Monticello boys basketball team tips off season with road losses

The Monticello Buckaroo basketball team opened up their season on the road this past week. While the Bucks had late game pushes in both games, they started the season 0-2.

Monticello opened their season in Moab on Tuesday, November 30 taking on the Grand County Red Devils. The 0-2 Devils were looking for their first win of the year after dropping games to North Sanpete and San Juan.

After a couple scoreless minutes Monticello scored the first basket of the game on an Easton Young three. After the Devils scored a bucket, Young added one more at the free throw line, and another bucket from Young gave Monticello an early 6-2 lead.

Boston Freestone’s first basket came later in the quarter giving Monticello an 8-4 lead. Grand rallied back to take the lead with under a minute to go in the first quarter. The Devils would hold the lead until the final minutes of the game.

The Red Devils owned a 13-10 lead after one quarter. In the second quarter Grand led by seven with under a minute to go before the half when Young went on a quick tear, scoring five points in the final minute to bring the score to 27-25 at the half. Young led all scorers with 15 at the half.

In the third quarter, Landon Ewart added four points, but the Devils added to their lead 37-32 going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Freestone led the Bucks scoring six points. That plus another Ewart bucket helped the Bucks tie the game.

Monticello took their first lead since the opening minutes with 1:50 to go in the game when Easton Young sank a free throw to give Monticello a 41-40 lead.

That would be the last basket the Bucks would score on the evening as Grand’s Lane Berry, who finished with 23 points, answered with a bucket of his own on the next possession to give the Devils the lead back 42-41.

After a couple of empty trips, a foul on Monticello sent the Devils to the free-throw line where they extended their lead with a final score of 46-41.

In the opener Freestone led the Bucks with 17 points, Young finished with 16, and Ewart added eight.

The trio also shot 10 for 21 from the free-throw line for 48 percent.

Ewart and Freestone each had seven rebounds while Young had five. Fellow starters JD McDonald and Donavan Atwood had three boards apiece.

Young had five assists while Freestone had two. McDonald and Ewart also had an assist each.

Freestone, Young, and Ewart each forced two steals, and McDonald and Atwood had a steal each. Ewart had two blocks while Freestone had one.

On Friday Monticello made the trip up to Duchesne county to take on 1A foe Tabiona. 

In the first quarter, the Tigers jumped to an early lead on the Bucks leading 16-4 after one quarter. The Tigers extended their lead in the second quarter to make the score 23-10 at half.

In the third quarter, Monticello came alive on both ends, giving up just six points in the quarter while scoring 11 themselves.

In the fourth quarter, the Bucks battled trading baskets back and forth with some intense theatrics. 

With about three minutes left in the game, Boston Freestone was tripped backward onto the back of a Tabiona player. While falling Freestone made the bucket on his back and later completed the three-point play to pull Monticello within nine points.

A few minutes later following a Donovan Atwood steal led to a cross-court pass from Easton Young to Freestone who hit an open three. The Bucks were within seven points with 1:45 to go.

After trading baskets back and forth Freestone hit another three with 30 seconds left to pull Monticello within six.

That was as close as the Bucks would get as the Tigers would close out the game at the free-throw line for a final of 44-37.

Freestone led the Bucks with 18 points. Landon Ewart had eight points and Young had seven. Curtis Bunker and Tommy Sheeran each had two points off the bench.

Free throw shooting improved for Monticello who completed eight of 12 attempts for 67 percent.

Ewart, Freestone, and Atwood had five rebounds each, while Young and Sheeran had three boards.

Young led the way again with three assists, while Freestone had two and Atwood and Sheeran had one each.

Atwood and Freestone had two steals each, while Young had one. JD McDonald also had a block for the Bucks.

Monticello makes its shortest trip of the year on Tuesday night after the press deadline to Dove Creek. This Friday and Saturday they’ll be in Richfield at the 1A preview.

The boys tip-off at 4 p.m. vs Bryce Valley on Friday and vs Piute at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be broadcast on Redrock 92.7 FM and

San Juan Record

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