After a blowout win over Delta and a stiff challenge from Juab, Grantsville found itself in a tight game against Union Friday night in a quest to go 3-0 on the season.
The Cougars led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter, but could not close the door on the Cowboys.
Grantsville battled back and tied the game at 36-36 with 3 minutes left on a backdoor basket by Spencer Lawrence. With 1:34 left in the game, Lawrence hit what ended up to be the winning basket to give Grantsville a 39-38 lead.
Union trailed by a single point and had possession of the ball with 13.2 seconds remaining. Grantsville’s Devon Arellano swiped the ball from a Union guard at midcourt to supposedly seal the deal. But Grantsville missed on the ensuing fastbreak layup and left Union with another chance to steal the win with 1.4 seconds remaining.
The Cougars were able to get the ball just outside the 3-point arc and got off a shot in regulation. But Lawrence blocked it cleanly to end the game and preserve the 39-38 victory.
“[Union] came down and set a screen on my man, and I switched with Jake Riding,” Lawrence said. “Their guy was open for a bit and I could see his eyes wide open as he was ready to shoot it, but I was able to get to the ball.”
Lawrence scored a game-high 17 points with five rebounds. Riding added eight points and Cameron Potter six.
“Spencer was our top JV player last year and has put in a lot of time to improve his game over the past three years,” said Grantsville coach Chris Baker.
The Cowboys played without one of its top players Devin Adams, who is still recovering from a wrist injury.
“Sometimes we rely a little too much on Adams because he does so much for us,” Baker said. “It was fun to come out with a win tonight with all the players stepping up.”
First-half scoring was limited with aggressive defense from both teams. Grantsville led 7-6 after one quarter.
Riding and Tyler Colson hit inside baskets to start the second quarter to give the Cowboys an 11-8 advantage. Union came back with five unanswered points until Nick Arbon drilled a shot at the buzzer to lift Grantsville to a 14-13 lead at intermission.
Union led by six midway through the third quarter until Lawrence heated up with two inside baskets to get the Cowboys back on track. A 3-pointer by Potter gave the Cowboys a 28-27 advantage with 50 seconds to go in the third. Union took the lead back at 30-28 when Jace Woolstenhume nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the third quarter.
Down 36-32 with 4:25 to go, Potter sank a 2-pointer while falling to the floor. Then Lawrence hit the shot to tie it at 36 and then put in the winning basket with 1:24 remaining.
Grantsville plays at North Summit on Wednesday night, and will play in the Cuff Classic in Richfield on Friday and Saturday. Their first game is against host Richfield at 7 p.m. on Friday.