The Red Devils boys’ basketball team had a rough week, losing two out of their three games and bringing their eight-game win streak to an end.
The boys kicked off the week with a massive win over San Juan, 75-50. The Devils out-scored the Broncos drastically in the first three quarters and headed into the fourth quarter up by almost 30 points — as head coach Scott Horton benched his key players thanks to the comfortable lead. The Red Devil’s strategy going into the game was to keep the Broncos from getting comfortable.
“We ran them off the three-point line,” Horton said. “We sought to force San Juan to have to try and win by twos.”
The boys did not carry that momentum into the weekend, however, losing their next game on Friday to the Manti Templars, 70-62. Seniors Alec Williams and Brayden Schultz had standout performances, both scoring 13 points in the game. Junior Cameron Hoppensteadt hit an amazing 100-percent field goal percentage on the night, sinking all seven of his attempted shots for a total of 15 points.
The Devils fell short on defense, however, and made many crucial mistakes that ended up costing them. Horton noted that the boys had a hard time rebounding against Manti, giving them too many “second shots.” He also said that the Red Devils put the Templars on the free-throw line too often. Grand was unable to recover from the deficit created by missed opportunities and Manti’s ability to capitalize on mistakes.
On Saturday, the bad streak continued for the Red Devils as they took another loss to the North Sanpete Hawks, 58-48. The game started off close, with the relatively low-scoring match tied up at 8-8 after the first quarter, but it quickly slipped away from the Devils after that. Grand was outscored 19-14 in the second quarter, 15-10 in the third, and despite a valiant comeback attempt in the final quarter, the squad could not recover from the deficit.
Nolan Ramirez, Williams and Schultz all had double-digit scores, with Ramirez and Williams racking up 10 and Schultz 15. Hoppensteadt also added 10 rebounds and two steals for the Red Devils, but it wasn’t enough. Coach Horton blames the loss on “super lazy basketball.”
“We’re not going to do well without energy … we played really lazy basketball, and the region is too good to play lazy,” he added. Coach Horton also noted that turnovers were a major contributing factor in their loss as well. North Sanpete tallied 32 rebounds and 12 steals against the Devils, which gave them the edge in a game that was largely decided by defense and capitalizing on mistakes.
Coach Horton is very aware of the turnover issue, and says that his team will be making major adjustments moving forward, focusing on protecting the ball and ramping up their energy level.
The Red Devils will host Richfield on Friday night. Varsity tip-off is set for 7 p.m.