Buckaroos earn 69-55 win in rematch with Broncos

A temperature inversion left the temperature in Monticello at 31 degrees on Friday night while the temperature in Blanding was a cool 20 degrees.  
The anomaly found its way on to the basketball court that same night in Blanding when round two of the annual Bronco-Buckaroo basketball rivalry tipped off.  
The Bucks were hot, as nearly everything they put up went in and the Broncos were cold, as it seemed that everything they shot clanked out. As a result, the Buckaroos, riding a sizzling 28-7 second quarter, bested the Broncos 69-55.  
The Broncos took a 12-9 lead after one quarter and Buckaroo leading scorer Dallin Duncan was on the bench with two fouls.
Monticello seniors Cory Young and Devin Wright and a couple of sophomores sparked the Bucks. Wright did his magic as usual, scoring eight points inside while Young did it all for the Bucks, scoring nine, dishing out three spectacular assists, grabbing five rebounds and recording two steals in the second quarter alone.  
Sophomore Jake Duncan was the recipient of most of those assists and added nine points himself, pushing the Bucks to a  37-19 halftime lead.  Sophomore Gunnar Hollingsworth added four points for Coach Rhett Maughan’s team.
The second half was competitive, with the Broncos at one point getting within six points at 51-45, but it was the Buckaroos night as Devin Wright scored 18 points in the second half to keep the Broncos at bay.  
For the night, Wright ended with 27 points, including five of seven from the free throw line.  Young finished with 15 points, eight of ten from the free throw line and one trey, to go with his nine rebounds.  
Jake Duncan finished with 13 points and Dallin added eight.  
Cameron Shumway was a force for the Broncos, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Tyler Nielson added 12 points for the 9-2 and third ranked Broncos.
The 7-3 Bucks, however, lost their number one ranking Saturday night after a 57-46 home loss to Liahona.  
With the win, Liahona, a private school in Pleasant Grove, moved to the number one ranking, with the Bucks dropping to third behind Wasatch Academy, another private school.  
Liahona sports the highest scoring twosome in the state with Brayden Facemyer scoring 21 a game and teammate Brandon Nichols tossing in 20 a game.  The hot-shooting Liahona guys took advantage of a tired and flat Buckaroo bunch to beat the Bucks to the punch, offensively and defensively.  
Facemyer was particularly effective as he recorded 10 blocks on the flat-footed Buckaroo shooters.  Dallin Duncan and Devin Wright did most of the scoring for the stone-cold shooting Bucks, with 17 and 14 points respectively.
Did you go to Casen Eldredge Night at Utah Valley University?  Eldredge gave those of you who went a great show, winning his 184 pound match 8-0 over his Northern Colorado opponent.  Wish I could have gotten one of the posters (see a sample at right).
Hope you were at UVU Tuesday night too, to see another Buckaroo wrestler, this time current Buckaroo senior, Colton Musselman.  Musselman, who has finished first, second, and second at state in his career, was chosen to wrestle in the 11th annual All-Star Wrestling Classic.
Favorite stories
Last week I wrote of two of my favorite 2010 sports stories.  Here is another, that is ongoing.
Ms. Soderstrom
2010’s Buckaroo basketball team found a good luck charm in Sheryl Soderstrom, the assistant principal at Monticello High School.  
Battling to recover from knee surgery last winter, Ms. Soderstrom nevertheless made the trip to Montezuma Creek one evening for an important basketball game.  
Five Buckaroos, who were unable to go on the team bus because of college classes, drove to the game in a suburban later in the evening.  
Ms. Soderstrom tagged along in the suburban, despite still suffering the effects of the knee surgery.  
“It was the first time I had been out of town since the surgery,” she said.  
After the Bucks won an important spine-tingling victory over the high scoring Raiders, the players saw a good luck charm in Ms. Soderstrom.  
So in the very next game, a home game against those same Raiders a few days later, during the introduction of the starting five, all five players and then the rest of the team, dashed across the court to high five Ms. Soderstrom sitting on the sidelines.  
Even though the Bucks lost at home in another compelling game, the Ms. Soderstrom high five became a requirement at each game.
The Bucks and Raiders played three spirited times last season, all close riveting games, with both teams qualifying for the 1A state tournament.  
At the state tournament, the players instructed Ms. Soderstrom where to sit and they did the high five in all four games there, catapulting the Bucks to their best finish in nearly 15 years, while also influencing a couple of other teams to begin their own such high fiving traditions.
She was also involved in another great tradition. The Region 19 teams, Green River, Whitehorse, and Monticello, began rooting for each other in their state tournament games.  
The teams, including Ms. Soderstrom, would even don each other’s colors and loudly and boisterously support their region rivals, something that did not go unnoticed by those attending the 1A tournament.  
Ms. Soderstrom remains the basketball team’s good luck charm this season as well.  There she was, Friday night in Blanding, receiving the high five’s of the 2011 Buckaroo team.

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