by Scott Boyle
Winter sports enter their penultimate week for three teams as San Juan boys and girls and Monticello girls face must wins to get into their respective state tournaments.
The wrestlers begin the march to the state wrestling tournament.
Monticello bball boys still have most of the month of February to play before the 1A boys state tournament. Even so, the MHS boys can clinch the region title with a win over second place Pinnacle in Monticello on Thursday.
In the meantime, the Lady Bucks scored a big win over Whitehorse in Montezuma Creek on Friday night, pulling themselves into a three way tie for second place in Region 19 with Whitehorse and Green River behind region leader Monument Valley.
With only three Region 19 teams qualifying for the 1A girls state tournament this year, the Bucks must finish second or third to make it. MHS, GR and Whitehorse all have two games left, with the Bucks facing Pinnacle at home on Thursday and finishing the regular season at Green River on Friday.
Whitehorse has the toughest schedule with Green River and Monument Valley on the docket, though the Raiders beat the Pirates two weeks ago.
Green River plays Whitehorse and Monticello. We’ll know in a week if the Lady Bucks qualify for the state tournament February 12-15 at in Richfield. But the win over Whitehorse was huge for the Lady Bucks, as they led throughout and handled an aggressive trapping Raider defense.
The MHS boys remain unbeaten in region play with a resounding 81-28 win at Whitehorse in a foul-plagued game. Monticello nearly outscored the Raiders from the foul line, making 24 of an astounding 40 foul shots.
The Bucks raced to a 39-12 lead and nearly matched that with a 42-16 second half. Easton Nielson led the scoring parade with 12 points including two 3 pt shots. Tanner Eardley also made two treys on his way to nine points and Gunnar Hollingsworth tossed in 11 points as 10 Buckaroos found the scoring column.
On Saturday, the number two ranked Bucks traveled to Duchesne to see how they measure up against the former number one ranked Eagles, until they lost two in a row last week.
The Bucks were tied going in to the fourth quarter, but fell by five 49-45. Jake Duncan was the only Buck in double figures with 11 points as the free throw differential made the difference. The Bucks went 7-9 but the Eagles at home were 15-23 from the foul line.
Both the Bronco boys and girls teams lost games to South Sevier. The boys, on senior night in Blanding, acquitted themselves very well against the formidable number two ranked Rams, leading for most of the game until about the 4-minute mark of the third quarter.
After Logan Meyer scored on an inbounds play where he inbounded the ball to himself off the back of a SS player to give the Broncos a 43-40, the Rams put all their eggs in the baskets of two time 2A MVP Race Parsons and fellow senior Austin Clark, finishing the third quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 50-45 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
With the two Rams doing all the shooting, the Rams continued the run, finishing the game on a 28-8 run to win going away, 68-51.
Senior Barkley Christensen had 13 points and classmate Logan Meyer 11 in the loss, while fellow senior, Cole Einerson grabbed nine big rebounds. Fellow seniors Bobby Bowring, Layton Bethea, Isaac Morley and Ammon Mitchell also played grittily in their last game for the hometown fans.
The loss leaves the Broncos in fourth place in Region 15 with a 2-4 record and with two games left against the third and fifth place teams, Emery and Grand.
Win once and the Broncos are in the play in game against the number one 2A team, Wasatch Academy on Saturday, February 15 at Orem High School.
Win twice and they could get third place and face Manti. The game they must win at Grand on Tuesday.
The Lady Broncos have a similar scenario. Beat Grand in Moab on Friday and they make the play-in game on Friday the 14th of February at Orem High.
San Juan lost to the South Sevier Lady Rams Saturday night in Monroe, 37-29, leaving their region record at 1-5. Brooke Lyman had 10 points and Sam Giddings had 13 in the loss.
On Tuesday, however, the Broncos beat the Lady Buckaroos, 43-32, with Giddings scoring 15 and Lyman 13. Mary Beh led the Buckaroo scoring with 12 points and Shania DeAnda had 10.
The Monticello drill team, the Vaqueros, took fourth place in the 1A state drill team competition at UVU on Saturday. The girls claimed fourth place in both dance and military competitions to earn fourth place.
All this, coupled with the divisional wrestling tournaments this week and the State Wrestling Tournament at UVU on February 14 and 15 makes Valentines a busy time this year. See you somewhere!