The Grand Lady Red Devils were held to just 12 points in the first half on their way to a 64-33 loss at home to the Duchesne Eagles on Friday, Dec. 19. The Lady Devils traveled to Lindon to play Maeser Preparatory Academy the following day, losing 42-31 to drop to 2-4 on the season.

Versus the Eagles, Grand struggled mightily with the press defense Duchesne employed throughout the first half, frequently turning the ball over, which led to easy layups on the other end. Grand stayed close in the early going, before Duchesne finished the first quarter on a 13-2 run to go into the second quarter up 21-8. The Eagles scored the first 12 points of the second quarter as well, before a field goal by junior Lauren Drake finally got Grand on the board.

“Duchesne is a better team than we are right now,” Grand girls basketball coach Tony Chacon said. “They’ve got quite a few older players, more experienced players.”

The Lady Red Devils only scored two more points in the second quarter, on a field goal by senior Brook Schultz, while Duchesne tacked on 10 more points to go into halftime up 43-12.

Foul trouble also contributed to Grand’s struggles in the first half as Schultz accumulated three fouls in the first four minutes of the game and Drake also committed three fouls in the first half.

Chacon said the Lady Red Devils panicked against the defensive pressure put on by Duchesne, but added that Grand beat the press several times, but couldn’t finish at the rim.

“We would have been able to keep it close if we converted our layups and putbacks,” he said.

The Eagles abandoned the press for the most part in the second half, which allowed Grand to score evenly with them. Each team scored 11 points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth for the final score of 64-33.

Junior Talaunee Croasmun led Grand in scoring with nine points, followed by junior Symony Call with eight. Grand hit only three of its 10 free-throw attempts, while Duchesne converted 11-of-16 from the stripe.

The following night, Grand stayed close with Maeser Prep most of the game, even holding the lead with less than four minutes remaining, before the Lions pulled away late for the victory. Croasmun and Schultz tied for the team lead in scoring with nine points apiece.

Chacon said a turning point in the game was when senior Sadie Hansen was called for traveling when a Maeser Prep defender ran into her. Hansen was called for a technical foul after expressing her disgust for the call, and the Lady Red Devils never recovered.

For the game, the teams were even from the foul line as Grand shot 8-of-20 and Maeser Prep shot 8-of-19, but Chacon said in the final three minutes of the game, 11 fouls were called on Grand, while only two were called on the Lions.

The Lady Red Devils were playing without junior center Symony Call, which helped the Lions get 14 points and 21 rebounds out of 6-footer Bella Harrington. Chacon said the Lady Red Devils missed Call’s presence inside, which may have contributed to the game’s outcome. He said the Lady Red Devils again struggled converting at the rim.

“I was pleased with our effort, but as long as we can’t convert layups, put-backs and free throws, we won’t beat anybody,” Chacon said.

Grand is next scheduled to play versus Pinnacle Academy on Monday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m., before traveling to play Monticello on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.

“A good thing about these games that people sometimes forget is that as far as getting into the playoffs is concerned, these games don’t even matter,” Chacon said. “Region play is the only thing that counts. By the time we get to region, we’re going to be a better team and we’re going surprise some teams that will be taking us lightly because of our record so far.”

First-half struggles haunt Lady Red Devils at home

“By the time we get to region, we’re going to be a better team and we’re going surprise some teams that will be taking us lightly because of our record so far.”

What: Grand girls basketball versus Pinnacle Academy

When: Monday, Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Grand County Middle School, 439 S. 100 East