Templars end Red Devils’ season

By Anthony Militano

The Times-Independent

The season is over for the Grand County girls basketball team after they came up short in a tiebreaker with the Manti Templars played Feb. 13, 44-38. The lost kept the girls from playing in the qualifying playoffs that began Friday, Feb. 15.

Coach Randy Martin had encouraging words for his team, which faced an uphill season from the beginning with injuries to key starters.

“It was a disappointing ending to our season,” said Martin in an email. “We played a solid offensive game and defensively, the girls battled all night long, but the shots just did not fall for us. We fell behind several times in the game and battled back each time, but in the end we came up short.”

The Lady Devils came on strong in the third and fourth quarters. Grand outscored Manti 11-6 in the third and 9-8 in the fourth. Hannah Owen had 19 points. Veda Gritts had 13. Mercedes Zunich picked up six points for Grand.

“Hannah Owen played an outstanding game on both ends of the court. Every time we fell behind she would get the ball and score to keep the game close,” Martin said.

Owen, who is a senior and team captain, said, “I think that we took a while to find our offensive rhythm and Manti really came out playing hard. Once we found our offensive rhythm, Manti already had the lead and it was hard for us to come back and win.”

For the season, Gritts’ numbers were tough to top. She scored 257 points, snagged 255 rebounds with 51 assists and 21 steals. Zunich, also known as “Rudy,” from the movie, had 218 points, 25 buckets from three-point land, 60 rebounds 28 steals, and 32 assists for the season. Owen missed seven games to injury and still earned 216 points, 92 rebounds, and averaged 14.4 points per game. Josie Camps, the unsung hero of the Lady Devils, earned 122 points, 23 three-pointers, 65 rebounds, 30 assists and 23 steals.

“It was a tough year for the team with injuries to our key players, but I give them all credit, they never quit and fought all year long,” Martin said.