On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Grand handily outscored the Green River Pirates in the first quarter 19-9. But Green River played a tougher second quarter and outscored the Red Devils 18-14, leaving Grand with a narrow 33-27 lead at halftime.
The Red Devils and the Pirates were evenly matched in the third quarter, leaving Grand ahead 40-34 as the fourth quarter began. In that final quarter, the Red Devils widened their lead to win the game by the score of 59-47.
Senior Dale Thomas was the top scorer for the Red Devils with 19 points, including sinking three of four shots from the 3-point line. He was later named MaxPreps’ Player of the Game.
Thomas was supported by fellow senior Brett Walker, who scored 11 points, and junior Nat Smith, who added 10.
“I am very happy with our performance,” said GCHS head basketball coach Travis Clark. “I thought we did a great job conrolling the boards. We had 36 rebounds and made 46 percent of our shots from the field. Dale [Thomas] played a super game, but ultimately I think our defense was what won us the game. We controlled the boards really well and I think that in the end that’s why we came out with the victory.”
The Red Devil junior varsity also had a successful game against the Pirates.
“We came out and it was a bit of a battle at the start … it was pretty intense,” said assistant coach Tony Chacon. “But the second half we put out a little more pressure, which was enough for us to come ahead and win by one.”
Grand’s varsity team had a tougher time Friday, Nov. 30, when the Red Devils played their first home game against the Gunnison Bulldogs. Grand lost that contest 48-36.
The Red Devils opened strong, outscoring the formidable Bulldogs 13-12 in the first quarter, but Gunnison outscored Grand in the second quarter to take a 21-19 lead at the half.
As the third quarter opened, Grand’s game fell apart, and numerous fouls caused the Red Devils a lot of trouble as the Bulldogs took a decisive 39-23 lead. While Grand outscored Gunnison in the final quarter of the game, it just wasn’t enough to pull out a win, and the Red Devils lost 48-36.
It wasn’t all bad, though, as several of Grand’s players had strong games. Junior Koi Cook scored 12 points for the Red Devils, and Walker added 11. Cook was later named MaxPreps’ Player of the Game, in that contest.
“We played a really, really good game,” said Clark. “And as a whole I think our defense did really, really good. We just had a very poor third quarter and we didn’t execute the plays we should have.
“Another thing that I think contributed was that we only got 20 rebounds the entire game, which is quite a few less than we had at Green River. In addition, Gunnison had 34 free-throws, while we shot seven, which I think means that we didn’t get the calls, or we really need to do a better job of taking the ball to the basket and not getting fouled up.
“But, Koi [Cook] played a great game. He had seven rebounds, was named player of the game … I think he just did an excellent job and even with the loss I’m really happy with how our team played.”
The Red Devils are on the road Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6 and 7, in Parowan and Beaver. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, Grand will have its second home game, against Green River. Varsity play for all three games begins at 7 p.m.