The Grand County High School boys basketball team went 3-0 in its first week of action for the season, defeating Green River 88-66 in the home opener on Nov. 27, before heading to Duchesne over the weekend, where the Red Devils beat Tabiona 58-39 on Nov. 30, and Providence Hall 59-44 on Dec. 1.
In the opener, the Red Devils trailed 36-35 at halftime, before seizing the momentum in the second half. Senior Kevin Park tallied 24 points and five assists to lead five Red Devils in double figures. Junior Kort Allred scored 22 points and had seven rebounds; senior Nolan Ramirez had 15 points, seven steals and five assists; senior Tyson Horton had 11 points and four steals; and senior Teddy Park had 11 points.
The Red Devils struggled from the free throw line in the first game of the season, hitting only 10 out of 25 attempts. The Red Devils won the turnover battle, collecting 19 steals, while turning the ball over only 10 times themselves.
“Our point guards do a good job of getting us into our offense and keeping our turnovers limited,” GCHS boys basketball coach Scott Horton said.
Against Tabiona, Teddy Park led the Red Devils with 12 points, while Ramirez had nine and Allred, Kevin Park and seniors Connor Guerrero and Cameron Hoppensteadt each had seven. The Red Devils out-rebounded the Tigers 39-29 and out-shot them 39 percent to 30 percent. GCHS had 15 steals and six blocks.
“That’s the defense we play,” Scott Horton said. “We’re good at double-teaming.”
Guerrero led the Red Devils in scoring against Providence Hall, notching 15 points. Kevin Park had 14 points and five steals. Horton and Hoppensteadt each had eight points.
Coach Horton said that one of the Red Devils’ strengths is how they share the ball.
“We had three different leading scorers,” he said. “Any given night we have one or two guys in double digits, then another two or three with eight or nine points. We’ve got balanced scoring. You can’t guard everyone.”
Against the Patriots, the Red Devils shot a season best 14 of 19 from the free throw line. The Red Devils shot 45 percent from the field, while holding the Patriots to 33 percent. The Red Devils were out-rebounded 27-21, but turned the ball over only 12 times, compared to 19 by Providence Hall.
Horton said the Providence Hall free throw shooting is more characteristic of what to expect.
“We can shoot — we practice free throw shooting all the time,” he said. “I don’t know why, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t want to go in.”
The Red Devils are ranked No. 5 in 3A by the Deseret News after one week of non-region play. They were scheduled to play at Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and next play at Green River on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.
“We want to get ready for our region,” Scott Horton said. “We use these games to figure out what works well for us and what doesn’t. I was disappointed with the way we came out against Green River in the first half. We came out well in the beginning against Providence Hall and that’s how we want to start every game.”
The Lady Red Devils were far less fortunate than their male counterparts, falling 56-38 at Monticello on Tuesday, Nov. 27, before competing in a tournament in Price on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, where they lost 53-37 to South Summit, 66-23 to Carbon and 80-26 to Union.
The Lady Red Devils were playing without their two leading scorers Hannah Owen and Veda Gritts for both the Carbon and Union games, while Gritts was also absent versus South Summit. In their absence, senior Mercedes Zunich bore the torch, scoring 12 points versus South Summit, while leading the team in scoring versus both Carbon and Union, scoring 9 points versus the Lady Dinos and 12 versus the Lady Cougars. Senior Josie Camps scored 9 points against Carbon and 11 against Union.
The Lady Red Devils are scheduled a pair of home games against Gunnison Valley on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2:30 p.m., and against Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.
Red Devils lead game-winning streak with defense and balanced scoring
“We’ve got balanced scoring.”
What: GCHS girls basketball versus Gunnison Valley
When: Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2:30 p.m.
What: GCHS girls basketball versus Monticello
When: Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School gymnasium, 608 S. 400 East