Second half explosion from Simmons powers Snow Canyon to win over Dixie

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Lyman Simmons took over in the second half against Dixie, scoring 11 points, including seven in the third quarter.
Lyman Simmons took over in the second half against Dixie, scoring 11 points, including seven in the third quarter.

After picking up a pair of early fouls and taking a seat on the bench until midway through the second quarter, Snow Canyon (15-0, 3-0) star Lyman Simmons took over the rest of the way and guided the Warriors to a 45-40 victory over Dixie (10-3, 2-1) on Wednesday night.

Simmons earned two fouls in the opening minutes and Dixie slowly built a one-point first quarter advantage into a nine-point edge halfway through the second quarter at 19-10.

"Really it was just about some guys coming in and being ready," Head Coach Doug Meacham said. "That's going to happen (in a) season. You've got teams that deal with injuries. You've got teams that deal with sickness. So, you have to have guys all the way down to the end of your bench that are bought in and locked in."

From there, Simmons—who had been held scoreless until returning to the game—showed the Dixie and Snow Canyon crowd exactly what he could do.

Simmons finally got on the board with a hook shot and subsequent goaltending call on Cam Dyer. The 6-foot-9 junior then hit a corner triple to cut the Dixie lead to 21-15. A Bowen Hammer triple at the halftime horn had Snow Canyon down just three, despite Simmons' limited minutes and Hammer not being at 100%.

"It just makes me think about wanting to play smarter," said Simmons about picking up early fouls. "Still continuing to play at a higher pace but play smarter and not get that many fouls."

Second-half surge

The closing minutes of the first half were just the start for Simmons, who tallied 11 points in the second half, with the exclamation point being a two-handed slam over Kyle Lemke, giving Snow Canyon a 39-32 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Lyman Simmons powers home a dunk on Kyle Lemke, putting the exclamation point on a dominant second half.
Lyman Simmons powers home a dunk on Kyle Lemke, putting the exclamation point on a dominant second half.

"In the second half, we talked about trying to get the ball up early before we even get set in the offense," said Simmons, who led all scorers with 16 points. "That's the first thing we looked at. If it wasn't there we would set up and run our plays. That was our mindset."

In the final two minutes, Snow Canyon shot 6-8 from the foul line to keep Dixie at bay.

"We're just trying to figure out how to win smart," Meacham said. "At the end of games, we want to get the highest percentage shot. We want to try and get free throws and layups and finish with the right type of shots."

Dyer scored 14 for Dixie, who was without starting point guard Risko Brooks. In his place, sophomore Jordan Roberts took over running the Flyer offense and scored seven points.

Owen Mackay steps up

With Simmons on the bench just 1:30 into the game and Hammer dealing with a back issue, per Meacham, sophomore Owen Mackay stepped up.

Mackay tallied six points, a pair of blocks, and two steals, igniting the Warriors bench early with a big slam following a steal and a layup off an offensive rebound.

"Energy. Energy. He brings it," said Meacham. He brings a will to win and that's contagious. It just makes other guys want to play hard and compete."

Mackay finished with 11 points.

With the five-point win, Snow Canyon moves to 5-0 in games decided by five points or less.

Sean Ellertson is a sports reporter for the St. George Spectrum & Daily News. To continue to support his work, please subscribe to The Spectrum. Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanEllertson.

This article originally appeared on St. George Spectrum & Daily News: Simmons takes over in second half as Snow Canyon beats Dixie

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