Local teams go 3-1 on first day of Coach Walker Classic

File photo, Hurricane vs. Uintah, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT, Dec. 14, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie and Hurricane got easy wins, Snow Canyon pulled out a thriller and host Pine View was stunned on its own court as the three-day Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic opened up play Thursday.

Late Coach Darin Walker is the inspiration for this weekend’s basketball tournament.

The Warriors got the ball rolling, with Joey Robertson scoring the winning basket in the opening game of the day at Dixie State’s Burns Arena. Hurricane followed with a blowout win over Uintah, with Jackson Last dominating the court. Dixie then hit the hardwood and a dominant third quarter lifted the Flyers to a big win over Maple Mountain.

Pine View wrapped up the night by playing the only game not contested at Burns Arena. And actually, the game wasn’t hardly contested at all as Logan blew away the host Panthers. Here’s a recap of the action:

Hurricane 61, Uintah 37

The Utes are having a rough preseason, dropping to 0-7 with the big loss to the Tigers. Three of those losses are blowouts to Region 9 teams (Hurricane, Pine View and Desert Hills).

In this one, Last was phenomenal, recording such high school basketball rarities as a four-point play, two breakaway jams and a near triple-double. He finished the contest with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.

“He definitely took it upon his shoulders in this one,” Hurricane coach Todd Langston said of his senior guard. “He was especially big in the third quarter. He’s so unselfish and he tries to get all his teammates involved, but sometimes we just need him to take over a game.”

Hurricane’s Jackson Last (3), Hurricane vs. Uintah, Boys Basketball, St. George, UT, Dec. 14, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

It was still a game at 30-20 three minutes into the third quarter when Last went on an epic run. The streak included a couple of steals, a couple of free throws and a couple of 3-pointers. He helped Hurricane score 12 unanswered, including converting on a four-point play in which he swished a trey, rolled on the floor in pain for a moment, then swished a free throw.

“I challenged the kids, because we have had some bad third quarters this year,” Langston said. “But we got a few transition buckets and hit a few shots and before you knew it, it was a 20-point game.”

Langston was quick to point out that his team is young and inexperienced. Many of his players are in their first year of varsity and the Tigers have logged just three games so far this year.

Reagan Marshall, who is suffering from a hip injury, was back in the lineup and hit a big 3-pointer late in the first quarter that gave Hurricane a 9-7 lead. That was followed by seven quick points from Last to make it 16-7 and the rout was starting to take shape.

The Tigers made seven 3-pointers in the game (on just 19 attempts), while forcing the Utes to go 13 of 45 from the floor and to commit 20 turnovers.

Hurricane continues in the Walker Classic with a 3 p.m. Friday meeting with Manti.

Snow Canyon 58, Manti 56

Robertson hit his second game-winner in a 24-hour span for the Warriors. He hit a bucket with six seconds left in overtime to defeat Richfield Wednesday, then sliced inside for an and-1 with three seconds left against the Templars Thursday afternoon.

“I just know when we get it to him in the low post that he’s going to score,” said SC forward Bryson Childs. “There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s so good down there.”

The game was close all the way. Manti’s biggest lead came at 8-2 early in the game and Snow Canyon never led by more than three. In fact, neither team led by more than three from the middle of the second quarter on.

File photo of Snow Canyon’s Bryson Childs (21) | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Robertson sat most of the first half with two fouls, but was clutch after intermission. He had eight in the first half and 20 after that.

“Joey’s put in a lot of work in the offseason and I truly believe he’s going to be the best big in our region this year,” SC coach Jamison Sorenson said. “He’s got great size and able to get position, but he’s also patient and poised. We like the ball going in to him as much as we can get it there.”

As good at scoring as Robertson was, he may have been slightly overshadowed by his smaller teammate, Childs. The senior forward had an eye-popping 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.

“He’s such a great passer,” Robertson said of his teammate. “He always seems to know right where to get the ball to me.”

Matt Nelson’s trey gave the Templars a 56-55 lead with 1:05 left in the game. Snow Canyon turned the ball over, but Nelson left the door open by missing the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 15 seconds left. The Warriors got it into forecourt and called a timeout to set up a play. Like the win against Richfield, the plan was to get it to Robertson.

Childs inbounded the ball and it ended up in the hands of Braden Baker, who faked a 3-pointer and bulleted a pass inside to Robertson. The big fella split two defenders and finished with a one-hander as the referee blew his whistle. After Robertson made the free throw, Nelson threw up a trey from about 30 feet at the buzzer that was on line, but just short.

The Warriors, 3-6, play again Friday in the Walker Classic with a Saturday (11 a.m.) meeting against Uintah at Burns Arena.

Dixie 56, Maple Mountain 35

The Golden Eagles gave the Flyers everything they could possibly want … for 16 minutes. But Dixie coach Ryan Cuff’s halftime speech must’ve been a doozy.

Dixie outscored Maple Mountain 22-2 in the third quarter, with Tanner Cuff hitting a pair of 3-pointers and Derek Cox owning the paint (including an impressive throwdown).

Dixie, 5-0, came out with energy and fire, barely allowing the Eagles a good look at the basket. If Maple drove the lane, Cox and Carson Bottema were there to guard the hoop. Meanwhile, Cuff was en fuego, hitting from all areas. His runner pushed the lead up over 10 and his trey moments later made it a 20-point advantage in the third quarter.

Cuff finished with 21 points, while Cox chipped in 14 and Dixie was able to clear its bench the last four minutes of the game.

It was a 24-23 game at intermission before Dixie’s big run. The Flyer defense was the key. Dixie did not allow a single Maple Mountain player to score in double figures in the game.

Dixie takes on Logan Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Burns Arena, then takes Saturday off.

Logan 57, Pine View 40

Hosting the Walker Classic had to have Pine View distracted a bit. Or maybe that’s just an excuse. Either way, the Panthers got blasted on their own floor. And it was never close.

Logan opened the game by outscoring Pine View 19-2 over the first seven minutes of the game. The matchup zone and halfcourt trap employed by the Grizzlies really bothered the guard-heavy Panthers, who ended up with a 19-4 deficit after one period of play.

Pine View’s only two baskets of the first quarter came on Jack O’Donnell put backs.

Things actually got worse in the second quarter. The lead ballooned all the way up to 22 points (at 28-6) midway through the second before Dallin Brown hit a couple of baskets. Tayler Tobler also scored and Hunter Moore buried a trey as PV closed to within 15 at 32-17. LHS’s Jared Bagley scored just before the buzzer to make it 34-17 at halftime. Pine View never got closer than 14 the rest of the game.

The Grizzlies, 3-3, had six players score at least four points in the game, led by Bagley with 13 and Anthony McDade with 12.

For Pine View, 4-3, O’Donnell had 12 points and Brown finished with 11. Leading scorer Tobler was held to four points.

The Panthers battle Roy at 6 p.m. at Burns Arena Friday night, then will play Fremont at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic Schedule/Results (@ DSU’s Burns Arena)
THURSDAY
Snow Canyon 58, Manti 56
Hurricane 61, Uintah 37
Dixie 56, Maple Mountain 35
Green Canyon 71, Roy 64
Logan 57, Pine View 40 (@ PVHS)
Alta vs. Fremont

FRIDAY
1:30 p.m. – Green Canyon vs. Uintah
3 p.m. – Hurricane vs. Manti (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)
4:30 p.m. – Desert Hills vs. Alta (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)
6 p.m. – Pine View vs. Roy (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)
7:30 p.m. – Dixie vs. Logan (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)
9 p.m. – Fremont vs. Maple Mountain

SATURDAY
8 a.m. – Green Canyon vs. Manti
9:30 a.m. – Hurricane vs. Roy
11 a.m. – Snow Canyon vs. Uintah
12:30 p.m. – Logan vs. Alta
2 p.m. – Pine View vs. Fremont (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)
3:30 p.m. – Desert Hills vs. Maple Mountain (SportsRadio 97.7 FM)

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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