The Grand County High School boys basketball team went 2-0 at the Eagle Classic in Duchesne over the weekend, beating the host Eagles 73-55 on Friday, Dec. 1, and beating the Rich Rebels 50-45 on Saturday, Dec. 2. Meanwhile, the girls earned a 38-27 win over Gunnison Valley on Saturday, Dec. 2.
The Red Devil boys got off to a slow start against Duchesne, but used their depth to turn the game around, coach Scott Horton said.
“We put our second team in and they lit the fire,” he said. “Then we put our starters back in the game and they put it away.”
The Red Devils were particularly dominant in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles 23-9, which Horton said was because Grand was able to wear out the Eagles with its depth and numbers.
“We just wore ’em out,” he said. “We have a bigger and deeper team than them so we got them tired by the end.”
Four Red Devils finished with double-digit points against Duchesne, led by junior Cameron Hoppensteadt, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Alec Williams had 12 points, junior Tyson Horton had 11 points and senior Brayden Schultz had 10 points.
The following afternoon, the Red Devils got off to another slow start versus the Rebels, falling behind 19-11 by the end of the first quarter, but Grand turned in a defensive clinic in the second quarter, outscoring Rich 14-2 to take the lead, which they would never relinquish.
“Our defense picked up the pace,” Scott Horton said. “We were causing turnovers and holding them to one shot, which usually wasn’t a good shot.”
Scott Horton said it’s the first time he remembers the Red Devils defeating Rich in a long time.
“It was a good win for us. As long as I’ve been here we hadn’t beat ’em and we’ve played ’em three times,” he said.
Senior Masen Ward was Grand’s leading scorer with 14 points. Williams added nine points, junior Nolan Ramirez had eight points and three steals, and Schultz had eight points.
The Grand girls were also in action on Saturday, Dec. 2, picking up a 38-27 win at Duchesne, improving to 2-0. Junior Hannah Owen had 18 points and junior Veda Gritts had 14 points. The Lady Red Devils put forth a strong defensive showing, especially in the second half.
The girls were also scheduled to play at home versus Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 5. They host the Pinnacle Panthers on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. The Devilettes also begin their competitive season on Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Salt Lake Valley Classic in Draper, beginning at 8 a.m.
The Grand boys will remain on the road for the rest of 2017, beginning with their next game at Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.
“(Monticello’s) coaches will have their team ready to play, but we’re much deeper than them,” Scott Horton said. “We’ve got nine guys who can start on any given night.”
Scott Horton said that Grand relishes playing the entire month of December on the road before Region play begins.
“I think they enjoy the challenge,” he said. “Preseason ends on the 20th and region begins when we get back (from winter break). It gives them confidence to go on the road and do well in region.”
Grand’s next home game is a region game versus arch-rival San Juan on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Girls earn road victory over Gunnison Valley
“We just wore ’em out … We have a bigger and deeper team than them so we got them tired by the end.”
When: Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School gymnasium, 608 S. 400 East