by Scott Boyle
The Monticello Buckaroo wrestling team garnered second place for the third year in a row at the state 1A wrestling tournament, with five Buckaroos bringing home the title of state champion.
When Nephi Barlow won his championship match at 195, he became the 83rd Buckaroo state wrestling champion. Barlow, and Hunter Bowring, who triumphed after finishing second twice in 2011 and 2012, join the ranks of 41 other Buckaroos to have earned a state wrestling championship, starting with the very first Buckaroo to garner such honors, Ralph Pellacio back in 1959.
Cole Eldredge and Austin Wilcox, with their second state championship each, become two of 12 Buckaroos to win twice.
Brian Robinson becomes one of only four Buckaroos to win three state championships, the other three being Ozzie Trujillo, Trent Schafer, and Shane Butler. Only one Buckaroo, Aaron Butler, has four state championships.
Congrats to all the wrestlers, near and far, old and young and as yet unborn. Next year bodes well for the Bucks with four returning state finalists returning and a couple of junior high state champions becoming freshmen, too. Can’t wait.
The 2012-13 season of basketball ended for the Lady Buckaroos and both the boys and girls San Juan teams. Monticello High won their opener at the state tournament, before losing two straight to conclude their season at 12-12.
Facing the champs from Region 18, the Wendover Lady Wildcats in the opener, the Lady Bucks showed they were ready for the state tournament atmosphere by jumping out to a quick lead.
Zoe Chadwick scored the Bucks first three baskets and after Brittany Keith canned a jumper, Chadwick drained a three pointer to give the Lady Bucks an 11-2 lead that they never relinquished. After the first quarter, Monticello led 13-3 and the kept that lead throughout the game.
Playing a tough man-to-man defense, coach Lee Chadwick’s team never allowed the region champs to get any kind of offensive rhythm and won the game, 37-26.
Chadwick and Shania DeAnda led the Bucks offensively with nine points each. Brittany Keith and Aapree Sheeran both added six points. Sheeran was especially effective on the boards, with eight rebounds.
The first round win matched the Bucks up with the number two ranked Rich Lady Rebels. The Rebels justified their number two ranking as they raced to an early lead, 13-5 after the first quarter.
The Bucks rallied at the foul line in the second quarter and only trailed 24-17 at halftime, but the bottom fell out in the third quarter, where MHS could only manage one basket while allowing the Rebels 13 points.
The 37-19 third quarter advantage was too much to overcome and the Bucks fell, 50-27. Chadwick again led the way offensively with eight points.
The Lady Buck’s final game of the year was a rematch with the Milford Tigers, a team that crushed the Lady Bucks 49-20 in the second game of the year. This time the Tigers won again, but by a 35-20 score.
In both games, the score at halftime found the Bucks down 19-9, but this second game, the Lady Buckaroos showed their improvement on the season, holding the Tigers to just 16 second half points, as opposed to allowing 30 second half points way back in December. Sheeran led the way with seven points.
San Juan girls fought gamely but lost in their annual play in game, 52-39, to the Gunnison Lady Bulldogs, leaving them with an 8-12 record on the year.
Though they played fiercely, the Lady Broncos couldn’t overcome a 32-21 halftime deficit to end their season. Brooke Lyman and Sara Morley both scored 10 points for the Broncos.
The Bronco boys suffered a defeat at the hands of the number one ranked team in 2A, the Wasatch Academy Tigers, 62-27, to end their season at 11-11.
Wasatch Academy showed why they are heavily favored to win the 2A state championship when they raced to a 24-10 halftime lead. Four Tigers finished in double figures, showing their balance.
Barkley Christensen ended his fine Bronco career with 10 points. Fellow senior, Logan Meyer, finished with six in the disheartening loss.
Only the boys from MHS remain in the basketball playing field, and they end their regular season Friday at Green River.
The Bucks played twice last week, losing at Ignacio, CO on Tuesday and besting a game Monument Valley team on Friday night, 90-67. The Cougars only trailed 45-41 at halftime and after hitting a three to start the second half, trailed by only one, 45-44.
Coach Tony Esplin’s strategic timeout, only seconds into the second half, lacking any Xs and Os strategy, successfully motivated the Bucks and they outscored the Cougars, 23-4 the rest of the quarter.
Jake Duncan and Gunnar Hollingsworth, made their last home appearance for the Bucks one to remember with 23 and 19 points, respectively.
Dillon Maughan chipped in with 14 points on four treys. Zach Johnson scored nine points in his last home game as a Buckaroo.