Broncos suffer tough loss in Kanab to close regular season, begin state tourney Saturday
by Rhett Sifford
The 2021-22 regular-season finale was a bit of a dud for the San Juan High School boys basketball team. On a long trip to Kanab this past Friday, February 11 the Broncos suffered a 67-51 loss to the Cowboys.
The team finished the regular season with a 17-5 record and, despite the unexpected loss, retained the #1 spot in the final 2A RPI standings.
The Broncos looked quick early and jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the game’s first 30 seconds, but Kanab stormed back to take a 7-5 lead over the next two minutes.
San Juan didn’t score again until midway through the first quarter, and they went on a 9-4 run to close out the first frame with a 14-11 lead. That’s when Kanab junior Jordan Cornell decided he would take control of the game.
He proceeded to drain four straight threes on the Broncos, then added another to help his team outscore San Juan 19-8 in the second quarter and build a 30-22 halftime lead.
The Cowboys didn’t let up from there, continuing to dominate the Broncos from the floor and on the boards. They outscored San Juan 21-16 in the third quarter and 17-13 in the fourth to close out the win.
Kanab outshot the Broncos 51 percent to 33 percent from the floor and 47 percent to 14 percent from three-point range. Uncharacteristically, San Juan only managed four threes in the game while the Cowboys hit eight.
That was due almost single-handedly to Cornell, who went 7-for-10 from beyond the arc and scored an amazing 32 points in the game. Kanab out-rebounded the Broncos 37-29 on the night.
San Juan scoring was led by Jace Palmer, who scored double his season average at 14 points. He was also impressive defensively for the Broncos.
Cooper Black scored 13 points for San Juan, Jayden Black got 11, and Ladd Ivins added nine. Jensen Grover and Cadin McPherson scored two apiece to round out the San Juan scoring.
The Broncos will take this week to reset and prepare for the 2022 2A Utah State Tournament. With the #1 seed, they’ve earned a bye in the first round and will open against either Gunnison Valley or Beaver this Saturday, February 19.
Their opponent won’t be decided until Wednesday night, February 16, and the tip for Saturday’s game is tentatively set for 1 p.m. Check sjrnews.com and listen to Redrock 92.7 FM for the Broncos’ opponent and tip time when it’s decided.
A win on Saturday would move San Juan into the state quarterfinals at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield next Thursday, February 17. The semifinals and championship game will tip on Friday and Saturday, February 18 and 19.
You can hear San Juan’s entire state title bid live on Redrock 92 with an audio stream at redrock92.com. In addition, this Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on PictureItPalmer.com.