Monticello High School basketball teams drop four games to close preseason in busy week
After being idle for over a week, the Monticello girls basketball team got back on the court when they traveled to Delta on Friday, December 18 to play the Lady Rabbits in a non-region matchup.
The Lady Bucks continued on to Richfield the following day, Saturday for a Central Utah Preview game with the Millard Lady Eagles.
On Friday, MHS started slowly, only managing one bucket in the first quarter as Delta seized control of the game, going up 8-2. The second quarter was only slightly better for the girls as they could only muster three points in the quarter, going into halftime down 21-5.
The Lady Rabbits extended their lead to 40-9 after Monticello was only able to score four points in the third quarter. Monticello’s final quarter was their most competitive, getting edged out in the quarter 8-7 by the Lady Rabbits to drop the game 48-16.
Offensively, the Lady Bucks hit only five shots of 28 attempted for a 17 percent shooting percentage. From the line the girls made five of 15 foul shot attempts.
Kennedy Brewer led all Monticello scorers with four points and hit the only team three-point shot. Brewer added four rebounds, an assist, and two steals in the game.
Kylie Rogers and Avery Shumway scored three points apiece and each had a rebound. Ali Barry, Amy Lewis, and Olivia Chamberlain each scored two points with Barry adding two rebounds and a steal.
Lewis also contributed a rebound, and Chamberlain pulled down a team-high five rebounds to go with an assist and steal.
Rosy Beh and Sadee Adams failed to score, but Adams helped the effort with four rebounds and three steals. Beh ended the game with two rebounds.
Defensively, the Lady Bucks held Delta to 31 percent shooting and 42 percent foul shooting percentages and surrendered only one three-point basket in the loss.
The next day in Richfield Monticello hoped to get back on track when they tipped off against the Millard Lady Eagles at the Sevier Valley Center.
The Lady Bucks came out firing and recorded their best scoring quarter of the game, dropping in seven points but giving up 25 points to Millard to go down 18 points in the first quarter.
The second quarter was more evenly played as Monticello dropped the quarter 7-4 to trail the Lady Eagles 32-11 at the half.
The third quarter was all Millard as the Lady Eagles soared to a 49-15 lead after three quarters of play. Monticello battled hard in the final quarter but fell short by four points and ultimately dropped the contest 59-21.
For the game, the Lady Bucks only made eight shots and struggled from the line, only making six of 15 free throws.
For the second game in a row, Kennedy Brewer led all Monticello scorers with five points and hit the lone team three-pointer in the game.
Kylie Rogers and Olivia Chamberlain scored four points apiece as Sadee Adams and Ali Barry each dropped in three. Maddy Keyes added two points to close out the team scoring.
Defensively, Monticello struggled to stop the Lady Eagles as Millard poured in 31 made shots but could only knock down four of eight foul shots.
Hopefully Monticello can use the Christmas break and some practice time to regroup and get back on track as they look to commence Region 16 play when the team travels to Duchesne to take on the Lady Eagles on Friday, January 8.
The next day, the team will travel to North Summit to face the Lady Braves on Saturday, January 9.
It was 3A week for the Monticello boys with a trip to Moab on Thursday, December 17 to play the Grand County Red Devils and a home game against the San Juan Broncos the next night, Friday, December 18.
In a much more subdued atmosphere, which will be the norm this season, Monticello came out firing on all cylinders and put Grand on their heels with a 13-10 first quarter lead.
The second quarter played out much differently though. The Red Devils, with their twin towers of Moroni and Malachi Roberts (single-season Oregon transfers who stand 6’6” and 6’7”), were awakened and Grand more than doubled up Monticello in the quarter 22-9 to take a 32-22 lead into the half.
The third quarter was more evenly played, but Grand still won the quarter by four points to take a 46-32 lead into the final period of play. In that quarter, the Red Devils punished Monticello 20-13 to take the game by a final score of 66-45.
Against the much taller Grand team, Monticello was so-so from the field, only finding the bottom of the net on 16 of 38 shot attempts for a 42 percent shooting percentage.
But the Bucks shot very well from the three-point line, dropping in seven of 19 attempts for a 38.6 percent make percentage. Monticello also hit 67 percent of their nine foul shots attempted.
Cedar English led the Bucks with 17 points, draining three three-point shots on the night. To his scoring line, English added seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Not far behind, Boston Freestone had 16 points, made two three-pointers, pulled down an impressive seven rebounds from the guard line, and dished out two assists.
Joe Boyle and Grant Nebeker each scored five points with a three-point basket each. Boyle added a rebound, an assist, and a steal while Nebeker hauled down four rebounds and passed for two assists.
Cory Bunker rounded out the scoring with two points but contributed five rebounds, two assists, and two steals to the effort. Landon Ewart hauled down one rebound in the game.
Defensively, the Bucks had a hard time stopping Grand, who shot 48.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. The Red Devils killed Monticello inside, hitting 46 of their 66 points in the paint.
Unfortunately, 23 Buckaroo turnovers also led to 27 Grand points. Monticello will have to find a way to stop the inside game and take better care of the ball if they want to beat strong teams this season.
The next night, Monticello had to quickly put the Grand loss behind them as they tipped off at home against the 6-2 San Juan Broncos for a renewal of the rivalry matchup between the two schools.
Monticello’s last win against San Juan came in the 2015-16 season when the Bucks swept the series for the first time in many years.
Unfazed by each other, both teams came out firing and when the opening quarter was over, San Juan held a slim 18-15 lead.
It appeared the Broncos would take control of the game early in the second as they ripped off seven points in a row to take a 25-15 lead. But Monticello kept grinding out possessions and rallied to trail by just three, 27-24, as the halftime horn sounded.
Hampered by foul trouble, Monticello appeared doomed as San Juan bested the Bucks 23-10 in the third quarter to take a commanding 50-34 lead into the final quarter.
But once again, Monticello wouldn’t go away and fought hard, scraping together a winning fourth quarter by the score of 19-12.
But the damage done by San Juan earlier in the game was just too much, and the Bucks fell 62-53.
Despite sitting out the entire third quarter, Cedar English scored 23 points in the game to lead all scorers. He hit three treys, pulled down six boards, and got two steals.
Boston Freestone scored 13 points in the game while adding five rebounds, two assists, and three steals.
Cory Bunker had his best game of the season, dropping in nine points and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds. Bunker also had a steal.
Joe Boyle and Grant Nebeker hit for three points apiece with Nebeker gathering five rebounds, dishing out three assists, and making one assist. Boyle had two rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Easton Young scored one bucket on a sweet left-handed layup going around San Juan’s biggest player. He added a steal as well. Landon Ewart got a board and a steal in the loss.
Monticello struggled to score at times; they hit just 35.6 percent of their shots in the game.
After shooting so well from the three-point line against Grand, Monticello’s long-range shooting dropped to 20 percent against the Broncos. But they shot very well from the foul line, draining 78.3 percent of their 23 shots.
Monticello ended the game with 18 turnovers and the Broncos also committed 18 miscues. However, Monticello was able to capitalize, more, outscoring San Juan 22-17 after turnovers.
Impressively, Monticello was only outrebounded by the much taller San Juan team by three boards overall (31-28), but, not surprisingly, they were outscored in the paint 38-24 by the Broncos.
Defensively, Monticello played hard and came up with ten steals, 11 deflections, and one charge taken while holding San Juan’s leading scorer to seven points on the night.
It’s never fun to lose – especially to your rival – but Monticello can take some good things away from how they played against San Juan and build on those things as they prepare for Region 16 play after the holidays.
The 1-4 Buckaroos tip off the 2021 portion of their schedule when they travel to North Summit to play the 3-2 Braves on Friday, January 8.
Following that, they’ll take a bus ride to Duchesne on Saturday, January 9 to play the 3-3 Eagles.