The Grantsville girls basketball team is among the favorites to compete for the Class 3A state championship this season, and even on a night when they weren’t at their best, the Cowboys showed a few reasons why on Tuesday night at Grantsville High School.
Grantsville routed county rival Tooele 52-26 despite committing 23 turnovers and hitting just one 3-pointer. The difference was the Cowboys’ depth, as Grantsville (4-0) got 22 points from its bench.
“We were just all on the same page, and we all wanted to win,” said sophomore Maison White, who led the Cowboys with 12 points. “What we’ve been doing in practice, it all came together today.”
The game was tied 4-4 with 5:17 left in the first quarter as both teams got off to a rough start, struggling to hold on to the ball. However, that’s when Grantsville started to find its stride, ripping off a 21-5 run over the next 11 minutes to take control of the game.
“We definitely have to do a better job taking care of the ball,” Grantsville coach Megan Vera said. “I think a lot of that is just decision-making and doing a better job reading (the play), but I thought we got things going when we started running the floor. Our defense was good and led to a lot of our offense.”
The run was sparked by reserves White and Laura Sandberg and continued with seniors Madison Fields, Hannah Butler and Addison Smith. By the time Butler scored on a putback layup as the halftime buzzer sounded, the Cowboys had a 15-point lead.
“I thought we came out and the intensity was up,” Tooele coach Randy Goss said. “Grantsville calmed down and picked up their intensity and the press. You can practice against the press against your younger players, but it’s not like going against a varsity team. Once they got the lead, we started questioning ourselves a little bit.”
Despite finding itself in a 22-point hole after three quarters, thanks to White’s jumper from the corner at the buzzer, Tooele (0-2) kept playing hard for the rest of the game, Goss said.
“I’m proud of the girls,” he said. “Playing better teams will make us better.”
White was the only player on either team to score in double-figures. Fields had nine points and Sandberg and Butler each added eight for Grantsville, while Smith had five, Ashlee Edwards and Kylee Thomas each had four, and Callie Killian had two.
“Laura (Sandberg) does a great job — she always gives us a spark when she comes in and brings a lot of momentum,” Vera said. “Maison (White) did a great job rebounding tonight and had a lot of energy. I thought she played really well.”
Freshman Alivia Cluff led Tooele with six points and Mallory Searle and Mandy Steadman each had five. Whitney Murray and Makayla Komer had three points each and Madi Baker and Nizhone Tso each had two.
Grantsville faced rival Stansbury on the road Thursday night after press time.
“I think it’s nice — it just preps us that much more for region and the state tournament down the road,” Vera said of the early-season rivalry games. “I think mentally, they’re always up-tempo, kind of high-pressure games, so I love getting them this early and using them to help prepare for the season.”
Tooele’s next game is Saturday in Kamas against South Summit.