Grand County High School basketball player Ryelan Jones about to go up for a shot during the Best of the Four Corners tournament in Cortez, Colorado. The Red Devils went 6-0 in varsity play, winning the tournament for the third straight year. 

[Photo courtesy of Jennifer Horton]

The Grand County High School boys basketball team traveled to Cortez, Colorado, for its first of three summer camp tournaments in as many weeks, going 6-0 in varsity play over the two-day event, which took place Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8.

In day one, the Grand County High School (GCHS) Red Devil varsity team beat Kayenta, Arizona; Pagosa Springs, Colorado; and Rehoboth, New Mexico, in round robin play. In day two, GCHS beat Valley, beat Rehoboth a second time, and beat host Cortez, Colorado, in the final, claiming the tournament title for the third straight year. The junior varsity team took second in their division tournament, going 3-2 over the course of the two days.

GCHS boys basketball coach Scott Horton said players at the camp played well as they look to fill the voids left by the six seniors who departed the program upon graduation.

“A lot of our success was just the kids playing hard,” Horton said. “We lost all of our starters and our sixth man. We’ve got players trying to step up and fill those roles.”

Horton said that along with Kaine Allred, Milo Birdwell, Luke Williams and Ryelan Jones, four of the anticipated starting five for next season, GCHS players Chasee Croasmun and Tyler Bohannon, both of whom will be juniors next season, stepped up and made big contributions all weekend.

Horton said a tournament like this one helps build the Red Devil basketball program.

“It gives the kids confidence,” he said. “They’re playing varsity basketball at these tournaments as sophomores, so when they get to be juniors and seniors, it won’t be a shock to them. It also helps everyone build chemistry and get to know one another.”

The GCHS Red Devils have additional tournaments each of the next two weekends, heading to Parachute, Colorado, for the Eagle Shootout on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, where varsity will play five games in two days, and junior varsity will play four.

The following weekend, GCHS will participate at a summer camp at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado, where they will play 10 varsity games over three days.

By the time these tournaments have come to an end “these guys will have played a 21-game varsity schedule in three weeks,” which is roughly equal to an entire high school season, Horton said.