Grand County Middle School’s girls seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams started their respective seasons in mid-November. Since then, the two Lady Thunderbird squads have played between eight and 12 games and each team has won half its games, team coaches said this week.
The GCMS eighth-grade girls are 4-4 after eight games, according to head coach Brook Shumway. The team started the season with a loss at Monticello on Nov. 13, followed by a 25-5 win at Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding on Nov. 15. The eight-graders then lost at Whitehorse, 28-21 on Nov. 29, but came back to beat Whitehorse at Moab the following week, 18-12, on Dec. 4, Shumway said.
This month, the eighth-grade team defeated Lyman Middle School at Moab on Dec. 6, but lost to Monticello at Moab on Dec. 11, by the score of 24-19. GCMS then beat Monument Valley in a home game at Moab by the score of 52-10 on Dec. 13, but lost to Mont Harmon 25-24 in overtime on Dec. 17.
The team had only six eligible players for its last three games: Ellie Kelly, Lexi Pierce, Tia Shumway, Delanee Olsen, Sarah Day, and River Richards, according to coach Shumway.
The team hopes to see the remaining players on its squad return to action soon, as the eighth-grade Lady Thunderbirds plan to share a bus with the eighth-grade boys team and attend a weekend tournament in Kayenta on Jan. 18 and 19, coach Shumway said.
Meanwhile, the GCMS seventh-grade girls team is 6-6 overall, playing essentially the same schedule as the eighth-graders, plus a weekend tournament in Kayenta, Ariz. In that tournament, the Lady Thunderbirds won every game except for the a matchup against Chinle, Ariz.
Against Utah competition, the seventh-grade girls have played several close games, with at least two of the losses being decided by one or two points in the final seconds of the game, said coach David Olsen, who is being assisted by Raye Lyne Robertson.
Players on the seventh-grade squad include Tyra Robertson, Emily Jade Meyer, Desi Sanchez, Brenna Cobb, McKinsey Brewer, Reagan Paxman, Brooklin Hugentobler, Emylee Slagstad, Breeanna Singer, Belen Santana, and Isabella Walter.
“We are very proud of the way the girls have competed with great sportsmanship,” coach Olsen said. “The girls made some lasting friends from other teams.”
Both the seventh- and eighth-grade girls teams have already played most of their season schedule but each has a few games remaining in January, their coaches said.