San Juan beats #2 Enterprise, falls to #4 Parowan
The San Juan High School boys basketball team took a four-game winning streak into their lengthy road trip to Enterprise and Parowan on January 28 and 29.
The Broncos had also won six of their last seven games and were in first place in the 2A RPI standings heading into their rematch with the #2 Enterprise Wolves on Friday night.
The Wolves on the other hand were trending in the opposite direction. They had lost three of five since they beat San Juan in the teams’ first meeting January 7 in Blanding.
Not only that, Enterprise would be without leading scorer Matt Ramos due to injury as the teams closed out their regular season series.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the opening quarter in front of a loud packed house in the EHS gym. The home team held a one-point lead as the buzzer sounded to close out the first eight minutes 14-13.
It remained tight in the second quarter with San Juan trailing until the Broncos scored four points in the final three seconds of the half to take the lead.
San Juan came out of the break to dominate the third quarter 20-8 and take a commanding 46-31 lead into the fourth.
Bronco fans had flashbacks of January 7 when the Wolves went on a 6-0 run to begin the final frame and pulled to within nine points. But, nearing the midpoint of the quarter, San Juan got the offense back in gear.
They outscored Enterprise down the stretch 16-10 to secure a 62-47 win, their fifth in a row and seventh in eight games. San Juan hit five three-point baskets while the Wolves went 0 for 15.
Cooper Black was instrumental, scoring 25 points to lead the Broncos in the win. Ladd Ivins continued his stellar play, adding 20. Jayden Black scored eight, Preston Imlay had six, Jensen Grover got two, and Jace Palmer scored one.
Many fouls were called in the game, and San Juan really showed their character and “next-man-up” mentality in the win.
With at least one starter on the bench for almost the entire game and Jensen Grover fouling out early in the fourth quarter, Imlay, Bronsen Snyder, and Cadin McPherson were called upon to put in a lot of playing time.
Without doubt, the win over the Wolves was a full team effort.
Long road trips are challenging, and the Broncos knew they would have their hands full with the 2A #4 Parowan Rams in game two of the journey on Saturday.
The Rams have enjoyed playing the spoiler lately, upsetting then #1 Enterprise on January 14. They had won four in a row and five of six coming into their meeting with San Juan, who beat them 71-48 on January 8 in Blanding.
So it was the second top-ranked team to come into the Parowan gym, and the Rams had upset on their minds again. From the opening tip it was obvious the Broncos had their hands full.
When the teams first met, only the big guy – 6”8’ forward Brock Felder – was able to score significant points against San Juan.
But this past Saturday everybody got going. Felder, Drake Robinson, Shaydon Benson, and Jace Little all hit double-digit scoring on the night and they simply overwhelmed a sluggish Bronco squad.
San Juan wasn’t too bad out of the gate. They kept pace with Parowan and led 14-13 after one quarter. But the Rams dominated from there, outscoring the Broncos 18-10 in the second and 25-13 in the third to build a 19-point lead.
Parowan continued the torrid pace in the final frame. The Broncos trailed by as much as 22 at times on the way to a tough 80-61 loss, their fourth of the year.
It was the second time in as many weeks the Rams had upset the top team in 2A boys basketball, and quietly they have moved to 11-6 on the season and are very close to breaking into the top three in the RPI.
Parowan outshot San Juan 65 percent to 40 percent from the floor, but the real disparity was on the boards. The Rams out-rebounded the Broncos 31-16, nearly two-to-one on the night.
After fouling out the night before, Jensen Grover was on fire, hitting three of San Juan’s nine three-point baskets and leading Bronco scorers with 18 points.
Ladd Ivins poured in 14, Cooper Black ten, Jace Palmer nine, Jayden Black eight, and Bronsen Snyder rounded out the scoring effort with two points.
San Juan dropped to 15-4 on the year with the loss but hung on to the top spot in the 2A RPI standings. Enterprise remains #2 at 13-5 while Millard is #3 at 15-4 record and Parowan is #4 at 11-6.
San Juan will host South Sevier Friday, February 4 at 7 p.m. and Beaver Saturday, February 5 at 2 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on Redrock 92.7 FM and PictureItPalmer.com.