Grantsville is undefeated through the first four games of the season after a pair of 17-point wins over Cedar and Manti at the Sevier Valley Center as part of the Central Utah Basketball Preview.
“We won both of those games, but it was just getting back to playing the style of basketball that we think is going to make us successful this year,” head coach Bryan Detweiler said. “It’s good to start out quick, and see some of the things we’re working on in practice work out on the court.”
The Cowboys beat Cedar 60-43 on Friday, and Manti 65-48 on Saturday.
Grantsville 60, Cedar 43
Grantsville senior guard Kevin Roberts scored 20 points in the win over Cedar, as the Cowboys made only three 3-pointers on the night.
Detweiler said most of his team’s points came off of what he calls “cookie calls” — getting a steal and getting a fast-break layup.
“We were getting cookies and layups,” Detweiler said. “The defense was there causing steals, which led to easy baskets for us.”
Cedar, which was playing in its second game of the season after losing by six at Richfield the night before, was held to seven points in the opening quarter. Junior Dallin Peterson led the team in scoring with 14 points. Guard Ethan Boetcher, who scored 26 points off of eight 3-pointers in Thursday’s opener, was limited to nine points of a trio of triples in Friday’s loss to Grantsville.
“We kept an eye on him, and those 3s were all contested,” Detweiler said. “We held in check some of the other teams’ leading scorers to single digits.”
Senior forward Brady Arbon chipped in with 13 points in the win. The Cowboy foul-shooting woes continued, as the team went 9 of 18 from the charity stripe.
Grantsville 65, Manti 48
The Cowboys used an 18-point fourth quarter to beat the Templars on Saturday, putting Grantsville at 4-0 for the first time since Detweiler took the helm. The last Grantsville team to start this hot was the 2012-13 team that started 8-0 as part of an 18-4 season that ended with a loss to Cedar in the first round of the 3A state tournament.
“It’s good, I think it’s a boost to confidence right now. It shows we’re starting the season off on the right foot,” Detweiler said. “We had a good weekend, and we’re going to take that with us out for the next game.”
Manti’s Kole Brailsford led all scorers with 16 in the loss.
Arbon led the Cowboys with 15 points in the win, while senior guard Ryan Potter had 13 — many of which came at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
Grantsville significantly improved its free-throw percentage, hitting 19 of 30 for 63 percent — still not a number Detweiler is happy about, but a lot better than the season’s 51-percent mark through the first three games.
The Cowboys will next take on West Wendover (Nevada) on Wednesday on the road. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“They played hard. They played hard to the point that other coaches were coming up to me, saying ‘man these kids are moving,’” Detweiler said. “It felt like our conditioning was there these games; we were starting to wear down on teams.”
Author’s note: Tavin Stucki has covered prep sports in Utah for more than nine years. This story was not subject to the approval of the Grantsville basketball program.