Whirlwind of a start for San Juan boys and girls basketball teams

In an absolute whirlwind of a start to the 2020-21 season, the San Juan High School boys basketball team played nine games in 15 days, culminating this past week with a win over Uintah, a loss to Real Salt Lake Academy, and a win against Monticello.

The Broncos began the week on December 15 with a depleted roster, without Cooper Black due to injury and Bronson Snyder due to COVID-19 protocol.

But they still came up with a fairly dominating effort against Uintah in the San Juan gym, trailing early, but rallying to take down the Utes 73-59.

Ladd Ivins had a banner night, scoring a game-high 23 points to pace the Broncos. He hit three treys. Nate Grover added 15 points, and Jensen Grover and Jace Palmer were good for ten apiece.

The following night, the shorthanded Broncos welcomed an all-star cast of basketball players to Blanding when RSL Academy cruised into the San Juan gym.

San Juan battled hard all game long and at times rallied to keep it close, but RSLA led from start to finish and cruised to a 77-57 win.

Ivins led the Broncos with 17 points while Nate Grover and Palmer scored 15 and 12 respectively. Jayden Black put together a strong night with eight points, including a couple threes.

San Juan had just one day to get set for a trip to Monticello to take on the rival Buckaroos to close out the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule.

As is to be expected when the two teams meet, it was a battle. San Juan led by just three after one quarter, 18-15. Monticello rallied to win the second quarter 9-8, and it was a slim 26-24 margin at halftime.

The Broncos took control of the game with a 23-10 third quarter, and though Monticello outscored San Juan 19-12 in the fourth, the Broncos maintained the lead for a 61-53 win.

Jensen Grover led the way with 13 against the Bucks. Palmer scored 12, Easton Bethea got eight, and Jayden Black, Nate Grover, and Ivins all scored seven apiece.

Through the first nine games, San Juan is shooting 45 percent from the floor (232 of 516).

They’re 50 percent from inside the arc (176 of 354) and 35 percent from outside (56 of 162). The Broncos have been strong from the foul line, shooting 129 of 178 for 73 percent.

Ivins is the Broncos’ leading scorer with 161 (17.9 per game). Nate Grover has 120 so far (13.3 ppg), Palmer and Jensen Grover have both scored 96 (10.7 ppg), and Jayden Black has 71 points (7.9 ppg).

Before he went out with an injury, Cooper Black had scored 31 points in just two games, an average of 15.5 per game.

It’s been a strong start for the Broncos with seven wins and two losses. They’re fifth in the most recent Deseret News 3A boys basketball rankings.

They’re off for the Christmas break, but with the precedent they set to open the year, they sure aren’t interested in taking things slow when they return.

They tip it off against Juab, Millard, and Grantsville in a three-day tournament in Cedar City December 28-30.

Girls basketball
It was a light week for the San Juan girls, with just one game at home against Mountain Crest Friday, December 18.

From the start, the Lady Mustangs had the Lady Broncos’ number. They jumped out to a 15-7 first-quarter lead, increased it to 35-26 at halftime, and cruised to a 71-56 win.

Quiana Dishface led the way for the Lady Broncos with 15 points. Kaitlynne Perkins dropped in 14, Sadie Brown scored ten, Heyleigh Warren got eight, Serina Yanito added six, and Makaeli Begaye scored three.

Perkins hit one three for the Lady Broncos. Warren was a solid eight of ten from the foul line and Dishface was seven of ten.

Begaye pulled down 11 rebounds, Brown eight, and Dishface six. Warren led the way defensively with four steals. Yanito, Brown, and Dishface all had two while Begaye and Perkins had one apiece.

The San Juan girls are 3-3 through the first six games of the year. They closed out the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule on the road against Morgan Tuesday, December 22.

San Juan Record

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