Riding a six-game winning streak that began on Dec. 8, San Juan cruised to a 93-51 win over the North Sanpete Hawks on Friday, Jan. 4. On Saturday, Jan. 5, they held on to beat the reigning 3A State Champion Manti Templars 96-94 in an overtime thriller.
Against North Sanpete, the Broncos raced out to an early 19-point lead after outscoring the Hawks 31-12 in the first quarter. San Juan built on that lead in the second, adding 18 points to their score while holding North Sanpete to 11 in the period to take a commanding 49-23 lead at the half.
When the two teams returned to the court in the third quarter, the Broncos defense shined, holding the Hawks to just seven points in the quarter.
The smothering defense also led to great offensive opportunities, which San Juan turned into 26 points. They held a 45-point lead, 75-30, heading into the final quarter of play.
North Sanpete finally got the best of the Broncos in the fourth, outscoring San Juan 21-18, resulting in a 93-51 win for the Broncos.
The win improved the Broncos record to 8-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 15 play. San Juan shot 62 percent from the field and finished with four players in double figures.
The Broncos also had 25 assists, 29 rebounds, and 15 steals.
In their second game of the weekend, San Juan found themselves up against the reigning 3A State Champs from Manti. Those in attendance were treated to a great game where one team would build a small lead just to have the other battle their way back to tie or take the lead.
After San Juan jumped out to a 9-5 lead early in the first, Manti settled in, eventually closing the gap. Then the two teams matched each other for the remainder of the quarter, ending the first in a 22-22 tie.
The Templars seemed to take control in the second quarter. They built a small lead throughout the period and led the Broncos by eight at halftime, 44-36.
A strong third quarter for the Broncos netted them their first lead since the first quarter. San Juan finished the quarter with 23 points while holding Manti to just 12, giving the Broncos a 59-56 lead.
San Juan pushed their lead to six points two different times in the fourth, but the Templars stormed right back both times, even retaking the lead on one occasion.
With the game tied with just a few seconds left on the clock, the Broncos had an opportunity to put Manti away from the free throw line. But they were unable to capitalize, and at the end of regulation, the score remained 82-82.
Overtime started out a bit rough for San Juan with Manti building a five-point lead. The Broncos never wavered, though. They battled back to retake the lead 96-94.
After the Templars inbounded the ball, a San Juan defender deflected a pass out of bounds at midcourt with just under five seconds left on the clock.
Manti, out of timeouts, had one last chance to tie or win the game. The Templars passed the ball in, and in the commotion and excitement, the Broncos lost track of Ben Cluff who found himself alone under the basket for Manti.
His teammate with the ball did see him, and he hit Cluff with a pass for what would be the game-tying basket.
As the ball arrived, Cluff took a quick two-footed hop, but the travel wasn’t called. He then put up an uncontested lay-up and it seemed certain second overtime was in store. But the ball rolled out of the basket as time expired, giving San Juan the 96-94 win.
The Broncos, who have been shooting around 70 percent from the free throw line, struggled throughout the game from the charity stripe. They went 19 for 34 – just over 50 percent.
San Juan’s sharpshooters also struggled from long range, going five of 19. That’s just 26 percent from three-point land, which is well below their season average.
Once again, the Broncos had four players finish in double figures for scoring. They also had 18 assists, 33 rebounds, and 16 steals on the night. The win places them atop the Region 15 standings, tied with Richfield at 2-0.
Next up for San Juan is a trip to Richfield on Friday, Jan. 11. Tip-off for that game is slated for 7 p.m.
Then on Saturday, Jan. 12 the Broncos will head down the road from Richfield to Monroe to take on the South Sevier Rams in a 4:30 p.m. contest.
San Juan’s next home game is Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. when they face off against Monticello.
The Lady Broncos kicked off their Region 15 schedule with two convincing wins on the road last weekend.
On Friday, Jan. 4, San Juan defeated the Lady Hawks of North Sanpete by a score of 61-34. The following night the Lady Broncos notched their second region win in as many games, topping Manti 65-32.
Friday night in Mount Pleasant, San Juan took control of the game early and led North Sanpete 14-6 after one quarter of play. Then the Lady Broncos opened things up. They exploded for 20 points in the second quarter while allowing only two from the Lady Hawks, giving San Juan a huge 26-point lead at the half – 34-8.
In the third quarter, the Lady Bronco defense let up just a little, allowing North Sanpete to score 11 points. San Juan’s offense, however, didn’t let up. The Lady Broncos poured on another 19 points to push their lead to 34 points at 53-19.
Down big, North Sanpete kept fighting, besting the Lady Broncos in the fourth quarter 15-8, which resulted in a 61-34 win for San Juan.
The Lady Broncos had three players finish in double figures. Bodell Nielson and Delaney Palmer each scored 15 points while Madi Palmer finished with 13 on the night.
Tasiah Little scored eight points, Brittany Grover had six, and Katie Giddings rounded out the scoring with four points.
In Manti, on Saturday the Lady Broncos used a big first half to seize control early.
After outscoring the Lady Templars 19-7 in the first quarter, San Juan added another 14 points to their score while holding Manti to nine second-quarter points, giving the Lady Broncos a 33-16 lead at the half.
The third quarter proved to be the most closely contested of the game. But San Juan still managed to edge Manti 16-12 to go up by 21, 49-28, heading into the fourth and final quarter.
In the fourth, the Lady Broncos dominated the Lady Templars, outscoring their hosts 16-4, on the way to a 65-32 win.
Delaney Palmer and Brittany Grover had monster nights on offense, combining for 39 points (20 and 19 respectively). Little also hit the double-figure mark with 13 points.
Madi Palmer finished with six points, Nielson had five, and Quianna Dishface scored two points in the win.
The Lady Broncos improve to 6-4 overall with the wins. They’re 2-0 in Region 15, which puts them atop the region tied with Emery.
San Juan is back in action Friday, Jan. 11 when they host the Richfield Lady Wildcats at 7 p.m.
They’ll welcome the South Sevier Rams to town on Saturday, Jan. 12. That game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. tip.