After backing into the playoffs after a dismal series of losses to end the regular season, the Grand County boys basketball team played hard and beat the Providence Hall Patriots 61-58 in the first round of state playoffs on Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Moab.
Grand dominated the first half, outscoring the Patriots 15-9 in the first quarter and 16-9 in the second.
The Patriots staged a second half comeback and took the third quarter 16-14 and Providence Hall really bounced back and took the fourth 24-16. Grand fended off the proud and determined Patriots just long enough to pull out the win.
Kaine Allred raked in 30 points, Milo Birdwell had 14, Ryelan Jones put down eight, Luke Williams picked up five and Eli Hazlett scored four. Birdwell had two three pointers, Williams had one.
Providence Hall had six three pointers compared to Grand’s three. Providence Hall’s top scorer put down two three pointers and earned 25 points. Jones, Birdwell and Allred picked up six rebounds and Jones had a team leading four steals.
The first round playoff win at home was an important morale booster for the team and Red Devils fans. Grand dropped six games in a row to end the regular season. The last regular season contest, against Emery, was a heartbreaker for many reasons, but even in losing, the boys proved they could be competitive.
Spartans end Devils’ season
The Emery Spartans didn’t let the Devils keep the game close in the second round of the playoffs, winning 42-69 on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Utah State University Eastern, in Price.
The first quarter was a horse race and both teams had trouble netting the ball. Emery committed five fouls, Grand picked up two and the Spartans gave up more offensive rebounds than Grand in the first quarter. Rafe Saunders and Williams bagged back-to-back three pointers. The Red Devils were right behind the Spartans 11-15 going into the second quarter.
Emery had a runaway 20-6 second quarter and the Spartans took the third 16-10. The fourth quarter was yet another horse race. Grand fell behind 15-18 and the Spartans moved onto the third round of playoffs.
Allred was the Devils’ high scorer with 14 points, Williams had eight, Hazlett netted seven and Birdwell had a three pointer in the first quarter. Allred, Williams, Hazlett, Birdwell and Zack Cook will graduate in May.