Grand County High School freshman guard Hannah Owen, second from right, scored 4 points during the Lady Red Devils' home game against the Gunnison Valley Lady Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 30. After a loss to Manti the day before, Grand trounced Gunnison Valley by a score of 65-34. [Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

In nearly a mirror image of their 62-54 loss in Manti on Jan. 15, the Lady Red Devils lost 61-53 to the Lady Templars in Moab on Friday, Jan. 29, despite briefly leading in the fourth quarter. The Lady Templars converted a handful of free throws down the stretch to pull away from the Grand in the same fashion they did two weeks earlier. The following afternoon, the Lady Red Devils bounced back at home to steamroll the Gunnison Valley Lady Bulldogs 65-34.

On Friday night, Manti charged out of the gate, opening up a 23-10 lead on Grand’s home floor. A rally by the Lady Red Devils late in the second quarter cut the halftime deficit to 32-27. The Lady Red Devils carried that momentum into the second half, outscoring Manti 15-10 in the third quarter to go into the decisive frame tied at 42 apiece.

At 44-43 early in the fourth quarter, Grand got its first lead since leading briefly at the beginning of the game, but the Lady Templars were in the bonus and converted Lady Red Devil fouls into points. After getting behind with time on Manti’s side, Grand was forced to foul each time down the floor and steadily fell further behind, losing 61-53.

Senior Talaunee Croasmun was Grand’s leading scorer with 19 points. Junior Katie McKay scored 14 points, senior Symony Call scored 9 and freshman Veda Gritts scored 8. Manti’s Amanda Naylor was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points.

McKay caught fire early in the contest versus Gunnison the following afternoon in the Devils’ Den, scoring 10 first-quarter points to help Grand jump out to a 16-4 lead. Grand continued to hold the Lady Bulldogs down in the second quarter, carrying over what ended as a 19-0 run to, at one point, lead 25-4 before going into the locker rooms with a 38-12 advantage. Croasmun took the scoring baton from McKay in the frame, netting 13 of her game-leading 20 points. In the third quarter, Gritts scored 6 of her 12 points and Grand went on an 11-2 run to end the frame leading 53-23.

Grand’s starters played briefly in the fourth quarter before exiting in favor of experience for the team’s younger players. The Lady Red Devils outscored Gunnison 12-11 in the final frame, winning 63-34. McKay finished with 15 points to be Grand’s second-leading scorer. Freshman Annabelle Garrett scored 6 points, Call scored 4 points battling foul trouble most of the game, freshman Hannah Owen scored 4 points, senior Madi Jones scored 2 points and sophomore Tyra Robertson scored 2 points. For the Lady Bulldogs, Kemree Christiansen scored 19 points.

The Lady Red Devils own a 7-11 record as of Monday, Feb. 1, including a 3-4 mark in Region 15 play. The Lady Red Devils are tied with San Juan for fourth in the region standing after the Lady Broncos upset Manti 49-42 in Blanding on Saturday, Jan. 30. Both teams had three scheduled games remaining. Grand was scheduled to play at Emery on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at home versus San Juan on Thursday, Feb. 4, and at North Sevier on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The Lady Broncos, in addition to their head-to-head versus Grand on Thursday, are scheduled to play at home versus Emery on Thursday, Feb. 11, and at home versus North Sevier on Friday, Feb. 12. North Sevier and Emery are tied atop the region standings, each boasting a 5-1 record, only losing to each other. The Lady Wolves and Lady Spartans each beat both the Lady Red Devils and Lady Broncos by 20-plus points in their first meetings of the season.

In Grand and San Juan’s first meeting in Blanding on Jan. 19, Grand beat San Juan 59-31. Barring an upset by either the Lady Red Devils or Lady Broncos over North Sevier or Emery, winner of the arch-rivals’ contest in Moab, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m., will earn Region 15’s final spot in the state playoffs, which are scheduled to begin Feb. 19 at Orem High School and conclude Feb. 25-27 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.

Final playoff spot likely to be decided in home finale versus San Juan

When: Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.

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