Every morning, you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them (unknown).
The Monticello High School Lady Buckaroo basketball team woke up and began their chase with a bang last weekend at the annual 1A Preview in Richfield, UT, going 2-1 in three games.
The wake up call began with the number one ranked, three time 1A defending state champion, Panguitch Lady Bobcats. But, maybe it was the Buckaroos who sent a little message, playing the Bobcats to a standstill for most of the game before succumbing in the end 41-34.
The Bucks bounced back to bounce the Valley Buffaloes, 54-26 and the Parowan Rams, 42-33.
The message was “we can play with these gals,” as the Buckaroos recent history against Panguitch told otherwise. Panguitch blasted MHS 53-20 in the semifinals last season and 62-31 in the 1A Preview a year ago.
Friday night, the Bucks had a chance to win this one though, trailing by just one point, 35-34, with 1:32 left in the game and with the ball. But two consecutive turnovers by the Bucks left them one behind and needing to foul to get the ball back. The Bobcats cashed in by making four foul shots in the last minute to get the win.
Seniors Atlanta Black and Allie Maughan led the Buckaroo charge with 13 points each. Fellow senior Isabell Slade chipped in with six points.
The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in this one, but the Bucks quickly recovered, scoring nine straight points to lead 11-9 early in the second quarter. With Black scoring eight first half points and Maughan five, the Bucks led at halftime 19-14.
Six straight turnovers hurt the Bucks in the third quarter, allowing the Bobcats to retake the lead and extend it to five after three quarters, 33-28. And with the Bobcats in their time-consuming ball control weave, things looked bleak for Monticello.
But the ladies stayed sound defensively, forcing the Bobcats into turnovers in their ball-control offense and the Bucks capitalized, getting within that one point margin. They just didn’t get that one basket they needed to take back the lead.
Saturday morning, the Ladies matched up against the Lady Buffaloes from Valley High School. Valley swamped the Bucks last year in the Preview, 40-15, but this one was all Monticello.
Ashley Adair scored seven points in the first quarter to push the Bucks to a 15-7 lead. Black and Maughan picked it up in the second quarter, outscoring the Buffaloes, 11-3 to increase the lead to 26-10.
Tymber Black saw some valuable playing time for new head coach Kraig Black and helped push the halftime lead to 32-16 with three points of her own in the quarter.
Black and Maughan kept the pressure on the Buffs offensively and defensively in the third quarter and led after three quarters, 40-17. The young gals took over in the fourth quarter, with Tristen Esplin leading the way with six points, to secure the win, 54-26 and tie the series with Valley at three apiece.
Atlanta Black was the leading scorer in this one again for the second ranked Buckaroos with 15 points. Maughan added 11 as did Adair. Along with Esplin’s six, Slade and Tymber Black both scored four points.
In a quick turnaround, just two hours later, the Lady Bucks took the court again, this time versus the Parowan Rams. With Atlanta Black firing on all cylinders, 21 points for the game, the Bucks stayed on top of the Rams throughout, but not by much.
Leading by two points at the end of the first quarter, the Bucks slowly stretched the lead to four at halftime, 19-15, and four after three quarters, before an eight point run in the fourth quarter allowed them to stretch out to a 42-33 win.
Tymber Black pitched in seven valuable points off the bench, Slade with six and Maughan with four to bring the Bucks the win.
After three games, Atlanta Black is the Bucks leading scoring, averaging 16.3 points per game. Maughan is next with an average of 9.3 ppg.
Next game was last night, against the San Juan Broncos after press deadline.
The Bucks return to Valley High School for a tournament the first week of December. Their first home game will not be until January 7, when they line up against Cortez, starting a run through the rest of the season where seven of their last 10 games will be at home.
They’re awake and they’re running and they’re on track to reach those dreams! See you in the gym!