Freshman Courtney Morley got open and drained shots early. When she saw a defender following her every move, senior Tara Shipp was ready to pick up the slack.
Add in defensive stops at the right times, and the Cedar Lady Reds produced a winning formula.
Morley scored 13 points, all in the first half, and Shipp added 10 as Cedar got a balanced scoring attack and held off Canyon View 48-40 at home in the Region 9 opener for both teams.
“She’s a gamer,” Cedar coach John Elison said of Morley. “She’s got mind sense for the game and is just smart. She eats the game of basketball.”
Morley hit two of her three 3-pointers in an 11-2 run that started the second quarter to help Cedar (1-0 Region 9, 2-1 overall) build a 21-10 lead, but Canyon View (0-1, 2-4) had a strong run of its own after falling behind 24-14 at the half.
“I was excited,” said Morley. “It was like ‘we better beat them, or it’s not going to happen.’ Coach would say ‘squatters all day.’
“They were all over me trying to keep me from shooting the three, so I let them stay on me so my teammates could go right to the basket.”
Behind a pair of 3-pointers from Josie Platt, who led all scorers with 15 points, the Falcons went on a 13-4 run of its own to trim the deficit to one at 28-27 late in the period.
But that’s when Shipp and the rest of the Lady Reds decided to turn up the defensive heat to high.
“We knew (CV) would get hot, so we had to step up our defense,” Shipp said. “The whole game was about our defense and our offense just came (together).”
Shipp hit a pair of baskets inside and sophomore Javlyn Weaver added a steal and layup that closed the quarter with a 6-0 run as Cedar took a 34-27 lead and wasn’t challenged the rest of the way.
A telling sequence to how the night went the Falcons came in the final minute. Following a free throw from Weaver, Shipp missed the second of two free throws of her own, but Taylor Davis got inside to convert the offensive rebound and stretch the Lady Reds’ lead to 48-37.
Platt would hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to complete the scoring.
“We weren’t good enough at the end of the night,” Canyon View coach Kim Blackner said. “We didn’t do enough of the little things as far as rebounds, handling the ball. Every run we made, they turned the tables by doing other things.
“I challenged the seniors a bit and told them this isn’t their first rodeo. … We have to step up, take ownership of the way we’re playing and do enough of the little things to win games.”
DESERT HILLS 40, DIXIE 30: Haley Bodnar led all scorers with 14 points as the Thunder won a defensive battle in the Region 9 opener for both teams at Dixie.
The Flyers (5-2, 0-1) hung with the Thunder (6-0, 1-0) by nailing five 3-pointers. Senior Liz Thompson hit three of them. Sophomores Kelsey McCann and Aubri Challis each hit one. McCann` led Dixie with 10 points.
The Thunder answered each Flyer run with either a Bodnar move in the lane, Karlee Myers (9 points) driving to the basket or Emily Seifert (8 points) hitting a jump dot from the corner.
PAROWAN 42, MILFORD 35: The Parowan Rams and Milford Tigers were each undefeated heading into Tuesday’s contest. Thanks to sharp shooting from Chennin Benson (17 points), the Rams were able to stave off their opponents for a terrific 5-0 start.
McKinsey Smith put on a stellar performance in the paint, where she finished with 12 points.
SNOW CANYON 66, PINE VIEW 26: No details reported.
BEAVER 52, EMERY 49: No details reported.
RICHFIELD 45, ENTERPRISE 31: No details reported.