STHS grad isn’t along for the ride with Dixie |

STHS grad isn’t along for the ride with Dixie

Matt O'Neill

John Giannoni III is doing all he can to keep his basketball season going.

Giannoni and the Dixie State College (St. George, Utah) Rebels are still alive and well after beating Cochise College of Douglas, Ariz 83-63 in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship Tuesday afternoon in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The No. 1 Rebels came into the game sporting a gaudy 34-1 record and advanced into a second round matchup with Florida’s Okaloosa-Walton.

The Rebels outlasted Okaloosa-Walton 68-67 in overtime Wednesday to qualify for Friday’s semifinal against Wabash, Ill. Both teams are 34-1.

Although Giannoni is not starring for the Rebels like he did for the South Tahoe Vikings when he took them to two state semifinals and a zone title during the 1999-2000 season, he is providing Dixie with some quality minutes down the stretch to keep the Rebels in the hunt for a national championship.

In the Region 18 Championship game against Southern Idaho, Giannoni nailed four clutch free throws to preserve the win and send the Rebels into the NJCAA Tournament with the No. 1 ranking. Giannoni is averaging 2.9 points per game.

“He hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time the whole year, but he has hung in there the whole year and has played meaningful minutes,” Rebel coach Jeff Kidder told the St. George Spectrum.

The Rebels are hoping to have some more meaningful minutes later in the tournament.

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