ST. GEORGE — With a slight concussion and a partially separated shoulder, maybe Kody Wilstead wasn't thinking clearly, but for a moment at the end of overtime, the 6-foot-6 Pine View center acted just like a point guard.
With a dip of the shoulder, Wilstead took the ball at the top of the key, dribbled hard right, pulled up from 14 feet out and nailed the game-winning shot as time expired. The final result was a 71-69 victory for Pine View over Snow Canyon Wednesday night at the Pit, putting the Panthers squarely in first place in Region 9 and avenging Pine View's only region loss of the season.
"I haven't really practiced that shot, at least not from that far out," Wilstead said. "But I knew it was in when I let it go. Snow Canyon kind of messed up the play we had and time was running out, so I had to do something."
It was a classic game for Wilstead, who finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. His block with 40 seconds left in OT set Pine View up for the game-winner.
He also had a 3-point play earlier in the overtime that fouled out Snow Canyon center Nate Gottfredson.
"One word to describe Kody — winner," Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said. "He just went out there and made the plays necessary for us to win this game. I'm just so proud of this group of guys right now. They deserve this win."
It didn't look like Pine View was going to get a win heading into the fourth quarter. Led by big man Hayden Anderson and the hot shooting of reserve guard Kade Potter, the Warriors had forged a 55-47 lead heading into the final period. When Tanner Sampson converted a Pine View turnover into a 3-pointer, the lead ballooned to 58-47 and it looked like Snow Canyon was on its way to a huge road victory and a season sweep of the Panthers.
""We've been in situations like that before, so we knew we needed to stay calm," Pine View guard Chaz Peterson said. "We're a little more experienced than we've been in the past. We have been in games like this before. So we just started working away."
And work away they did, to the tune of a 13-1 run over 4:24 of game time. Sampson's trey came at the 7:45 mark, and when Collin Dowdell's jumper settled home at the 3:21 point, Pine View had a 60-59 lead.
The two teams traded buckets over the final moments of regulation, with Dowdell putting Pine View ahead 65-63 with 26 seconds to play with a post finger roll. Anderson matched it with five seconds to play. Peterson's long trey to end regulation rattled out and overtime was on.
In the extra period, Peterson put the Panthers up one with a free throw, with Anderson making it 67-66 for the Warriors with 3:15 to play with a lefty layup.
On the other end, Wilstead posted Gottfredson up, making a slick up and under move that froze Snow Canyon's big man. The 3-point play made it 69-67 with 1:36 to go and fouled Gottfredson out of the game.
Both teams missed free throws, but Snow Canyon tied the game at 69-69 on a bank shot by Anderson, who had a career-high 21 points in the game. His basket came with 40 seconds left.
"Anderson, he is Mr. Fundamental," Wilstead said. "He reminds me of Tim Duncan. He's just so fundamentally sound. And he was quicker than me tonight. And he made everything."
Pine View took the clock down to 15 seconds and called time out.
"The play we called got blown up by Snow Canyon," Peterson said. "They did a good job on it. When Kody got it out there, I thought, 'Kody, what are you going to do?' He made a big shot. It was a great shot. It was a great play."
The victory puts Pine View at 7-1 in Region 9, one and a half games ahead of Snow Canyon, which is 5-2, and two games ahead of third-place Cedar, which is 5-3.
Along with Wilstead's 27, Dowdell had 15 and Jack Bangerter, in his second game back from a serious concussion, had 14 points. Peterson also had 14 points for the Panthers, who improved to 15-2 on the year.
Snow Canyon, 10-6 overall, got 15 rebounds from Anderson to go with his 21 points. Jacob Frei added 11 points and Gottfredson, who battled foul troubles all game, ended up with 10 points.
Andy Griffin is a southern Utah broadcaster and sports writer and has been involved in covering sports in Utah, including professional, college and high school sports, since 1989. He is the sports editor at STGNews.com.