By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
For the space of a few brief moments, the Canyon View Falcons girls basketball team enjoyed a lead on the scoreboard over its opponent.
Thanks to a tenacious pressure defense, the Desert Hills Thunder made sure it wouldn’t last long.
Jessica Mathis led all scorers with 12 points, and Desert Hills went on a 9-0 run after giving up the game’s opening basket before cruising to a convincing 54-28 win over the Falcons on Jan. 23.
The Thunder won for the third time in the last four games, and head coach Ron Denos credited the defensive effort for making the biggest difference.
“We’ve struggled all year just finding our game, and we’ve been playing to our competition,” Denos said. “Our emphasis this game was that we needed to feed off our defense and play our style. It’s a team I know we have, we just haven’t been able to find it.”
Desert Hills finished the first quarter with an 11-4 lead and stretched it to 29-10 at the half. Canyon View made only seven field goals in the game to the Thunder’s 20, but outshot them from the free-throw line, making 14 of 25 to 10 of 17.
The Falcons’ struggles continued two days later as they dropped a 51-28 decision at home to the Hurricane Tigers. CV trailed 28-21 at the half, but was shut out in the fourth quarter and fell to 1-6 in Region 9 play.
Bryn Banks and Jordan Nielson had eight points each in the loss for the Falcons.
Canyon View traveled to play at Cedar on Tuesday in a game that was too late for press deadline, and they will face Dixie on the road Thursday starting at 7 p.m.
DESERT HILLS 54, CANYON VIEW 28
Desert Hills 11 18 14 11 — 54
Canyon View 4 6 7 11 — 28
Desert Hills – Mathis 12, Westhoff 2, Clark 11, Frame 2, Bliss 6, Myers 8, Monson 1, Phillips 8, Bills 4. Totals 20 10-17 54. 3-pointers – Mathis 2, Phillips 2.
Canyon View – Johnson 1, Nielson 3, Garcia 4, Elias 3, Kelly 2, B. Banks 7, A. Banks 4, Newman 4. Totals 7 14-25 28. 3-pointers – None.