CEDAR CITY Hurricane girls basketball coach Clair Woodbury was all smiles after the Tigers knocked off the Canyon View Falcons 41-32 on the road Thursday night for a big Region 9 win.
Exactly how big was the win?
"I don't remember that last time they lost in this building, and that includes all the 4A teams down here, so that should tell you how big of win this is," Woodbury said.
The Tigers grabbed the victory by getting the best of Canyon View in the paint and by shutting down the Falcons' outside game in the second half. The big difference in the game was Hurricane's size, which allowed the Tigers to score almost all of their points inside, while allowing the Falcons very little inside.
"When you have an advantage, you have to take it," Woodbury said.
The Falcons took a 12-10 lead in the first quarter on four 3-pointers, two by Shaylee Berry, and then extended it to 14-10 on a running jumper by Cassie Platt to open the second. But the Tigers then went on a 15-4 run to take a 25-18 lead. Canyon View closed the score to 25-23 at the break when Platt hit a scoop shot and another 3-pointer.
In the second half, however, baskets were hard to come by for the Falcons. In fact, they scored only nine points over the final two quarters, made only three second-half hoops and none from behind the arc.
"Canyon View is as good of shooting team as there is in the state from behind that 3-point line, but we just locked it down," Woodbury said. "We played with a lot more intensity in the second half, and we came a little farther out. I told them that if they beat you, trust (center Shay Harvey) because she's going to be there if they get past you."
On the other end, the Tigers leaned on forward Megan Clyde to do most of their second-half scoring. The 5-foot-11 junior scored Hurricane's first nine second-half points, which pushed the Tigers out to a 34-27 lead early in the fourth.
"As soon as they went to a different defender we just had to go down to that low post to her, and it worked pretty good," Woodbury said
Still, the Falcons had a chance to catch the Tigers in the closing minutes. With the score 35-32 with just more than a minute to play, Falcons' forward Taylor Dancer missed a 3-pointer to tie the game and Platt then missed a follow-up short jumper.
Hurricane's Shanae Vaifanua was fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-one. However, the Tigers grabbed the rebound and Harvey quickly banked in a layup. Following a Canyon View turnover, Vaifanua then converted both ends of a one-and-one. Her steal and layup right before the final buzzer added a little icing on the cake.
"That's a great team we beat tonight," Woodbury said. "It's been a long time since we've won here."
Vaifanua scored 12 for the Tigers, with Clyde adding 11 and Harvey nine. For Canyon View, Platt scored 12 and Berry eight.Both teams are now 3-1 in league play.