By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
By his own admission, Cedar girls basketball coach Corry Nielson thought his team “didn’t play badly” in a pair of losses last week.
One week later, the Lady Reds delivered two solid performances at both ends of the floor and put themselves back on top of the Region 9 standings.
Japrix Weaver scored 21 points to lead the way, and Cedar ran past Desert Hills, 64-31 on Jan. 25. After Pine View fell at Snow Canyon, the Panthers fell back into a tie with the Lady Reds for first place in region with a 5-2 record.
“Offensive rebounds hurt early,” Nielson said. “Desert Hills had big, strong players inside.”
Once the younger of the Weaver sisters heated up, her teammates came along for the ride. Cedar worked its way through three early lead changes and led 15-11 after a quarter, then held the visitors to just six points in the second to break the game open.
“Japrix’s a good player, and she draws people to her,” Nielson said. “She’s learning to find open people when that happens. We just need to finish our open shots.”
The Lady Reds hit more than enough of them, and Weaver had plenty of support on the offensive end. Freshman Logann Laws added 11 points and senior Carley Davis chipped in 10. Cedar didn’t lose a player to fouls for the second game in a row, a fact that gave Nielson more reasons to smile afterwards.
“In practice, we’ve made a point of that and started calling fouls,” Nielson said. “If you foul, there’s a conditioning penalty for that. That’s been our weakness, and we understand that.”
Weaver had 19 points through three quarters, but only two in the fourth as Cedar cleared its bench the rest of the way.
“We had to come out strong because any team is beatable,” Weaver said. “We just had to do our stuff and execute our plays. We put in a lot more effort in the second quarter and they got rattled.
“We always know if we foul, it gives the other team a better chance, so we’ve been improving on that.”
Katelyn Phillips led the Thunder with 12 points in the loss.
Cedar opened the week with a 39-17 road win at Dixie over the Flyers. The Lady Reds shut out Dixie in the third quarter and took a 25-9 lead to the fourth.
Laws led Cedar with 12 points in the win and Japrix Weaver added 10. The Lady Reds hosted Canyon View on Tuesday in a game that was too late for press deadline, and they’ll travel to play at Snow Canyon in a 7 p.m. tipoff.
CEDAR 64, DESERT HILLS 31
Desert Hills 11 6 9 5 — 31
Cedar 15 15 17 17 — 64
Desert Hills – Westhoff 2, Clark 3, Bliss 4, Myers 3, Adams 2, Phillips 12, Nance 3, Bills 2. Totals 9 11-24 31. 3-pointers – Phillips 2.
Cedar – D. Weaver 6, J. Weaver 21, Laws 11, Shoop 5, Davis 10, Fielding 2, Henkel 9. Totals 24 14-20 64. 3-pointers – J. Weaver 2.