The Grand County High School boys basketball team improved to 4-0 in dramatic fashion on the road on Tuesday, Dec. 4, versus Monticello, breaking a tie in the closing seconds to win the game 64-62.
Tied at 62-62, the Grand County High School (GCHS) Red Devils forced a turnover as senior Connor Guerrero intercepted a Buckaroo inbound pass and got it to fellow senior Nolan Ramirez. Ramirez passed the ball, then got it back, releasing a floater through the net with about five seconds to go. Monticello’s desperation have from near half-court careened off the backboard, preserving the win for the Red Devils.
“Monticello is a good team. They’re well-coached and we play each other a lot (and) we know what each other is going to do,” GCHS boys basketball coach Scott Horton said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 1A, 3A, 4A — if you can play basketball, you can play basketball.”
Horton said that despite finding themselves in adverse situations, the Red Devils remained calm and confident.
“Those guys have played a lot of basketball together over the years,” he said. “They know how to play together.”
Ramirez led the Red Devils both offensively and defensively, scoring 14 points and collecting seven steals. Guerrero had 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior Cameron Hoppensteadt had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and senior Teddy Park had 10 points.
The Red Devils had to overcome a disparity in three-point shooting. The Buckaroos hit nine out of 16 attempts from behind the arc, while GCHS was five for 22. The Red Devils offset that disadvantage by out-rebounding Monticello 42-26 and forcing 18 turnovers, while only giving the ball away 10 times.
The Red Devils are keeping themselves busy leading up to winter break. They were scheduled to play at Green River on Tuesday, Dec. 11. They play Monticello again, at home on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. The following night, they play at Wayne at 7 p.m., then return home for a game versus Monument Valley on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. They finish off their 2018 slate of games at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz, versus Summit Academy on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 10 a.m.
“These guys have been playing good basketball for a few years and when you play good basketball, you get a chance to do things like that,” Horton said of the Red Devils’ opportunity to play in an NBA arena. “As for the games three nights in a row, that’s what you’ve got to do to win state, and that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Ramirez sinks game-winner in final seconds
“As for the games three nights in a row, that’s what you’ve got to do to win state, and that’s what we’re shooting for.” – Scott Horton, GCHS Boys Basketball Coach
What: GCHS boys basketball versus Monticello
When: Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.
What: GCHS boys basketball versus Monument Valley
When: Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School gymnasium, 608 S. 400 East