Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 28, 2019
Basketball season is a test of endurance

Other than cheerleading and drill team, which span the first six months of the school year, the high school basketball season is the next longest of all sports at three-plus months.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true — basketball season is a marathon, and not a sprint. And that’s for everyone involved, whether it’s the players, coaches, parents, or — yes — even the media that follows them from game to game.

But last weekend and this weekend are the big payoff.

Grantsville brought home a trophy from last weekend’s Class 3A state tournament, finishing second after an incredible season. But this season was about more than just the past three months. It was the culmination of four years of hard work by seniors Madison Fields, Hannah Butler and Addison Smith, who saw the program go from rock-bottom to respectable to contender status to dominant. 

While it would have been nice to see the Cowboys cut down the nets at the Sevier Valley Center on Saturday, they did run into a buzz saw in Emery that would be a legitimate contender to win the whole thing in a true statewide state tournament from Class 1A to 6A. The whole community should be proud of everything Grantsville accomplished this season, and Fields, Butler and Smith should be proud of the legacy they’re leaving behind.

This week, Stansbury has a chance to advance past the quarterfinals for the first time. Like Grantsville, the Stallions have a formidable opponent in front of them, with undefeated Cedar playing in its hometown mere blocks from its own campus. But this is the time of year that underdogs are at their most dangerous. As coach Kenzie Newton told me earlier this week, the Stallions are going into this weekend in Cedar City with absolutely nothing to lose. For Cedar, it’s state championship or bust, in front of what promises to be a vocal pro-Lady Reds crowd. Cedar is the favorite, but nerves could be the great equalizer.

Meanwhile, in Richfield, the Wendover boys and girls are looking to cap off their own stellar seasons with championship runs of their own. The WHS boys have been at the top of the Class 1A heap all season long, and survived a scare from Piute in Wednesday’s first round. The Wildcats’ potent offense could very well carry them all the way to the top prize. 

Meanwhile, the Wendover girls dismantled Monticello in the first round. With a talented group of seniors, the Wildcats have a legitimate shot of at least making it to the third day of the tournament, if not playing in the championship game. 

It has been a long three months since the first games of the 2018-19 high school basketball season were played just before Thanksgiving. However, Tooele County could see a big payoff when all is said and done this weekend.

Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. He’s hoping for good news for Tooele County out of Richfield and Cedar City this weekend. Email him at dvaughan@tooeletranscript.com.

 

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