Lady Buckaroos pick up first win of basketball season over Red Devils

by Walter & Becky Bird
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Lady Bucks hosted the Grand Red Devils in their first home basketball game of the season. The ladies did not disappoint, recording their first win of the year in dominant fashion.
Monticello was 0-2 coming into the game, with losses to Panguitch and Milford at the 1A Preview. Grand was 1-0 after their 60-25 win over Green River last week.
The first quarter was an up and down affair for the Lady Bucks. They led 9-4 at one point, only to lose that lead and finish the quarter down 13-11.
Fortunately the girls settled down and took control of the game by outscoring Grand 12-6 in the second quarter to take a 23-19 edge into the half.
Monticello maintained the momentum in the third quarter, outscoring the Red Devils 14-10 to stretch the lead to 37-29 going into the final period.
The fourth quarter saw Monticello outscore the visiting team by ten, 19-9, to close out the 56-38 win.
Tymbr Black paced the Lady Bucks with her best effort of the season, dropping in 14 points while hitting both three-point shots she attempted.
To her scoring effort, Black added eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Not far behind Black in scoring was Rianna Shumway, who had a terrific game.
She scored 13 points with one three-point basket on one attempt along with two assists and four steals.
Brooklyn Holt tossed in nine points and four rebounds. Tristen Esplin also had a nice game, scoring eight points while contributing two assists and four steals.
Journey Baird scored five points, hauled in four rebounds, and had three steals. Megan Black went for four points and led the team in rebounds with seven – five on the defensive end. She also added two steals.
On defense, the Lady Bucks held the Red Devils to 31 percent shooting, including one of nine from behind the arc or 11.1 percent.
The Red Devils only managed .57 points per possession and were only able to convert for one transition basket and nine points off Monticello turnovers. Monticello snagged 14 steals in the game.
Conversely, on offense Monticello had a decent shooting night, making 40.4 percent of their shots, and a great shooting night from behind the arc, hitting three of five shots for 60 percent.
Monticello averaged .85 points per possession but really shined with 14 transition points and 33 points off Red Devil miscues.
Monticello ended the night with 19 turnovers but won the important turnover battle 19-27.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the ladies traveled to Cortez to take on the 2-1 Montezuma-Cortez Panthers. The Panthers came into the match-up with wins over Moffat County (Craig), CO and Las Animas, CO. Their lone loss was to Olathe, CO.
Last week the SJR published a Deseret News capsule of the Monticello 2018-19 boys basketball team. This week we provide the girls team capsule.
Head Coach: Kraig Black (third year)
2017-2018 record: 13-10 (third in Region 19 with a 6-4 record)
2018 postseason: Lost to Piute, 43-36, in the 1A first round
Returning starters: Three
Returning contributors: Tymbr Black (F, Sr., 11.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 2.3 spg), Tristen Esplin (G, Sr., 5.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg), Journey Baird (F, Sr., 3.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.4 spg), and Megan Black (F, Jr., 3.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.8 spg)
Coach comment: “We have a good group of girls back who have varsity experience and who are working hard to improve.
We are hopeful to be more consistent in our effort with all of our opponents this year. If we can stay healthy and build on the good attitudes we have had so far, it will be a successful season.”
Boys basketball
The Monticello boys basketball team finally got to play someone other than themselves this week. They hosted the Grand Red Devils in their season opener on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Grand was 3-0 on the season headed into the game with wins over 1A Green River and Tabiona and 2A Providence Hall.
This weekend, Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8, the Buckaroo boys travel to Richfield for the 1A Preview. MHS will face the Piute Thunderbirds Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Intermountain Christian on Saturday at 9 a.m.
You can listen to the live play by play of both games on 103.9 KAAJ-LP.

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