Grantsville showed off its depth and defensive prowess Thursday night in a 45-33 victory at Ben Lomond.
The 12-2 Cowboys never trailed in the game against the 2-15 Scots. Grantsville improves to 1-1 in region games while Ben Lomond drops to 0-3.
“I’ve been preaching to these guys all week to only prepare for Ben Lomond. Upsets happen all the time in region,” said Grantsville coach Chris Baker. “I didn’t care if it was a one-point win or 20-point win, a region win on the road is big.”
The Cowboys led 12-8 after one quarter and 19-12 at intermission.
Ben Lomond cut the lead to four points midway through the third quarter and were within five with 6:10 left in the game. That is when Grantsville turned up the heat on defense and outscored Ben Lomond 15-8 in the final six minutes.
“I was super proud of the defensive effort by all our players tonight. We were able to go 10 or 11 deep with a good rotation,” the coach said. “Spencer Lawrence and Tyler Colson came in and played with great effort. And Nick Arbon played unbelievably well tonight with Devon Arellano in foul trouble. And Jake Riding played a mean game in the middle.”
Devin Adams scored the first six points followed by a 3-pointer from Arellano as the Cowboys surged out to a 9-2 lead.
Ben Lomond cut the lead to 9-8 on a pair of baskets from Jeavier Zambrano and a put-back by Anthony Hurtado.
Only down by one point, Ben Lomond tried to hold the ball for the final 45 seconds and the final shot of the first quarter. But Arbon stole the ball, raced down the floor and found Lawrence in the corner for a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 12-8 for the Cowboys after one quarter.
“Once the game got going I never really did get too uncomfortable (that we would lose) because of the way we play defense. I didn’t want to get out of what we do best which is defend and take what they give us on offense,” Baker said.
With Arellano on the bench with foul trouble, Arbon provided some spark for the Cowboys. He came through with several steals, rebounds and knocked down a 3-pointer.
Grantsville’s interior defense was solid with blocks from Colson, Riding and Aaron Harrison.
Riding hit a pair of foul shots and a short jumper to stretch Grantsville’s lead to 16-10 midway through the second quarter. Ky Fisher came in to grab an offensive rebound with a put-back to make it 18-12 The Cowboys led 19-12 at halftime.
Ben Lomond trimmed the GHS lead to 22-18 with a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter, but baskets by Riding and Colson gave Grantsville a 28-22 advantage after three quarters.
Riding threaded a pinpoint pass to Adams for a basket to start the fourth quarter and push Grantsville’s lead to eight. Ben Lomond hit a 3-pointer to make it 30-25 for the Cowboys with 6:10 left in the game.
Arbon knocked down a corner 3-pointer followed by a basket-and-one foul shot by Adams to make it 36-25 with 4 minutes remaining.
Arbon came up with another steal and passed down court to Dallin Williams for a layup and the Cowboys had their biggest lead of the game at 38-25 with 3:20 left to play. Two minutes later, Riding scored on an offensive rebound and was fouled. The 3-point play by Riding sealed the victory with the Cowboys up 41-27 with only 1:23 left on the clock.
Grantsville scoring: Adams 14, Riding 9, Lawrence 6, Williams 4, Arellano 3, Colson 2, Wyatt Barrus 2, Fisher 2, Colson 2.
Grantsville plays at Stansbury Friday and hosts Tooele on Wednesday.