The Grand County High School Red Devils boys’ basketball team has logged a 7-1 overall record on the season after trouncing the Green River Pirates on the road, 86-29, on Wednesday, Dec. 20 in Green River.
Three Red Devils — Kevin Park, Cameron Hoppensteadt and Masen Ward — scored in double digits, combining for 31 points in the win. Park, who led with 11 points, put up three 3-pointers and a bucket, while Hoppensteadt added 10 points off four buckets and a pair of free throws. Ward put up 10 points via two 3-pointers and two goals. While the team put up 86 points, the shooting percentage in the paint only came out to 44 percent, a number head coach Scott Horton said he wants to see increase.
“As a team, we have talked about this, about taking better shots and making good selections,” Horton said. “If we keep running our offense the way we have been running it, by looking at it as a five-on-five offense, every game, we’re going to get good looks and those shots should start to come our way.”
From outside the arc, Park went 3-5 for nine of his 11 points, while Ward and Luke Williams each dropped two of their four respective attempts at some treys. In all, 10 Red Devils tossed in at least one 3-pointer for a total of 42 points. It’s that kind of shooting that Horton said is integral to the wins Grand County has racked up since the season began Nov. 21 against Union High School in Roosevelt.
“We’ve got a lot of outside shooters on the team this season and we’re not shy about taking those shots,” Horton said. “When we get open, especially on outside shots, I tell them to ‘take the shot’ no matter what. We’re never going to score unless we shoot, and they know this, so it has paid off in our outside scoring. We’re going to shoot the ball in all of those situations.”
Defensively, the Red Devils excelled under the basket on both offense and defense — as the team grabbed 25 rebounds against the Pirates and saved 16 under their own rim. Ward led with five rebounds, while Horton, Teddy Park, Kevin Park and Brayden Schultz each added four. Alec Williams combined with Schultz for seven steals and the Red Devils caused a total of 18 turnovers on the Pirates’ offense.
Next up, the Red Devils will open the 3A Region 15 season against the San Juan Broncos (3-3, 0-0) at home Wednesday, Jan. 3. Varsity tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Grand County High School.
“We’re going to come out ready to play San Juan,” Horton said. “They are one of our biggest rivals and we know each of them and what they can do. They also know us and what we can do, so we just have to keep playing our game and push for the win.”