San Juan basketball teams start into the thick of region play against Sevier County teams
The San Juan High School boys basketball team was scheduled to begin Region 12 play January 8 against the rival Grand County Red Devils. Due to COVID-19 complications, that game was postponed and rescheduled for January 27.
The Broncos officially got region play underway this past weekend with a trip to Sevier County to take on South Sevier and Richfield Friday and Saturday, January 15-16.
It was a challenging trip for the San Juan boys, who hadn’t seen much time on the court since their last game of 2020 on December 30.
In Monroe Friday, South Sevier opened up a 5-0 lead before the San Juan offense got in gear. But the Broncos then turned the tables to go on a 10-0 run and led 10-7 after one quarter.
The Rams outscored San Juan 11-2 in a dismal second quarter, putting the Broncos down 18-12 at the half. South Sevier held the lead from midway through the second quarter until nearly the end of the third.
But San Juan was steadily heating up throughout the third quarter and rallied to outscore the Rams 23-17 and tie the game at 35 headed into the final frame.
The Broncos got some timely shooting and maintained their momentum down the stretch to win the fourth quarter 27-19 and the game 62-54.
It was a banner night for Jensen Grover. He led San Juan scoring with 20 points and was four of eight from three-point range on the night.
Jayden Black, Ladd Ivins, and Jace Palmer all scored 11 points apiece in the win, and Nate Grover added nine. Black, Ivins, and Palmer each scored one three-pointer.
Grover led the Broncos’ effective rebounding effort with 12. Black and Ivins pulled down seven boards apiece.
South Sevier outshot San Juan 47 percent to 44 percent, but the Broncos won the game on the boards. They out-rebounded the Rams 43-19 and scored 21 second-chance points to none.
Though it was a nice comeback win, Head Coach Travis Black lamented another slow start for San Juan and said that grabbing an early lead is one of the main aspects of the game they can improve.
Unfortunately that wasn’t to be the following evening in Richfield. The Wildcats jumped out to a 22-14 first-quarter lead and won every quarter but the fourth on the way to a 69-58 win.
The Broncos seemed flat and lethargic for most of the game, allowing Richfield players to get to the basket almost at will. The Wildcats outscored San Juan 42-30 in the paint and outshot them 52 percent to 41 percent on the night.
Grover led scoring for the Broncos on Saturday with 19 points. Ivins got 16; Grover scored eight; and Cooper Black, Jayden Black, and Palmer all had five. Grover hit two threes, and everybody else got one apiece.
After the weekend split, San Juan sits at 9-5 on the year and 1-1 in Region 12. They’re #8 in the RPI standings with a couple key matchups coming up this week.
They travel to Price to take on the #7 Carbon Dinos on Wednesday, January 20, then come back home to host #15 Emery on Friday, January 22. Both games tip at 7 p.m., and you can catch both live on Redrock 92.7 FM and PictureItPalmer.com.
The San Juan girls also played South Sevier and Richfield over the weekend, but they enjoyed the friendly confines of the SJHS gymnasium in lieu of a trip northwest.
Game one against #2 South Sevier on Friday, January 15 was a hard-fought battle from the start right down to the wire.
The host Lady Broncos began strong, and opened a 16-13 lead in the first quarter. But the Lady Rams stormed back to win the second quarter 20-13, and San Juan faced a 33-29 deficit at halftime.
The two teams played a 6-6 third quarter and the Lady Broncos were eyeing an upset, down just four headed into the final frame. But South Sevier bested San Juan 17-15 in the fourth quarter to down the Lady Broncos 56-50.
It was a heartbreaker for San Juan, but the girls can hold their heads high after a fine effort.
Emilie Palmer led the scoring for the Lady Broncos with 18 points on the night.
Quiana Dishface scored 16, Sadie Brown got five, Serina Yanito and Heyleigh Warren both had four, and Kaitlynne Perkins added three points. Palmer scored two three-point baskets in the loss, with Dishface and Perkins hitting one apiece.
It was another tough top-five opponent for San Juan on Saturday, January 16 when the Lady Broncos welcomed the #3 Richfield Lady Wildcats to Blanding.
As of our press deadline, results and stats from that game are unavailable, but we can report that San Juan suffered a tough 52-39 loss.
Following the weekend, the girls are 5-8 on the year and 1-2 in Region 12 play. The most recent RPI standings placed the Lady Broncos at #11.
At the beginning of the week, the girls were set for a couple tough region matchups. They hosted the #4 Carbon Lady Dinos on Tuesday, January 19.
They’ll travel to Castle Dale to face the top-ranked Emery Lady Spartans on Thursday, January 21.