Against the 1A Tabiona Tigers, the Red Devils “did what [they] were supposed to do,” said Coach Scott Horton. Grand held the Tigers to only 15 points as they built a 14-point lead over the smaller school before halftime. Senior Teddy Park led the team in scoring with 12 points. Senior Nolan Ramirez added nine points while also leading the team with five steals. Senior Cameron Hoppensteadt topped the team in rebounds and assists, grabbing 11 boards, setting up five scores and tacking on seven points of his own.
Grand continued playing well on Saturday, Dec. 1 against the Providence Hall Patriots. The Red Devils again held their opponent to a measly 15 points in the first half while putting up more than twice that total on their side of the scoreboard. Senior Connor Guerrero was the team’s top scorer with 15 points. Senior Kevin Park added 14 points and swiped a team-high five steals. Hoppensteadt was key on defense, leading the team with seven rebounds and three blocks.
Horton was pleased with the team’s performance, saying afterwards, “We played a lot better this weekend than we did our first game.” He said the team “played really good defense both games.” Horton noted the team’s defensive play has continued to develop, but it was Grand’s free throw shooting that showed the most marked improvement. Grand shot a subpar 40 percent from the line against Green River, which they improved to 46 percent against Tabiona and then dialed in even more by shooting 74 percent from the charity stripe in the Providence Hall game.
Horton credited the team’s early winning streak to its senior leaders. He said Grand has six good seniors who all contribute and “help take a lot of the load,” which gives the team strong depth. A good bench will certainly help the team play tough defense and continue picking up wins as the season moves forward.