Canyon View boys make statement, roll to Summer Games hoops gold
By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
As most offseason basketball tournaments go, the games played are a time to tweak small details, get new players acclimated into the system, and give the returning ones their roles in preparation for the new season to come.
For the Canyon View Falcons boys team, the Utah Summer Games meant just a little more, especially with the return to Region 9 looming around the corner.
Led by seniors Brantzen Blackner and Joey Lambeth, CV got through the tough spots and grabbed the gold medal for the two-day tournament.
Blackner and Lambeth combined for 35 points in the title game, and Canyon View answered Pine View’s lone charge to come away with a 64-54 victory June 3 at the Centrum. The Falcons led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the future Region 9 rivals gained their only lead of the game early in the second half.
“We had a heck of a time,” said Blackner, who had 21 points in the gold-medal game and added 28 as CV held off South Sevier 60-56 in overtime earlier in the day to advance. “We’re home, get to sleep in our own beds, and still play ball on Friday and Saturday. You can’t beat it.”
Three-point shooting aided Canyon View as they answered the Pine View rally and put the game away. The Falcons hit eight 3-pointers, including four from Lambeth, who added 14 points to the offense.
Even though his senior season won’t start until this fall, Blackner was more than happy to play against the Panthers.
“Any time you take the floor, it’s a statement game,” he said. “You’re going out to win. Live with the results, but give it all you’ve got. … We’re going to the new region, we want to let (Pine View) know we’re coming, and we’ll be ready.”
Despite losing two projected starters due to transfers in Porter Miller (Parowan) and Perry Dettling (Copper Hills), head coach Robbie Potter said the fun came from the final results and a first USG gold medal.
“To come out here and get our first gold at the Summer Games proves the kind of program and kind of depth we have,” Potter said. “We have to have other guys step up, and just keep building after the last two region championships.”
After splitting its first two games at the tournament, Cedar fell to South Sevier late Friday night, 66-38. The Rams used hot shooting from 3-point range to build a 22-point second-half lead before the Redmen cut the gap to eight, then returned to its long-range success to secure the win and play the Falcons in the medal round.
Cedar finished USG play by beating Enterprise 48-36, then couldn’t hold off a Parowan rally as they dropped a 46-43 decision to the Rams to finish with a 2-3 record for the five games.
PHOTO by Tom Zulewski