Hurricane 50, Pine View 45 02/02/2018

The Tigers know how to get a lead. It’s keeping the lead that’s been the hard part.

Hurricane raced out to a 27-12 halftime lead and held a 12-point edge early in the fourth quarter. And then things got dicey.

“I tip my cap to Pine View,” Tigers coach Todd Langston said. “They played well in the fourth quarter and fought back with everything they had. Fortunately, we had some guys hit a couple of big shots late in the game. But Pine View hung in there and battled and they were very determined.”

Down 44-32 with just over five minutes to play, the Panthers started to rally. Hunter Moore hit a trey to make it 44-35 and an offensive foul on the Tigers gave the ball right back to Pine View. Moore made them pay again with another deep ball to make it 44-38 and Jack O’Donnell turned a Hurricane turnover into a 44-40 game with a driving layup with 4:35 to play.

After an exchange of turnovers and a Hurricane miss, O’Donnell converted on the fast break to make it a 44-42 game with the clocking ticking down under three minutes.

Perhaps the biggest shot of the night and maybe the game saver came just seconds later. Hurricane sophomore Brice Thomas drained a 3-pointer from the angle left with 2:19 left on the clock to halt the 10-0 Pine View run and make it 47-42.

“That was a big shot for us,” Langston said. “He stepped up and hit the 3 when we really, really needed it.”

An O’Donnell bucket in the last minute of the game pulled Pine View within 49-46. Hurricane turned the ball over and the Panthers had a pair of treys in the final 20 seconds that would have tied it, but the deep balls by O’Donnell and Tayler Tobler wouldn’t go down.

Britton Esplin made one free throw with three seconds left to seal the win for Hurricane, which improved to 11-7 overall and 5-3 in region play.

“We survived,” Langston said. “It wasn’t pretty, but anytime you can get a road win in Region 9, it’s a big deal.”

Jackson Last had a quiet 18 points to lead the Tigers. The senior guard, who leads the state of Utah in scoring at 26 points a game, also had eight rebounds and four steals, despite battling foul troubles all game long. The trio of TJ Minor, Russell Neild and Matt Meyers had six points each for Hurricane, which was playing without injured Reagan Marshall. The trio also combined to snatch 17 rebounds, while Adam Heyrend had six assists.

O’Donnell led Pine View with 19 points, four boards and three steals. Moore had eight points and Gavin Bateman added seven. The Panthers fall to 6-12 overall and 2-7 in region play with the loss. Pine View made just 4 of 26 3-pointers.

Hurricane is at first-place Dixie