With Owen out of the lineup, the Lady Devils squad was without one of its major inside scorers, as well as a crucial component to many of their game day strategies. South Sevier was able to capitalize and the Lady Rams outscored the Red Devils in every quarter of the game.
“We came out with a lot of intensity,” said Grand County head coach Randy Martin. “We fell back a little bit, but we clawed our way back. Hannah Owen is such a huge part of this team defensively … when she’s not here, we don’t tend to play as well.”
Martin has confirmed that Owen will not return until the first round of playoff games.
“Even though we gave up 56 points, [we] were really active defensively and played a good game,” Martin added. Veda Gritts performed well under pressure, scoring 16 points with 14 rebounds earning yet another double-double this season. Annabelle Garrett also dropped nine points with seven rebounds on the night.
On Saturday, the Lady Devils faced the Richfield Lady Wildcats — which proved to be a massive challenge for the girls. Richfield took the lead early and never looked back, expanding their lead by huge margins every quarter. Richfield’s sniper point guard Emma Jones, who put up 29 points on the night, levied much of the onslaught.
“[Jones] was strong in the first half, and we adjusted our defense to counter that in the second half, but we just couldn’t get near her,” Martin said. “We just didn’t have an answer for her tonight.”
Martin also noted that Richfield had set their sights on stopping Gritts early, double-teaming her and making sure she never had a clear lane to the basket.
Gritts was able to score 13 points on the night, as well as grab 11 rebounds and make four assists. Junior Mercedes Zunich also contributed with her outside shooting game, knocking down seven points, including one three-pointer.
The Lady Devils will finish out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 10 at San Juan. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.