The Grand County High School boys basketball team used stifling defensive pressure to defeat the Waterford Ravens 65-43 on Saturday, Jan. 5.
The Red Devils raced to a 25-9 first quarter lead on their home court and were never threatened en route to the win. Brett Walker earned praise from coach Travis Clark for his overall play, including four of seven shooting, five offensive rebounds and four defensive rebounds.
“Brett was voted our player of the game, even though he didn’t score the most points,” Clark said. “He was still very efficient from the field … and only had one turnover. I think that was a huge bonus for our team, and really helped push us to victory.
“We really worked with the boys on their press over the [holiday] break and they really came out and applied that press in this game. We had a good home game, our rotation was good and we were up by almost 20 by the end of the first quarter. I think we sort of coasted from there on out.”
Grand held a 32-18 halftime lead before widening the margin to 47-27 after three quarters.
“We had a lot of participation from a lot of players, which I think let our guys give a better effort,” Clark said.
The Red Devils were not so successful on Friday, Jan. 4, when Grand lost 54-47 on the road to the Richfield Wildcats.
The two teams traded baskets throughout the first two quarters, with Richfield holding a 25-23 lead at the half. Clark said his team didn’t take the ball to the basket aggressively enough. The Red Devils did not get off enough shots, he added.
“One kind of interesting statistic was that while we had a 45 percent accuracy from the field, we only took 40 attempts on the basket,” Clark said. “That’s a big difference, especially compared to other games where we’re getting 50 or 60 shots. Some of that might have to do with the fact that defensively Richfield has a very good team, which is why we didn’t get as many field goals. I think we need to take the ball to the basket better.”
Still, the coach credited his team for playing well, citing several Red Devils as key players. Nat Smith had six rebounds, scored 11 points and had no turnovers to earn player of the game honors.
“Adam Jenkinson also played a good game,” Clark said. “He got us nine points and had six assists, and Dale Thomas also had nine points. I think they played well and I think that despite the loss they all played a really good game.”
The Red Devils are on the road for their next three games. They play the South Sevier Rams on Friday, Jan. 11, and travel to Emery to play the Spartans on Saturday, Jan. 12. The team goes up against the San Juan Broncos on Tuesday, Jan. 15. All varsity games begin at 7 p.m.