Both teams had a sluggish first half as Grand outscored Maeser Prep 15-7 in the first quarter. But the Lions held their own in the second quarter, outscoring the Red Devils and sending Grand into halftime with a slim 25-20 lead.
Maeser Prep scored first in the third quarter, closing the gap to 25-22, but Red Devil junior Kaden Reisenhoover added a basket to bring the score to 27-22. Scoring for the Lions and the Red Devils then stalled for a short time as both teams struggled to put the ball through the net.
Eventually, Maeser Prep scored twice. Grand retaliated and senior Wesley Rodda scored on two shots in quick succession, followed by junior Nat Smith. That brought the score to 33-25 but Maeser netted a free throw to put the game at 33-26 as the third quarter ended.
Grand played tough defense and strong offense in the fourth quarter, surging to a wider lead on the play of the Red Devil upperclassmen. Junior Koi Cook and seniors Dale Thomas and Rodda made shots in quick succession, bringing the score to 42-26 before Maeser Prep managed to get back on the board. The Lions scored only a few times more in the game, but Grand went on several scoring runs, besting the Lions by nine points for the quarter. GCHS senior Brett Walker and junior Trevor Bertuzzi added the Red Devils’ last points of the game, bringing the final score to 53-37.
“Our first half was pretty slow,” said GCHS head coach Travis Clark. “We led at the half 25-20 but we did not have a ton of energy, and we were not rebounding well at all. I think we really need to work on that rebound. Second half... we were much better with the rebounding. We pushed the tempo and the ball a lot more, which I think made the difference for us in the game. We had some great off-the-bench performances, and the kids played really well.”
The Red Devil junior varsity team also won its game against Maeser Prep by the score of 55-47. GCHS assistant coach Tony Chacon said he was happy with how his team played.“
“Maeser gave a valiant effort, but once our team established the defense, we finally controlled the boards which let us come through with the win,” Chacon said.
The Red Devils’ next game was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Green River. Grand’s first home game will be on Friday, Nov. 30, against the Gunnison Bulldogs. Varsity play will begin at 7 p.m.