Monticello boys have a big week with wins over North Sevier and Gunnison Valley
After dropping two Region 16 games last week, the Monticello boys basketball team (1-6, 0-2) were in need of a win with the North Sevier Wolves (3-7, 0-0) coming to town on Wednesday, January 13 for another region contest.
Monticello wasted very little time taking control of the game when they rocketed to a 15-6 first quarter lead over the visiting Wolves.
Both teams really got clicking offensively in the second quarter. North Sevier tried to keep pace with the Bucks, but when the halftime horn sounded, Monticello had extended their lead to 36-23.
The teams battled back and forth in the third quarter and MHS maintained their 13-point lead at 53-40 going into the final period.
North Sevier got the best of Monticello in the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 19-13, but Monticello’s earlier efforts preserved a hard-earned, much-needed 66-59 region win.
Monticello had by far their best shooting night of the season, hitting 53 percent of their shots. They were a very steady 44 percent from beyond the three-point line at seven of 16.
The Bucks had a great night in the paint, pouring in 32 points and recording nine offensive rebounds. The team also had 13 assists in the win.
The Bucks were paced by Cedar English’s 18 points on three of seven three-point shooting. English also had eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals.
Devin Hatch got back on track, hitting for 15 points and adding six rebounds and an assist.
Boston Freestone also scored in double figures, scoring 13 points with two made triples. Freestone also contributed two rebounds, five assist, two steals, and a block.
Cory Bunker scored seven points with one three-pointer and added three rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Joe Boyle and Grant Nebeker scored five and four points in the win. Boyle made a three-point shot and added three steals to the effort.
Easton Young also scored four points and had two steals.
On defense, the Bucks held the Wolves to 47 percent shooting overall and a meager 27 percent three-point shooting.
Monticello also turned North Sevier over 14 times and came away with an impressive 11 steals.
Feeling good about themselves, the Bucks hopped a bus on Friday, January 15 to play another Region 16 game against the Gunnison Valley Bulldogs (5-5, 0-1) in Gunnison.
For the second game in a row, the Bucks got off to a great start, jumping ahead of the Bulldogs 11-5 after one quarter of play. However, the home team countered with a big second quarter to cut the Buck halftime lead to only two points at 24-22.
The Bulldogs won the third quarter by one-point, so the two teams headed into the final quarter of play separated by a mere point at 33-32. Fortunately, Monticello had enough in the tank to fight off Gunnison Valley for the 43-38 win.
Neither team was particularly hot from the floor. Monticello shot 46 percent and Gunnison Valley 45 percent on the night.
The difference in the game came down to three-point shooting where Monticello outshined the home team with nine threes on 40 percent shooting. The Bulldogs hit only four threes and shot 32 percent from beyond the arc.
Monticello’s offense was basically in the hands of two juniors – Boston Freestone who scored 22 points and Devin Hatch who dropped in 16.
Freestone was hot from outside, hitting five of his six three-point shot attempts. Freestone also added three rebounds and three steals to go with a block. Hatch hit one of two threes and had six rebounds and two assists.
Cedar English scored three points and added nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Cory Bunker had a bucket to round out the scoring, six rebounds, and a steal.
Defensively the Bucks got after the Bulldogs. They pulled down 18 defensive rebounds and caused 17 turnovers while recording eight steals, a block, and two charges taken. Along with three-point shooting, this defensive effort likely won the game for Monticello.
In a very busy week, the Bucks (3-6, 2-2) got a break from region play on Tuesday, January 19 when they hosted the 3A #2 Grand County Red Devils (12-0) in Monticello.
The Buckaroos return to Region 16 play when they host the Duchesne Eagles (5-6, 2-1) on Friday, January 22 and the Altamont Longhorns (5-3, 1-1) on Saturday, January 23.
Coming off a tough week of Region 16 play the week prior, the Lady Bucks (1-6, 0-2) hoped they could get their first region win of the season when they tipped off against the North Sevier Lady Wolves (1-8, 0-0) at home on Tuesday, January 12.
Monticello has struggled all season with slow starts, so it was encouraging that the team scored nine first-quarter points. However, the Lady Wolves scored 12 points in the quarter and enjoyed an early three-point first quarter lead 12-9.
The second quarter was even better offensively for the Lady Bucks, but they still found themselves down 25-21 at the half.
The second half saw the Lady Bucks play hard on both ends of the floor, but Monticello was edged out 9-8 in the third-quarter and 7-5 in the final quarter to ultimately drop the game 41-34.
Kylie Rogers flirted with double digits when she ended the game with nine points. Not far behind, Avery Shumway scored seven points with a three-point basket.
Ciara McCarthy hit two three pointers for six points. Amy Lewis and Saydee Adams scored four points apiece.
On Thursday, January 14 and two nights after playing North Sevier at home, the Lady Bucks (1-7, 0-2) found themselves in Gunnison to face the Gunnison Valley Lady Bulldogs (4-5, 0-1) in a Region 16 tilt.
What is hopefully a trend for the rest of the season, the Lady Bucks came out firing and seized the early 10-8 first quarter lead. Monticello followed that up with an equally good quarter of play, taking a 19-15 halftime lead and looking to be in a good position for a win.
However, it was not meant to be as the Lady Bulldogs came out inspired in the second half, winning the next two quarters 11-6 and 13-6 to hold off the Lady Bucks by the score of 39-31.
Head Coach Marcia Shumway has to be encouraged by the improvement of her girls over the last week after a tough loss at North Summit the week before which could have really deflated her team for the rest of the season.
In the close loss, Avery Shumway once again led the way for Monticello, scoring ten points.
Saydee Adams had a nice bounce-back game, hitting for seven points. She was followed close behind by Kylie Rogers and Olivia Chamberlain who each scored six points. Madison Keyes had a lone bucket.
The Lady Bucks (1-8, 0-4) are back in the hunt for their first region win when they host the Duchesne Lady Eagles (8-4, 3-0) on Thursday, January 21. Catch that game live on Redrock 92 and PictureItPalmer.com.
The girls welcome the Altamont Lady Longhorns (4-5, 0-2) to town for a region matchup on Saturday.