The Grand County High School boys basketball team extended its winning streak to seven consecutive games with a 95-86 road win over San Juan on Wednesday, Jan. 24, and home wins 59-56 over North Sanpete on Friday, Jan. 26, and 77-70 over Manti on Saturday, Jan. 27. The Red Devils (15-3, 7-2) finished their home slate undefeated at 8-0 with three road contests remaining.
Against the Broncos in Blanding, the Red Devils hit 13 three-pointers en route to their 95-86 win, including six from senior Masen Ward, who finished the game with 25 points. Senior Alec Williams had 17 points, 12 of which came from behind the arc.
In all, each starter scored in double figures as junior Cameron Hoppensteadt scored 18 points, senior Brayden Schultz had 15 points and senior Josh Jones had 10 points. Hoppensteadt had a “double double,” also collecting 13 rebounds.
The Red Devils then returned home on Friday, Jan. 26, to face the North Sanpete Hawks, which are the last team to give Grand a loss, 58-48 in Mt. Pleasant on Jan. 6. It looked as if it would go the same way in Moab before the Red Devils held the Hawks to five points in the fourth quarter, overcoming a double-digit deficit to win 59-56.
The front-court tandem of Schultz, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds; and Hoppensteadt, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds, led the way for Grand, while Williams also added 15 points. Coach Scott Horton said the key to the Red Devils’ comeback was execution on the defensive end.
“They decided to play defense,” he said. “We were able to stop ’em and then put it in the hole on the other end.”
The following afternoon, the Red Devils had their home finale versus Manti, who defeated the Red Devils 70-62 on Jan. 5. This time, however, the Red Devils forged ahead, beating the Templars 77-70 to finish the home portion of their schedule undefeated at 8-0, including wins over all six Region 15 opponents.
Ward finished the game with 24 points, while Hoppensteadt notched a third double-double in as many games for the week with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Williams and Schultz also finished in double digits scoring with 16 points and 11 points, respectively.
“(Hoppensteadt) is versatile,” Horton said. “He can shoot outside and if you put a smaller guy on him, he’ll just post up. And he’s a monster on the glass.”
Horton said the Red Devils were fired up to do well on senior day, especially with an undefeated home record in the balance. With their final three regular season games all coming on the road, he said it will come down to defense. The Red Devils, who remain No. 2 in 3A in the Deseret News rankings for the second straight week, face South Sevier in Monroe on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. The Rams (15-3, 6-2) are second to the Red Devils in the region standings, and are ranked No. 3 in 3A. Grand also plays at Richfield (9-7, 3-4) on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m., and at Emery (9-8, 3-5) on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.
“We know every game will be hard either at home or on the road,” Horton said. “We’re confident we can go anywhere and play.”
The Red Devils control their own destiny in the race for the Region 15 Championship and with it, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, but Horton said the Red Devils aren’t looking ahead.
“Right now we’re concentrating on Richfield and South Sevier,” he said. “We’ll let the playoffs take care of themselves.”
Grand wins trio of region games, controls playoffs destiny
1: Grand 15-3, 7-2
2: South Sevier 15-3, 6-2
3: Manti 12-6, 4-4
4: Richfield 9-7, 3-4
5: Emery 9-8, 3-5
6: North Sanpete 11-8, 3-6
7: San Juan 8-10, 3-6