The Buckaroos girls basketball team came out in force last week, blasting three of the four other Region 19 teams to firmly establish themselves as region kingpins.
The wins, over Pinnacle, Monument Valley and Green River, leave the Bucks atop Region 19 at 3-0.
Whitehorse, who defeated Pinnacle 51-27 last week, is in second place in Region 19 and comes to the Buckaroo corral Friday to settle the question about region supremacy halfway through the region schedule. For the Lady Bucks, Whitehorse is the only game this week.
The Bucks opened region play at Pinnacle in Price. The game, originally set for Monticello, took place in Price after Pinnacle opted to not travel to Monticello due to weather concerns. The Bucks decided to travel to Price, flipping with the return match with Pinnacle later this month.
The Bucks left no doubt about a victory over Pinnacle when they scored the first 24 points of the game. Using a press with brutal efficiency, the Bucks got easy basket after easy basket and leapt out in front.
After a lone Pinnacle basket, the Bucks defense helped them to a 29-2 after one quarter. With the subs playing most of the second quarter, the defense held strong and MHS led by 36 points, 41-5, at halftime.
Atlanta Black led the way with nine first half points with Allie Maughan and Tymbr Black adding eight apiece. The wipeout continued in the third quarter, with the Buck defense holding Pinnacle to just one point while tossing in another 22, and the Bucks led by 60 points, 66-6, after three quarters. Final score was 71-13.
Atlanta Black’s 17 points led the Bucks, as well as Maughan and Tymbr Black, who both swished the nets for 12 points. Ashley Adair added nine points as 11 Buckaroos found the basket for Monticello.
Monument Valley gave the Buckaroos more resistance than the Panthers, but the Bucks still triumphed in another away game, 58-41.
Atlanta Black tied a career high with 30 points against the Cougars. Black scored 30 against Green River way back in February of 2015, her sophomore year.
The first quarter was even, however, as the Cougars stayed with the Bucks. But the defense tightened in the second quarter for the Bucks with the press giving the Bucks layup after layup.
MHS outscored the Cougars by 15 in the quarter to lead 32-17 at halftime. The Bucks maintained the lead in the second half to get the 17-point win.
Maughan, Adair, and Erika Hill all scored six points to help the Bucks to the convincing win.
Game three was another easy win for the Bucks over the Green River Pirates, 71-40. Atlanta Black poured in a cool 25 points to pace the Bucks, but the senior forward wasn’t the only sizzling Buckaroo, as Izabel Slade scorched the nets for a career-high 23 points in the Buck win.
Green River scored first, their only lead of the game, but the Bucks countered with 22 straight points to lead 22-2 after one quarter. Black had nine points in the quarter to put the Pirates on their heels. The Bucks went inside effectively against the Pirates with Slade and Alyssa Reeve both getting easy baskets inside after set plays.
Monticello outscored the Pirates 12-2 in the first five minutes of quarter two to get the lead to 34-4, when the Pirate offense suddenly caught fire against the Buckaroo second team.
After Green River leading scorer Maribel Escalante finally hit a three point to give the Pirates seven points, the floodgates opened and Green River went on an 18-0 spree to close the 30 point lead to just 12 at halftime, 34-22.
Coach Kraig Black regrouped his troops at halftime, and MHS reasserted itself in the third quarter, scoring the first 12 points of the quarter and outscoring the Pirates 21-6 to lead 55-28 after three.
The third was Slade’s quarter, as the Bucks went inside to her over and over and she responded with 10 points. And an old fashion three-point play by Slade to open the fourth quarter got the Bucks back to that 30 point lead, 58-28, on their way to their third region win.
Allie Maughan’s tight defense on Escalante, who finished with 14 points after averaging 24 points her previous four games, and three treys (she leads 1A in three point buckets at 43), was key to the Buck win. In addition, Maughan scored 12 points to reach double figures herself.
Coach Black commented on the week. “Overall, it was a great week. The girls were able to focus on things we have been working on and to do them efficiently. I also appreciate that they played with intensity for the majority of those games.
“We did have a letdown on defense for a quarter in MV and in the second quarter against GR, which were good learning experiences. The highlights were that our girls controlled the ball and the tempo of those games, rebounded well and continue to improve there, and Izabel had a breakout game against GR.”
The wins give the Bucks a 12-2 record on the season, in addition to that spotless 3-0 region record.
With a 72-point week, Atlanta Black is tenth in the state and fourth in 1A scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game. She is averaging 24 points per game in region play.
This week, the Bucks host the Whitehorse Raiders, who are 1-0 in Region 19. At 3-4 on the year, the Raiders also own wins over Red Valley High School in Arizona and Mancos, CO.
No individual records are available except for the Pinnacle game, where the leading Whitehorse scorers were LaTonya Thompson, who scored 11 points and Aliyah Benally and Nionna Phillips, who both scored seven. See you Friday night at the Buckaroo gym.