By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
PAROWAN – When the Beaver Beavers were on the bus following an overtime road win over Gunnison last Wednesday, they got word of the Parowan Rams’ loss at Enterprise.
When the team got back on the bus after a stop at a fast-food restaurant, the challenge of beating the Rams – and claiming the prize of the Region 18 championship — had begun.
Senior shooting guard Davis Heslington made the shots when they mattered and the Beavers left town with a trophy for the trophy case.
Heslington scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, and Beaver came through with a 9-0 run over the final two minutes that carried them to a 48-36 victory over Parowan on Feb. 9 and clinched the No. 1 seed for the 2A state playoffs with a 9-3 record.
“We knew Parowan plays great defense,” Heslington said. “We knew we had to take care of the ball, get open shots, and don’t be shy. If you get the open shot, have the confidence to knock it down.”
After both teams struggled to find the shooting touch in the third quarter – the Beavers outscored the Rams 4-2 in the period and led 28-24 – Heslington scored seven straight points, including a key 3-pointer – in a 9-2 run that pushed the Beavers’ lead to 37-27 with five minutes left, its largest of the night.
“We got down against them at our place, came back and got it to overtime,” Beaver head coach Joe Hillock said. “I knew it was going to be a war, but this is what the end of February looks like. Anyone can beat anyone on any given occasion, and we just made a few extra plays.”
Parowan was able to answer as junior Porter Wood delivered nine straight points – two 3-pointers and a conventional three-point play – that helped the Rams fight back within three at 39-36 with 1:56 remaining.
When Beaver freshman Ky Brown drained a 3-pointer after a timeout, it extended the Beavers’ lead back to six and the Rams wouldn’t score again.
“He’s really a good freshman,” Hillock said of Brown. “He’s one of the few guys who’s in the gym at 5:30 in the morning getting 200 shots up. He stays after practice, plays all summer, and loves the game so much. It’s the same thing with our seniors.”
Wood led Parowan with 17 points, and they fell into a tie with Enterprise – who beat the Rams at home 63-42 on Feb. 7 – for second place at 8-4 in Region 18. The teams split the season series and held a coin flip Monday to determine the No. 2 seed for the 2A playoffs at Desert Hills High in St. George. Parowan won the flip and will play St. Joseph – the No. 5 seed from Region 16 – in the opening-round game that tips off at 8:40 p.m. on Saturday night.
Winning teams advance to the quarterfinals at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Feb. 22.
BEAVER 48, PAROWAN 36
Beaver 4 20 4 20 — 48
Parowan 13 9 2 12 — 36
Beaver – Heslington 23, Hollingshead 9, Fails 8, LeBaron 1, Roberts 2, Brown 5. Totals 15 12-14 48. 3-pointers – Heslington 4, Hollingshead 1, Brown 1.
Parowan – Topham 7, Bassett 4, Stubbs 2, Miller 6, Wood 17. Totals 11 9-12 36. 3-pointers – Topham 1, Miller 2, Wood 2.