Boys Basketball Schedule

Jackson Last puts up 43 in Hurricane road win; Falcons upset D-Hills

Written by Andy Griffin
January 25, 2018

ST. GEORGE – Halftime of a basketball game means time for rest, perhaps a drink, and some adjustments by the coaches. We’ve reached halftime of the Region 9 boys basketball season and teams need a rest, maybe something to drink, and perhaps some big adjustments.

Teams need to adjust to Hurricane’s Jackson last, who scored 43 points – and made all 16 of his free throws attempts – in helping the Tigers win at Snow Canyon Wednesday night. Teams will need to adjust to the now red-hot Canyon View Falcons, who stunned Desert Hills on the Thunder’s own court Wednesday. And six teams need to make adjustments to try and figure out how to beat the Dixie Flyers, who routed Cedar Wednesday and finished the first half of region play with a perfect 6-0 record.

“That’s going to be a hard thing because Dixie has figured out how to win the close ones,” said Canyon View head coach Rob Potter. “There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played and we did ourselves a big favor tonight by winning at Desert Hills. But everyone is chasing Dixie.”

With Pine View taking its bye Wednesday night, now all seven region teams have played six league games. What we know is that Dixie is in the catbird’s seat at 6-0 and Desert Hills and Hurricane are in pretty good spots with 4-2 region records. Canyon View would get the fourth playoff spot if the postseason began today.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s results:

Hurricane 71, Snow Canyon 63

It was a pretty epic meeting, with neither team leading by more than eight points and both teams going on extended runs during the contest. But the most epic thing about the game was the virtuoso performance by Jackson Last. The senior guard opened the game with a 3-pointer and closed the contest with seven straight free throws in the closing seconds. He did just about everything else in between.

“Like I’ve said before, he’s just an amazing player,” Hurricane coach Todd Langston said. “And he’s a joy to coach.”

Last’s three-point play on a running bank shot from the right side with 20 seconds left gave the Tigers the lead at 64-63. Snow Canyon went to the line with under five seconds to play, but missed two free throws. A foul call on the rebound of the second miss prompted a pair of technical fouls against the Warriors.

Last made all four technical free throws, then hit two more after an intentional foul a moment later. The flurry of points in the final 20 seconds capped off a night when Last practically couldn’t be stopped. He had 13 field goals and made all 16 of his free throws for his huge 43-point outing. Hurricane needed all those points as the Warriors kept the game close the whole way.

“When my teammates are struggling a little, I know I need to pick up the slack,” Last said. “No one really shot that great tonight, and it’s kind of my job on the team to pick up slack when that happens and tonight it happened to be scoring.”

A 10-0 run by Hurricane in the second quarter erased a 21-14 deficit, and the Warriors made a similar run in the third quarter to erase an eight-point deficit. Snow Canyon actually had the Tigers on the ropes in the final moments of the fourth. Two free throws by Last had cut the Snow Canyon lead to two at 63-61. Twice, SC got fouled and twice the Warriors missed both foul shots to keep it at a two-point game with under a minute to play.

After Last’s heroic and-one play with 20 seconds to go, Snow Canyon drew up what it hoped would be a winning play. But the Tigers double-teamed SC center Joey Robertson, forcing him to pass the ball. A teammate was fouled with under five seconds to go, but missed both shots.

“They had a lead on us with a couple of minutes to go, but we hung in there and kept our composure,” Langston said. “That basket by Jackson, that and-one, was a tough shot. He got hit hard and still got it up on the glass. I’m just glad we have Jackson Last.”

Robertson and Bryson Childs kept the Warriors in the game. Robertson had 20 points and made 6 of 7 free throws. Childs also had 20 points, hitting 9 of 11 free throws and sinking a 3-pointer in the second quarter.

“Tip your hat to Snow Canyon,” Langston said. “They were fighting for their lives and I thought they had us on the ropes until that incident there at the end (the two technical fouls).”

Last sat most of the second quarter as he had picked up his second personal foul with a minute to go in the first period. He still managed to score 16 in the first half. He added seven more in the third, totaling 23 points heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, Last had two three-point plays and made 12 free throws in a row.

“We feel like we let a couple of games go because we didn’t hit our free throws, so that’s something we’ve been focusing on in practice,” Last said. “I was feeling it tonight. Soft rims help, too.”

Matt Meyers came off the bench and contributed eight points for the Tigers, including a rare four-point play in the third quarter. Hurricane, 10-6 overall and 4-2 in region play, made 21 of 42 field goals and 26 of 31 free throws (84 percent).

Snow Canyon, 5-11 and 1-5, was 19 for 36 from the floor (53 percent) and made 22 of 33 free throws (67 percent). However, the Warriors hit just 6 of 14 charity shots in the decisive fourth quarter.

There were 26 fouls called on each team and each team had two players foul out.

Hurricane hosts Canyon View Friday night (HHS beat CV 68-59 last month), while Snow Canyon visits Pine View that same night (PV beat SC 69-47 in December).