No. 18 dixie state rides 17-game win streak into d-ii tournament ksl.com west la college international student office

ST. GEORGE — of all the accomplishments former alta high star trevor hill has made in his four-year career at dixie state, one honor has eluded him.

He’s the reigning pacwest player of the year, the first-ever in the history of the trailblazers’ athletic program. He’s one of the top-five scorers in dixie state’s NCAA history.

“for me, this is something I want really bad,” said hill, who averaged 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. “I’ve heard about it, but never done it. But we’ll just take it one game at a time.

Hill and the second-seeded trailblazers will open the NCAA division II tournament against pacwest rival azusa pacific at 3:30 p.M. MST friday in monmouth, oregon, the home of top-seeded western oregon.

The 18th-ranked program from st. George is one of the hottest teams in division II right now, moving up from a spot that saw that rated around no. 4 in the west at the end of the regular season.Dixie state’s

Fresh off the league regular-season and conference tournament titles, dixie state is riding a 17-game win streak and hasn’t lost since jan. 30 against point loma, one of just two losses in conference play for the trailblazers (23-6).

“in the preseason, we came out 4-5. But the coach just told us to keep doing what we were doing,” hill said. “the wins came later. We have great leaders, great coaches … and the wins have been taking care of themselves.”

The most recent win is, perhaps, the most impressive. Down 17 at one point in the second half, no. 18 dixie state rallied for a 66-64 win over no. 19 cal baptist in saturday’s championship game of the pacwest tournament, which was hosted by cal baptist.

By sunday evening, the team had boarded a bus in irvine, california, driven across the desert back to st.Dixie state’s george, and learned their tournament fate for the west regional.

“going through the pacwest actually prepared us for the tournament,” hill said. “I think we played seven of the eight teams in the west region. We’ll see if we can get a few wins. Not looking ahead, but the next round against cal baptist looks like a fun one.

Dixie state’s side of the bracket boasts four teams from the pacwest, including azusa pacific — a conference rival the trailblazers beat dec. 29, 88-73.

It will be the last game against the two teams as members of the pacwest, too. Dixie state will become a full-time member of the rocky mountain athletic conference beginning with the 2018-19 academic year — following its football team, which joined the conference as an associate member in 2016.Dixie state

“it’s funny, we won the first pacwest conference tournament — and this year is the last year in the conference, and we did the same thing,” said dixie state coach jon judkins, the pacwest coach of the year. “we talked about it being our last year in the pacwest, so let’s go out with a bang. These guys have done that.”

Dixie state senior guard trevor hill rises for two of his team-high 15 points in the trailblazers’ 71-52 victory over dominican university in st. George. (photo: stan plewe, dixie state athletics)

The trailblazers lost four of their first six games during non-conference play. But a players-only meeting, a set of revamped expectations and a fresh start to pacwest play turned things around.

During its current win streak, which ranks as the longest in dixie state’s NCAA history, the trailblazers have seen contributions from across the spectrum.Dixie state’s that includes hill, the 6-foot-4 former alta star who chose dixie state over offers from montana state, westminster and several junior colleges.

“this is a community I grew up in; it’s where I’m from,” simister said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity — it’s something I could’ve never imagined to represent this school on such a big stage.

“my dad talked about playing basketball, and it was always my dream to play college basketball like him. When dixie state offered me, I knew it was the right fit for me. I couldn’t ask for better teammates and better coaches.”

Simister has averaged 15.0 points per game as a senior and became the trailblazers’ all-time leader in career 3-pointers after a prep career that included three-straight region 9 titles and a berth in the class 3A state championship game in 2012.Dixie state’s

“trevor is the captain of the team, and we’ve rallied around him. But the unselfish play has been there for us. When you start winning, some people might try to take a few more shots. But I don’t feel that way with our team at all … there are multiple people who can go off for 15-20 points a night.”

The trailblazers rely on a veteran roster that includes six seniors and four division I transfers, including former utah commits brandon miller and austin montgomery and ex-BYU walk-on zach frampton.

“we knew we had the experience of being in conference tournaments, in the race for a regular-season championship. We know what it takes to win,” simister said. “we lost a lot of close games at the beginning of the year, but I feel like our leadership and our seniority has really taken off.Dixie state’s