CEDAR CITY Canyon View opened the 3A state girls prep basketball playoffs strongly Friday night, holding North Sanpete scoreless in the second quarter as the Falcons posted a 56-31 victory.
The Falcons built an 18-9 lead after the first quarter, thanks to the hustle of Taylor Dancer and Cassie Platt, who scored seven points apiece in the period.
Dancer and Platt were Canyon View's leaders all night on both ends of the floor Dancer scoring a game-high 18 points and Platt pitching in 14.
Erika May was North Sanpete's high scorer with nine points. Teammate Sylvia Bedford added eight.
The Falcons played excellent defense the whole game, especially in the second quarter when they forced nine Hawk turnovers.
"We take pride in defense," said Canyon View head coach Brad Lambeth, adding that holding the Hawks scoreless in the second quarter was the story of the game. "It's what gets us going. If we play good defense, we'll always be in the ball game."
Said Platt of the Falcons shutting out the Hawks in the second stanza: "We were getting good shots on defense tips, deflections and limiting turnovers."
"When we get down and play like that, it's a big spark," Dancer added.
Canyon View's defense combined with the Hawks' own dismal shooting percentage in the paint to doom North Sanpete. The Hawks had many chances to convert off offensive rebounds, but most of their second and third efforts would not fall.
Leading 32-9 at the half, the Falcons built their biggest lead, 43-15, with 4:49 left in the third quarter, thanks to three straight 3-pointers by Shaylee Berry, who netted 10 points for Canyon View. North Sanpete was never fewer than 20 points down the rest of the game.
Lambeth could not help but praise his two stars for their efforts.
"She's a coach's dream," he said of Platt. "She makes everyone around her better.
"She's the floor leader," he added about Dancer. "The girls call her 'mom.' She takes care of them."
Though pleased with his team's win, Lambeth is not taking anything for granted during the rest of the playoffs.
"It's like climbing a ladder,"Lambeth said. "The games get tougher.
Dancer and Platt are optimistic about their team's chances in the playoffs, both agreeing the win over North Sanpete gave them confidence and momentum going into the second round next week.
"We gotta be ready and I think we are," Dancer said.