Seniors Koi Cook, Hunter Stitzer and Kaden Risenhoover fight inside for a rebound against the San Juan Broncos on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in the Devils' Den. [Photo by Chasee Croasman / Moab Sun News]

The Red Devil boys and girls basketball teams each earned region victories over the San Juan Broncos this week as the girls traveled to Blanding and eeked out a 67-61 overtime victory on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and on Wednesday, Jan. 15, the boys earned a decisive 77-56 win in the Devils’ Den.

The girls opened up a 34-16 lead in the first half Tuesday before the Broncos stormed back to send the game into overtime, scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter.

“The Broncos hit a buzzer shot at the end of the third quarter and it kind of turned the momentum in their favor,” Grand girls basketball coach Tony Chacon said. “After that we lost focus for awhile and let them catch up.”

The Lady Devils gathered themselves and refocused in time to escape back up U.S. Highway 191 with the victory, Chacon said.

“I didn’t tear into them going into overtime,” he said. “Instead I was positive. I said ‘You’re a better team than they are. Let’s calm down and focus, and get the ball into Shailee (Croasmun’s) hands because she’s our best dribbler and shooter.’ The Broncos fouled her and she cashed in at the line in that overtime to get us the win.”

Croasmun, a senior, led Grand’s scoring attack with 29 points, while junior Brook Schultz scored 14 points and sophomore Symony Call added 13. Senior Alena Geiser and sophomore Talaunee Croasmun each added 5 points. Chacon said the Lady Devils had three players foul out of the game, which contributed to the turbulence.

“Anytime you win on the road, you’re going to have a tough time doing it,” he said. “We made it even harder by turning the ball over a lot in the second half, and we had three players foul out of the game, so we were subbing a lot at the end.”

Chacon said he was happy with the contingent that traveled south to watch the action.

“I’m very happy with the fans that came down to support us,” he said. “It really means a lot to the girls.”

Despite having three players disqualified, the Lady Devils outscored the Broncos 34-12 from the free-throw line, shooting 60 shots compared to San Juan’s 23.

“Our poor foul shooting almost cost us the game again,” Chacon said. “We only shot about 55 percent which isn’t good enough.”

Chacon said he is trying to pinpoint why the Lady Devils play well three quarters of the game and have a one-quarter let down.

“We’ve gotten into a habit where we’ll play 24 minutes of super-good basketball and play 8 minutes not that well at all,” he said. “I don’t know if I need to sub more or just get the girls to focus; haven’t put my finger on it, yet.”

The boys’ game in Moab on Wednesday followed a similar script as Grand jumped out to a 41-17 halftime lead before the Broncos made it interesting, cutting the Red Devil lead to 12 points before Grand responded to put the game out of reach for good.

“They pressed us in the second half and our kids didn’t take care of the ball very well,” Red Devil boys basketball coach Brook Shumway said. “We had a lot of turnovers.”

Shumway said senior Kaden Risenhoover, who led the Red Devils with 21 points, rose to the occasion in the third quarter to snuff out the Bronco rally.

“Kaden hit some big shots in that third quarter to respond to their runs and get the game going back in our favor,” Shumway said.

Three other Grand Seniors scored in double digits as Adam Jenkinson had 17 points, Koi Cook had 13 and Trevor Bertuzzi had 10. However, Shumway said the Red Devils’ key to winning is that they played their best defensive game of the season, particularly in the first half.

“We played great defense,” he said. “This is a complicated defense; it takes a lot of time to learn to run it. This is the best we’ve done all year.”

The girls are 9-2, 2-0 in Region 15 play, while the boys sit at 6-4, 1-1 in region. Both teams are headed into the meat and potatoes of their region slate. The girls were scheduled to play host to Emery on Tuesday, Jan. 21 and are scheduled road games versus South Sevier on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m., and against North Sevier on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 4:30 p.m., while the boys are scheduled to play home games this weekend at the same times, and against the same opponents, as the girls.

“For Shailee and Talaunee that game against Emery is like a rivalry game, because they’ve been playing against them their whole life,” Chacon said of the Croasmun sisters’ time as members of the Carbon Dinos. “Whenever you have a bad taste in your mouth from previous times playing someone, you want to do well.

“We’re going into the heart of our schedule. We need to win at least of one of these three games to be able to move into third or fourth spot in the region and have a more favorable play-in game. This is the toughest region in the state.”

The boys expected to win a couple more games during their non-region slate, but are happy with where they sit right now and confident moving forward, Shumway said.

“As far as region goes, 1-1 is really where we hoped we would be. Losing to Wasatch Academy wasn’t really surprising so we had to beat San Juan to keep pace. The kids are really starting to play well together and feed off of each other so we’re right where we need to be. Good things are headed our way.”

The Red Devil boys play host to South Sevier on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m., and North Sevier on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 4:30 p.m., in the Devils’ Den.

Boys triumph with 77-56 at home; girls eke out a 67-61 win on the road

“I’m very happy with the fans that came down to support us. It really means a lot to the girls.”

When: 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24

Where: Grand County High School, 608 S. 400 East

When: 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25

Where: Grand County High School, 608 S. 400 East