ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills played tight on the Springville Red Devils, smacking them down for a 40-28 win at Dixie High School.
The Thunder wrapped up their visit to the Ken Robinson Classic with a stifling performance that left the Red Devils looking for oxygen.
Quincy Mathews led the way with 23 points for Desert Hills — more than half the team’s points — doing anything and everything he wanted in the paint.
“I want to lead this team, so I need to take over the game,” Mathews said. “(Springville) didn’t double-team me, so I was able to get my way to the basket.”
The Thunder jumped out to a 15-5 lead early in the second quarter following a 3-pointer by Marcus McKone. The Red Devils called a timeout to weather the storm. Desert Hills cooled off, but Springville never heated up.
“We played well coming out and jumping out fast,” Mathews said. “We talked about (Friday) and and how we came out slow and were dragging. Today we came out with strong play and not act like we’re still sleeping since it was an early game.”
Springville scored five points to start the fourth quarter before Mathews knocked down two free throws to stop the run — 31-24, Desert Hills. The game ended with a 9-4 run for Desert Hills, highlighted by a leaning, off-balance shot from Mathews, leading to the final score.
Logan Forsyth had a highlight assist in the third quarter. The basketball trailed toward out of bounds, but Forsyth zipped toward the sideline and grabbed the ball. He flung it behind his back while floating in the air, and it landed in Mathews’ hands. Mathews sprinted down the court for a fastbreak layup — 21-14, Desert Hills.
“I saw Q taking off the other way,” Forsyth said, “so I just threw it behind my back and hoped for the best.”
Mathews scored on two and-one situations. Logan Hokanson tossed the ball inside to Mathews, who turned, shot and scored. He was fouled and hit the free throw — 26-17, Thunder. Again, Mathews went up on a contested close-range shot and hit it. He then was fouled and made the free throw — 29-19, Thunder.
Forsyth said he loved Desert Hills’ play without the ball, especially by teammates Austin Adams, Jayce Jones and Mathews.
“What helped us win was defense,” Forsyth said. “Austin, Q and Jayce were strong down low.”
Desert Hills returns to region play Wednesday with a game at the Dixie Flyers. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich.