Shorthanded girls basketball loses first two region games

By Nathaniel Smith
The Times-Independent

Region competition got off to a rough start for the Grand County High School girls’ basketball team, which was missing a key player in a pair of road losses to Manti and North Sanpete over the weekend. The two defeats ended the team’s winning streak and dropped its record to 5-6 overall and 0-2 in region.

The shorthanded squad was without leading scorer Han-nah Owen for both weekend bouts. Owen rolled her ankle in practice on Thursday and was unable to play in either game, said head coach Randy Martin. She is still questionable for the team’s upcoming games. “It’s day-by-day at this point,” said Martin.
Owen’s absence was felt by the Red Devils on both ends of the floor. “Hannah is a very talented player and when she’s not on the court for us, we struggle,” noted Martin. He explained that missing a primary scoring option, as well as Owen’s essential role covering ball handlers on the perimeter, made it hard for the team to adjust.

Grand started its weekend road trip with a game against the Manti Templars on Friday, Jan. 4. The Red Devils kept the game tight in the first half and only trailed by three points at halftime. Unfortunately, not unlike the boys’ game happening in Moab, Manti dominated the second half. The Templars racked up a whopping 43 points to Grand’s 24 after the break and ended up winning 70-48.

The game’s high scorer was senior center Veda Gritts with 18 points. Senior guard Mercedes Zunich scored 16 and senior Josie Camps added 12 points.

The next day, Jan. 5, Grand faced off with the North Sanpete Hawks. Grand had trouble getting anything going in the first half on offense and North Sanpete built a big lead. A particularly disastrous second quarter saw the Hawks scoring 28 to Grand’s four. The Red Devils actually outscored the Hawks in the second half, but the deficit was too large to overcome and North Sanpete won 63-30

Gritts again led the team in scoring with 13 points. Zunich added nine points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Grand has another weekend back-to-back coming up, but this time the girls will be defending their home court. On Friday, Jan. 11, Grand will take on South Sevier with varsity scheduled for 7 p.m. Richfield will come to town for a varsity game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The team will then get a couple of days of rest before getting back to it with another home game against Emery at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15.