Boys Basketball Schedule

Tigers hold off Flyers' push to claim first victory

Written by
Garrett Faylor

HURRICANE — Hurricane went into its home game against Dixie on Wednesday, looking for its first win against a Region 9 team in one year, nine months and 23 days — the state title victory over Desert Hills in 2012.

It has been some time, yes, but the final 53 seconds of the Dixie contest must have felt even longer for Hurricane fans.

Following Austen Beatty’s go ahead free-throws, the Tigers overcame two missed rebounds, two timeouts and a two-point shot attempt from the gunslinging Sam Guymon (19 points) before grabbing the game-ending rebound and breathing the sweet air following a seat-emptying 54-53 win.

“The fourth quarter, the last 1:26 when we played straight defense, we held them to not scoring, and we won the game for that,” said junior guard Kaden Langston.

The Tigers (1-1 region, 1-5 overall) pulled ahead early and held a narrow two-point lead heading into the half.

Quickly into the third, Guymon tied the game with a three-point play. Then Langston retaliated with a field goal and a pair from the stripe. Again Guymon drove the lane to even the score.

Six points marked the largest lead, either way, during the third and the rest of the game. And with a race that tight, the tension was strung just the same.

Sophomore Tyler Bennett chased down an unsuspecting Jordan Ence heading for a breakaway layup. Bennett left fingerprints in the leather as he drove it out of bounds and into the wall.

“Nobody expects us to do anything in this region,” said Hurricane’s Cody LeBaron. “We just play with a chip on our shoulder, you know. We just want to come out and show everybody what we’re made of.”

On the inbound play, following the swat, Ence drove the lane for two, got the foul call and pumped his white-knuckled fist. The following free throw cut the Dixie lead to two.

The Flyers (1-1, 4-2) opened the fourth with a six-point lead, and with history on their side, looked to close out another region win.

But James Bennion opened the quarter with a two from the line, and within four minutes, upped his fourth quarter and game scoring total to eight, behind back-to-back treys.

“We knew we could do it. We knew Dixie was a talented team, athletic team. They weren’t very big; we match up with them pretty well,” said LeBaron, who also finished with eight, six in the fourth.

The teams swapped one-point leads in the final three minutes. Guymon put his team up at the 59-second mark. Then at 53.1, Beatty dropped one free throw, and then the second swirled around and in to set the finishing score.

The Flyers went to Guymon out of the timeout. His shot went up, and the Dixie cheering section rose, then dropped back down when the ball bounced out of bounds for another Dixie possession and timeout.

“In the last few huddles, we were just talking about keeping the man in front of us. When the shot did go up, make sure we contested the shot and we boxed out,” said Hurricane coach Todd Langston.

The Flyers turned to Guymon again, and what seemed like only his second miss of the night, turned into a game-ending rebound by Jayce Housley.

“From my angle, I was afraid. Maybe it was about an 8-foot shot, shot a little bit hard,” Langston said of the final shot. “We fought for the rebound, and our littlest guy on the floor actually came up with the rebound ... and won the game for us.”