High school basketball: Liahona tops Whitehorse

By Kevin Long

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 3 2011 7:57 a.m. MST

Jared Johnson and Collin Rudd challenge a Whitehorse player in Wednesday action.

Lori Christianson

SPANISH FORK — Liahona Academy utilized a balanced scoring attack with four players finishing in double-figures Wednesday night in the Warriors’ 65-43 non-region victory over visiting Whitehorse.

What was expected to be a fast-paced, up-and-down-the-court shootout didn’t materialize.

Whitehorse’s Shawn Dickson, the leading scorer in Class 1A, didn’t hit a shot until midway through the first period when he finally drained a 22-foot 3-pointer, while Liahona’s 1-2 backcourt punch of Brandon Nichols and Brayden Facemyer went 0-for-6 from 3-point range to open the game.

The difference in the game was Liahona’s depth.

Ross Belliston and Adam Long took the ball inside and combined to score 10 points in the first six and a half minutes to grind out a 10-5 lead. Later, Matt Comer, the Warriors’ hot-shooting sixth man, drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 16-7.

With less than a minute left in the quarter, Dixon got free off a pick and drained his second trey of the period to go to close the gap to within six.

However, with three seconds left in the quarter, Facemyer nailed a 3-pointer and the Warriors never look back, leading 19-10.

The Warriors (12-3) led 34-22 at the half, and stretched the lead to 19 by the end of the third.

Comer finished with 13 points and Facemyer got on track and finished with 12 points. Brigg Savage came off the bench and powered inside for 12, while Nichols ended the night with 10 points.

Dickson was held to 17 points — some five points below his average.

“It is always fun watching Shawn play,” said Liahona coach Jeremy Long. “You can’t stop him, you can only try and contain him and I think we did a good job of that.”

The Warriors, who are 3-1 in Region 18 play, return to league action Friday when they travel to Dugway (1-12, 1-3).

The Raiders, who are 4-1 league play, host league-leading Monticello (13-3, 6-0) Friday in what is expected to be an intense Region 19 contest.

Kevin spent seven years early in his career as a community newspaper editor. He is an avid 1A fan and the father of Liahona Head Basketball coach Jeremy Long

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