev.) 52

Before Wednesday, folks down in Vegas had no idea who Jackson Last was. They know now.

The senior guard scored 65 points in two games to lead the Tigers to a pair of victories to open the tournament played at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas.

In the first contest, Last just missed a triple-double, scoring 30 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists. He followed that up with a 35-point, 9-rebound, 4-assist performance against Shadow Ridge in the later game.

“It was truly an impressive performance,” Hurricane coach Todd Langston said. “Here’s the deal: people down here don’t know him and haven’t played around him. He shot the ball well, he passed the ball well and just took over at times. He’s by far the best basketball player I’ve ever coached.”

Against Lowry, the noon game, back-to-back 3-pointers by Brice Thomas and Last gave the Tigers an early 12-4 lead. The Buckaroos got the lead midway through the second quarter and it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the game.

Hurricane was able to pull out to a six-point edge several times in the second half, but Lowry rallied each time, usually behind guard Brendan Domire and center Scottie Smith. Smith’s basket in the paint with just over a minute left pulled Lowry to within 58-56.

The Tigers worked the clock down and Last was fouled with 14 seconds left. The senior swished both free throws to make it 60-56, then made two more after a Buckaroos miss to make it 62-56. Domire made a trey at the buzzer for the final margin.

Hurricane made 22 of 42 shots in the game, including 8 for 16 from 3. Last made five of those treys and also had four steals. Xayden Jackman added 10 points and four boards and the Tigers outrebounded Lowry 26-19.

Against Shadow Ridge, it was a shootout early as Last and Mustang Garin Macfarlane went back and forth. The two teams were tied at 15-15 after the first eight minutes.

Hurricane started to take over in the second period, with Last hitting three straight baskets to make it 23-20, followed by a fast-break score by Adam Heyrend. Thomas then hit a 3-pointer to make it an 11-0 Hurricane run and put the score at 28-20.

Macfarlane hit a trey and a two-pointer to pull the Mustangs within 33-30 in the third quarter, but Reagan Marshall led a 9-2 run to close the third and make it a 42-32 Tiger lead. Shadow Ridge never got closer than nine the rest of the game.

“That was a really good Shadow Ridge team, actually both teams were excellent,” Langston said. “There’s some great competition in this tournament. But we’re playing really well. I think the players are really learning what their roles are, and it really helps having Reagan Marshall back.”

Last, who leads the state of Utah in scoring (25.8 points per game), made 13 of 16 shots from the floor against the Mustangs, including three 3-pointers. Marshall chipped in 11 points and both players had four assists. Heyrend had six points and five assists.

Hurricane, 5-3, will play two games again Thursday. The Tigers have a 9:30 a.m. game against Sunrise Mountain and then will play again at 6 p.m. against an opponent yet to be determined.