The Grand County High School (GCHS) girls basketball team defeated the Monticello Lady Buckaroos 43-36 in Moab on Tuesday, Dec. 11, avenging a 56-38 road loss that occurred Nov. 27. The GCHS boys were also in action the same night, winning a road game versus the Green River Pirates, 89-63.
For the Lady Red Devils, senior Mercedes Zunich scored a team-leading 15 points against Monticello, draining four out of five three-point attempts, while also hitting three of her four free throws. Fellow seniors Veda Gritts and Hannah Owen were also in double figures, each scoring 11 points.
“Offensively, we moved the ball really well,” GCHS girls basketball coach Randy Martin said. “We found the open girl, whether it was Hannah and Veda in the first half, or Mercedes in the second half.”
A key difference from the first matchup between GCHS and Monticello, and the second matchup, was defensive execution, Martin said.
“Our defense was so much better the second time around than the first time,” he said. “We played a really good man-to-man defense this time and it made a big difference.”
Martin said he believed the Lady Red Devils also played with a chip on their collective shoulder, angry at themselves for losing to the Lady Buckaroos the first time.
The Lady Red Devils were scheduled to play at Pinnacle Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 18, where Martin said he hoped to get out to a fast start and put constant pressure on the struggling Lady Panthers. GCHS plays its final game of 2018 at home versus Green River on Friday, Dec. 21.
“I expect them to come out guns blazing,” Martin said. “We got em the first time around (60-25 on Nov. 20 in Green River), but it’s never easy to beat a team twice.”
Martin said he hopes for the Red Devil faithful to pack the Devil’s Den on Friday night.
“Green River’s fans travel well to support their team so we really need to pack the house and support our girls,” he said.
The GCHS boys remained undefeated, improving to 6-0 after beating Green River 89-63 on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Green River after jumping out to a 21-9 first quarter lead. The Red Devils had four players in double digits scoring, and another four with at least eight points.
Connor Guerrero and Cameron Hoppensteadt each had 13 points and six rebounds to lead the Red Devils, while Kaine Allred scored 12 points and Kevin Park had 10 points. Tyson Horton and Luke Williams each scored nine points, while Eli Hazlett and Teddy Park had eight apiece.
As a team, the Red Devils had 30 assists and shot greater than 50 percent from the field.
GCHS was also scheduled to play at home versus Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 18, and at Wayne on Wednesday, Dec. 19. The Red Devils play at home versus Monument Valley on Thursday, Dec. 20, then finish out 2018 at Vivint Smarthome Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 10 a.m., versus Summit Academy.