ST. GEORGE Pine View's Louis Garrett scored 17 first-half points to lead the Panthers to a 67-55 win over Cedar High School in the Region 9 opener at Pine View High School Wednesday night.
Pine View closed out the first quarter with 12 straight points and ended up needing all of them to hold off a tenacious Cedar team, which outscored the Panthers the next three quarters.
The game was tied at 2-2 when Pine View (9-2, 1-0) went on a 25-10 scoring spurt, resulting in a 27-12 lead to end the first quarter.
The teams traded baskets the second quarter and the Panthers took a 46-30 margin into the half.
Cedar (9-3, 0-1) scored the first three baskets of the third quarter to pull within 10, 46-36, but the Panthers held the Redmen to only four points the balance of the quarter for a 58-40 lead going into the fourth.
The scrappy Cedar team held the Panthers to only two field goals in the final period while outscoring Pine View 15-9 the final eight minutes.
Pine View coach Steve Melessa was generally pleased with his team's performance
"We were a bit sloppy the fourth quarter," he said. "But considering that we had 18 days since our last game, we played really well. Our defense held them to only 10 points the third quarter."
Melessa hopes the victory will help the team toward their goal of reaching the 4A playoffs.
Garrett, leading the Panthers with a 15-point average for the season, finished with 20 points. Jordan Rex added 15 and Conner Atkin had 11.
Cedar, led in scoring by Joel Einfeldt's 15 points and Brett Johnson's 10 points, came into the game ranked first in the state in Class 3A. In their first 11 games this season, the Redmen have outscored their opponents by an average of nearly a dozen points, losing only two games in overtime battles. Pine View was ranked third in Class 4A coming into the game, and has yet to battle Dixie and Snow Canyon for a playoff spot in the higher classification.