After dropping their first six Region 15 games of the season, the Grand County High School Lady Red Devils broke into the win column and climbed two spots in the region standings, beating North Sanpete 42-33 on Friday, Jan. 25, and Manti 50-48 on Saturday, Jan. 26, in Moab.
Grand County High School (GCHS) senior Veda Gritts had a double double against North Sanpete, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Senior Josie Camps scored 11 points and had eight rebounds, while seniors Mercedes Zunich and Hannah Owen each scored eight points. For Owen, it was her second game back after spending the beginning of region play out with an injury. Owen also scored eight points in GCHS’ 94-48 loss at San Juan on Tuesday, Jan. 22, a game in which Gritts scored 22 points.
The Lady Red Devils fell behind early against the Lady Hawks, but didn’t fade away with any chance of a postseason likely hanging in the balance.
“We fell behind and I called a timeout,” GCHS girls basketball coach Randy Martin said. “I told the girls that they worked really hard in practice, too hard to quit or to back down. I told them we were getting good shots and they would start to fall. The girls responded and kept fighting throughout the game.”
Zunich gave the GCHS Lady Red Devils their first lead of the game with a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter.
“With about 1.6 seconds to go, we had Veda inbound to Mercedes and she just threw it up from about 60 feet and it went in,” Martin said. “It was such an uplifting moment for our team and it was deflating for (North Sanpete).”
The following day, the GCHS Lady Red Devils jumped out to the lead on Manti, building it to a 20-point advantage before foul trouble reared its ugly head. Gritts fouled out early in the fourth quarter and Owen followed shortly after.
“(Manti) sensed we were in trouble and took it right to us,” Martin said. “We were still up 15 when Hannah fouled out with four minutes to go and Manti got a 7-point play out of our timeout,” which Martin said was from getting back-to-back offensive rebounds following missed free throws and putting them in the basket, before making the third free throw.
In two seconds of game time, a 15-point lead evaporated into an eight-point lead. The Lady Templars’ rally, however, fell two points short as GCHS hung on for the 50-48 victory.
Owen scored 16 points, while Zunich added 13 for the GCHS Lady Red Devils, who scored 19 points from the free throw line
The GCHS Lady Red Devils hit the road for three games this week, playing Richfield on Friday, Feb. 1; South Sevier on Saturday, Feb. 2; and Emery on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Start times for Richfield and Emery are set for 7 p.m., while tip-off for South Sevier is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
“When we have our four seniors, Veda, Hannah, Mercedes and Josie Camps, we’re 7-1,” Martin said. “With those four out on the court together, we can compete with these elite teams this week.”
Lady Red Devils break into win column in region standings
“With about 1.6 seconds to go, we had Veda inbound to Mercedes and she just threw it up from about 60 feet and it went in.”
Region 15 standings as of Monday, Jan. 28
Emery 17-0, 8-0
Richfield 10-7, 6-2
San Juan 9-7, 5-3
South Sevier 12-5, 4-3
Grand 7-10, 2-6
North Sanpete 3-14, 2-6
Manti 5-14, 1-8