Top Photo: The Grand County Middle School Boys Basketball team gathers for a group photo. Back row, left to right: Tyson Horton, Cameron Hoppensteadt, Brody Williams, Connor Guerrero, Kane Scherer, Teddy Park and Bryson Haycock. Front row: Trevin Packard, Kai Wainer, Jaxen Saunders, Taylor Torgerson, Connor Denny, Nolan Ramirez and Kevin Park. [Photo courtesy of Connie Wilson]

Bottom Photo: Grand County Middle School's seventh-grade basketball players. Back row, left to right: Brayden Trout, Kaine Allred, Jayden Dowd, Milo Birdwell and Dylan Schocknmeyer. Front row: Morgan Alvey, Braden Cloud and Luke Williams. [Photo courtesy of Connie Wilson]

The Grand County Middle School boys basketball season came to an end after two back-to-back tournaments in Richfield and Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

The teams faced strong competition at both tournaments.

The eighth-grade varsity team went to the semifinals at both tournaments, losing by a few points to the New Castle Legacy team of New Castle, Colorado, which ultimately won the Glenwood Springs tournament. In Richfield, the GCMS team lost to a strong Emery team by less than 10 points.

GCMS eighth-grader Kane Scherer took second in a three-point competition at the Richfield tournament. He was one basket away from first place.

The seventh-graders, who had a small team and only one player on the bench, went to the finals at the Glenwood Springs Tournament and lost to Montrose, Colorado. During the Richfield tournament, they faced very strong competition at every game.

Head Coach Conrad Yanito spent endless hours working with the boys, according to parent Connie Wilson. He held daily practice from early November to mid-March, keeping the boys motivated, and having fun throughout the winter, she said.

On March 6, he arranged a sleepover, which allowed the boys to basketball all night long.

Wilson said that Yanito has developed a strong reputation for building a successful middle school program. He is well-respected throughout southeastern and central Utah, and schools along Colorado’s Western Slope also look forward to having Moab attend their tournaments, she said.

Assistant Coaches Erik Haycock and Wesley Rodda Ramirez also put in endless hours of volunteer time with the boys this season, Wilson said. They were strong mentors, she said, and the parents are all very grateful for their hard work.

According to Wilson, each boy excelled and all became stronger players.

The eighth-grade team was well known for its deep, talented bench. Five fresh and talented players could come off the bench, when other teams started to get weak and tired, she said.

The seventh-grade team was known for its ability to pass, and to move the ball well as a team, Wilson said. All boys have played together since fourth grade, and work well together, she added.

An end-of-the-season celebration was planned for Wednesday, April 15, at Rotary Park.

Kane Scherer places second in 3-point competition at Richfield tournament