by Tad Barton
The San Juan Broncos boys basketball team didn’t start off their 2017-18 campaign as well as they had hoped, dropping their first game of the season to the Shiprock Chieftains 53-48.
At different times throughout the game, the Broncos showed glimpses of their ability to be effective on both offense and defense, but those bursts just weren’t enough to get the win.
San Juan quickly built a small lead in the first quarter before allowing Shiprock to close the gap and eventually tie the game up at the end of the quarter, 18-18.
After a first quarter with plenty of offense from both squads, neither the Broncos or the Chieftains had much success putting the ball through the hoop in the second quarter.
The lack of offense in the second was partially due to an abundance of turnovers by the two teams. The Broncos did manage to get the better of their guests, though, as they scored eight points to Shiprock’s five to claim a small lead at the half, 26-23.
The Broncos came out of the half and looked like a new team for about the first four minutes of the third quarter, moving the ball well on offense and building a nine-point lead about midway through the period.
The Chieftains didn’t panic though and battled back, eventually outscoring the Broncos 11-9 in the third to but the San Juan lead to just one point, 35-34.
Shiprock continued to shoot the ball well in the fourth quarter and earned their first lead of the game. Down, with time running out, San Juan had to resort to fouling their opponents in hopes they would miss free throws and give the Broncos a chance to retake the lead.
The Chieftains managed to use their opportunity from the charity strip to hold off the Broncos down the stretch, dealing San Juan their first loss of the season 53-48.
Jaxon Torgerson came off the bench for San Juan to lead all scorers with 20 points, nine of those points coming from behind the arc. He also finished with five rebounds and four steals.
Jaden Torgerson had 17 points and eight reboiunds. Landon Pemberton had five points. Dylan Ivins added six and led the Broncos on the boards with eight rebounds.
San Juan will have a little bit of time to put in work and improve before their next game, which will be against the Durango Demons in the Marv Sanders Invitational Tournament in Farmington, NM. The game against Durango will be played on Thursday, December 7 at 3 p.m. at Farmington High.
While the boys were hosting Shiprock at home, the San Juan girls basketball team kicked off their season against the Monticello Buckaroos. For the first time in a while, the Lady Broncos got the better of the Bucks with a 46-36 win on the road.
San Juan was steady all-night, scoring in double digits in each quarter, starting off in the first quarter when they recorded eleven points. Monticello opened the game with eight points in the first quarter, giving the Broncos a narrow three-point lead after one.
The second quarter, much like the first, was tightly contested, but San Juan was able to add to their lead, outscoring the Bucks 10-9 to take a 21-17 lead at halftime.
Coming out of the break, both teams had their highest offensive outputs of the game with San Juan scoring 13 points and Monticello adding eleven points to their total, resulting in a 34-28 Bronco lead heading into the fourth.
The steadiness continued for San Juan, as they managed to toss in another twelve points while holding the Bucks to eight points over the final quarter to claim a ten-point victory, 46-36.
Bodell Nielson led all scorers with eleven points for the Broncos just ahead of teammate Lyandra Benn’s ten points. Delaney Palmer finished with eight points, while Brittany Grover chipped in six and Madison Palmer had five points for San Juan.
Ryann Shumway and Kelesha Gray finished with two points each and Tasiah Little rounded out the scoring for San Juan with one point.
Monticello was led by Alyssa Reeve, Tymbr Black and Megan Black, who recorded eight points each.
Ashley Adair and Tristen Esplin both netted four points, while Erica Hill and Brooklyn Holt both scored two points.
The Lady Broncos are back in action on Friday, December 8 against Wasatch Academy at the Cowboy Classic Tournament in Kanab, UT. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
The San Juan wrestling team also gets their season rolling this weekend. The Broncos travel to Moab on December 1 and 2 to compete at the Grand Tournament.
Then next week they will have a very busy week, as they wrestle against Cortez on Wednesday, December 6. That duel will begin at 7 p.m.
They will next head to Nephi, UT to participate in the Juab Tournament on December 8 and 9.