The Grand County High School girls basketball team got back to even in Region 15 play with a 49-38 win at North Sanpete on Friday, Jan. 26, and a 62-50 win at Manti on Saturday, Jan. 27.

The Lady Red Devils dominated the first and third quarters in Mt. Pleasant on their way to the 49-38 win. Grand only allowed the Lady Hawks 11 free throw attempts. The Lady Red Devils got 18 points from junior Veda Gritts, 17 points from junior Hannah Owen and seven points from junior Annabelle Garrett.

Grand girls basketball coach Randy Martin said he challenged his center to have a monster game and she did just that.

“We challenged Veda going into this game with a goal of 20 points and 20 rebounds,” Martin said. “She fell one basket short of 20 points, but she had 20 rebounds, four blocked shots and a couple of steals. She really filled up the stat sheet.”

The following day, the Lady Red Devils and Lady Templars played neck-and-neck for three quarters before Grand pulled away in the fourth. Owen had 23 points, while Gritts had 12. Garrett stepped up with 17 points and 16 rebounds in perhaps her best game since returning from missing a year of action from a torn ACL suffered in December 2016.

“She’s got nine games under her belt and she’s really starting to blossom,” Martin said. “She tore her ACL three games into her sophomore season so while everyone else was playing, she missed out on a year of experience. She’s just now getting the hang of playing varsity basketball.”

Martin said that Grand was able to exploit the Lady Templars’ press defense in the fourth quarter, a defense they’ve had serious problems with at other points of the season.

“We had great ball movement,” he said. “We were able to move the ball quickly, find the open person, and make our shots.”

Grand (8-9, 4-4 Region 15) has clinched a playoff spot as six spots in the bracket are guaranteed for Region 15 this season. The Lady Red Devils are currently fifth in the region standings, and the team will see a lot more of the press with its three home games this week. Grand welcomes South Sevier to the Devils’ Den on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., Richfield on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2:30 p.m., and Emery on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. Martin said the Lady Red Devils have been practicing “a lot” against the press because of their prior struggles, including bringing the boys C Team in to scrimmage the girls because of their speed.

Martin said the victories over Manti and North Sanpete are confidence boosters.

“We had a great weekend,” he said. “Everyone’s happy and upbeat.”

Garrett coming into her own since returning from injury

“We were able to move the ball quickly, find the open person, and make our shots.”

What: Grand girls basketball versus South Sevier

When: Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m.

What: Grand girls basketball versus Richfield

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2:30 p.m.

What: Grand girls basketball versus Emery

When: Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.

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