by Tad Barton
For the San Juan girls basketball team, last week’s 2A State Tournament didn’t go as planned.
Two lopsided losses at the hands of Kanab, 63-32, and North Summit, 72-35, closed the door on the Broncos’ season.
In spite of making an early exit from the tournament, San Juan didn’t come away empty handed, as the young Broncos acquired invaluable experience, which should be a boon to the program for years to come.
The Broncos first game of the tournament pitted them against Kanab, who came into the quarter-final matchup as the top team from Region 13, and the Cowgirls played like one of the best teams in 2A, shellacking San Juan 63-32.
The Broncos struggled throughout the contest to establish consistency on the offensive end of the court, scoring just 16 first half points, the majority of which came via the charity stripe.
San Juan fell behind early in the game, as they were outscored by Kanab 12-6 in the first quarter. The Cowgirls nearly doubled the Broncos score again in the second, winning the quarter 18-10 to take a 14-point lead at the half, 30-16.
The biggest blow of the game came in the third quarter, as Kanab put the game out of reach with a 19 point quarter, 12 points better than San Juan’s seven, pushing their lead to 26, 49-23.
With the fourth quarter a mere formality, the Broncos continued to play hard, resulting in the closest quarter of the game but once again came up on the short end of a 14-9 score, leading to a 63-32 final.
Delaney Palmer led the Broncos with eight points; she was followed by Ryann Shumway, who finished with six points.
Bodell Nielson and Madison Palmer each scored five points and Krystelle Noyes, Nizhonii Begaye and Jordyn Moon each chipped in two points.
San Juan’s offensive troubles carried over to their second game against North Summit, as the Broncos made just 10 field goals the entire game. After falling behind by 10 points after the first quarter, 19-9, San Juan stepped up their game in the second, matching the Braves 12 points with 12 of their own. At the half, the Broncos trailed by 10, 31-21.
In the third quarter, North Summit doubled their lead to 20 points, outscoring San Juan 18-8. Down big heading into the fourth and final quarter, the wheels fell off for the Broncos, as the Braves exploded for 23 points over the final 8:00 minutes of the game.
San Juan managed to score just six points in the period resulting in a 72-35 loss for the Broncos.
Delaney Palmer again led San Juan with 11 points, followed by Neilson with eight points and Megan Grover who finished with six points.
Madison Palmer scored four points for the Broncos, just ahead of Begaye’s three points. Moon added two points, and Shumway rounded out the scoring for San Juan with one point for the game.
Three Bronco seniors played their last games in a San Juan uniform, Megan Grover, Alexis James and Krystelle Noyes.
These three ladies brought solid leadership to a very young and inexperienced team and where an invaluable part of the Broncos success this season.
Thank you ladies and good luck as you wrap up your high school careers.
Senior Zach Brown was honored at last weekend’s 2A State Championships for his performance on the hard wood and in the classroom. The Bronco big man was named to the Utah High School Activities Association’s 2A Academic All-State team.
Brown averaged over 11 points and seven rebounds per game this season for San Juan. The 2A Academic All-State team had a combined GPA of 3.992.