The Grand County High School (GCHS) boys basketball team shot just 28% from the field in its season-opening game against North Sanpete on Friday, Nov. 22, falling to the Hawks 62-59 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz. GCHS outperformed the Hawks in almost every other statistical category, but 52% 3-point shooting, and 40% shooting overall, helped North Sanpete overcome the Red Devils. North Sanpete hit 13 3-point shots, while the Red Devils had only six, more than erasing a 23-7 advantage in made free throws by GCHS.
“We had every chance to win the game,” GCHS boys basketball coach Scott Horton said. “Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”
Horton said the size and atmosphere of playing in an NBA arena may have contributed to the Red Devils’ shooting woes.
“For our first game, that was probably the wrong setting,” he said. “But, the other team had to play on it, too, so that’s no excuse. We’ve got to finish at the rim and get better.”
GCHS senior Kaine Allred was the Red Devils’ leading scorer, tallying 26 points with the help of 14-of-23 free throw shooting. Fellow seniors Luke Williams had 13 points and Eli Hazlett had 12.
“Kaine is a long kid,” Horton said. “It’s hard for taller kids to guard him outside, and he knows how to get to the rim.”
Allred and Hazlett each had double-doubles, collecting 11 rebounds and 12 rebounds, respectively, as GCHS outrebounded the Hawks 39-31. GCHS also won the turnover battle 20-7 with help from Williams’s five steals and junior Ryelan Jones’s four. GCHS was scheduled to play at Union on Tuesday, Nov. 26, in their final game before Thanksgiving, a game Horton said would come down to finishing.
“It’s who can finish the game,” Horton said. “We were up 13 in that first game multiple times and couldn’t stay on top. We figure that out and we'll be fine.”
He said the Red Devils will also benefit from getting back to normal.
“We got that first game out of the way,” he said. “Things will be different getting into our routine.”
Upcoming GCHS Sports Events
The GCHS swimming and girls basketball teams were also scheduled away competition on Tuesday, Nov. 26, with the Lady Red Devils basketball team beginning their season at Monticello, and the swim team continuing its season at Carbon. The GCHS boys basketball team plays at home versus Monticello on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., while the Lady Red Devils play in the Devils’ Den against Pinnacle on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. The GCHS wrestling team begins its season with the Red Rocks Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, at home, and the swim team returns to competition at the Richfield Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7.