Boys Basketball Schedule

Dixie 59, Hurricane 48 2/7/2018


It’s becoming a regular thing for the Flyers. In each of their wins in the last couple of weeks, Dixie has shut down an opponent for a stretch of time, with the defensive smothering eventually leading to a Flyer victory. Against the Tigers, it was the third quarter.

“The real key to the game for us was the third quarter – we were locked in on defense,” Dixie coach Ryan Cuff said. “We only gave up two points in the whole quarter. Our guys are buying in to the importance of getting stops on defense. And they’re doing it as a team and It was a close contest at halftime, with Dixie holding the slimmest lead of 26-25. But the Tigers couldn’t buy a bucket in the third quarter. A couple of free throws by Carson Bottema started the Flyers on a 10-0 run that lasted more than seven minutes – a run eerily similar to the one Dixie had last Friday in its win over Canyon View in which the Falcons went 7:10 without scoring and watched as Dixie went on a 9-0 run to win the game in the fourth quarter.

Hurricane missed five shots and turned the ball over four times in the fourth quarter during that 7:25 stretch of futility. Adam Heyrend finally ended the frustration with two free throws, but by that time it was 36-27. Tanner Cuff closed the third with a bucket off a Payton Wilgar assist to make it 38-27 heading to the fourth.

“We just tried to make it tough for Hurricane to get any easy shots,” Cuff said. “They took some tough shots and that led to long rebounds and we had some chances in transition and got some easy baskets of our own.”

Hurricane finally got its offense untracked in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points in the frame, but it was an exercise in futility as the Flyers matched the Tigers nearly basket for basket. The lead grew to as many as 14 and never shrank below eight the rest of the game.

Tanner Cuff ended up with one of his best games at the varsity level. The coach’s son scored 27 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“He played a great floor game and it was fun to see him playing so well,” Coach Cuff said. “He was hitting from all over. Mid-range, going to the basket and from 3. We loved seeing that from him.”

Bottema was also sharp, scoring 22 points, as Dixie made 18 of 36 field goals and 21 of 29 free throws (72 percent).

Hurricane made just 14 of 41 shots in the game (34 percent), including just 4 of 18 on 3-pointers (22 percent). Jackson Last had an impressive line with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Heyrend chipped in 13 points and four assists. The Tigers were playing without injured Reagan Marshall.

For Dixie, the victory clinches a playoff spot and a first-round home playoff game. At 9-0 in region (17-3 overall), the Flyers have a two-game lead on second-place Desert Hills. The two teams meet next week. Dixie travels to surging Snow Canyon on Friday.

Hurricane still owns third place in region at 5-4 (11-8 overall), but will likely need to win out to get a home playoff game as the Tigers trail second-place Desert Hills by two games. Those two teams meet at Hurricane Friday playing together and being smart.”