Girls hoops: Devils earn first win

Josalyn Murphy breaks for the basket. She was the high scorer against the Tintic Miners on Jan. 3. Photos by Anthony Militano

The Grand County girls basketball team rang in the new year with the first win of the season with a score of 38-34 over the Tintic Lady Miners on Friday, Jan. 3, at home. The Red Devils scored the victory by playing smart, aggressive basketball to start off 2020.

“First win, it feels great,” said coach Andrea Noyes. “First win with a young team, it feels great, because they earned it.”

Grand was outplayed for most of the first quarter and neither team was hitting the net effectively, but the Red Devils literally had nothing to show for their efforts. Tintic was up 8-0 before Grand finally got a bucket with a little more than two minutes left in the first quarter. With time running out in the first, the Miners were looking for a breakout.

The Red Devils stopped them cold. With 2:11 left in the first, Grand County was down 2-8. The team made up the point deficit before the end of the first quarter and was down 7-8 going into the second.

Mere moments into the second quarter, Grand County took the lead, but the Miners did not surrender. The lead changed hands a few times in the second quarter, but Tintic kept pace with the Devils and Tintic had the ability to shoot and land three-point shots.

girls basketball josalyn murphy, jenny kopell
Jenny Kopell is a disruptive defender, bringing energy off the bench for the Red Devils.

Jenny Kopell came off the bench for Grand County in the middle of the second quarter. The Miners did not know how to handle Kopell who was loud, showy and an effective defensive tool for the Red Devils.

Grand County had a razor thin 15-14 lead at halftime and Josalyn Murphy led the way with nine points. She would have 21 points by the end of the night and be Grand County’s top scorer.

It was bombs away in the second half. The Red Devils offense had been stifled earlier in the season, but Tatum Scow, Rylee Behunin, Marguerite Groene and any other player who was in range put up some shots as opposed to passing the responsibility to Murphy, Megan Zunich or Tenney Cook.

Grand was up by 5 points with a score of 28-23 at the end of the third, but the Miners tied the game at 30 in the middle of the fourth. Grand scored just enough and held off Tintic just long enough to win.

Coach Noyes was happy, but noticeably reserved about the victory. Grand’s offense, particularly from the foul line, needs work. “I’m looking forward to a bright future for some of these young athletes,” Noyes said.

The Red Devils fell to the Gunnison Valley Bulldogs 23-52 on Saturday, Jan. 4, at Gunnison Valley High School. Murphy had 13 points and one three-pointer in that game. Grand County also lost to the North Sevier Wolves 34-77 at North Sevier High School. Zunich picked up 12 points and was the top scorer for Grand County in that contest. Murphy and Cook each scored nine points and each got one bucket from three-point land against the Wolves.

The Lady Red Devils will be back in Moab on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16.