The Grantsville girls basketball team has gotten closer to its ultimate goal of bringing a state championship back to Tooele County in each of the past several seasons, but has not yet won the ultimate prize.
The Cowboys hope to change that this weekend, as third-seeded Grantsville prepares for Thursday’s Class 3A state quarterfinal game against 11th-seeded San Juan at Bruin Arena on Salt Lake Community College’s Taylorsville campus.
Grantsville (20-3) has won nine of its past 10 games, establishing itself among the favorites to bring home a state championship. However, the Cowboys can’t overlook San Juan (12-10), which toppled two-time defending state champion Emery in Saturday’s second round in Price and is eager to spoil GHS’ title hopes. Thursday’s quarterfinal game is scheduled to begin at 9:10 p.m.
The Broncos are riding a three-game winning streak, though they took their lumps in a challenging Region 13 that includes state-championship contenders South Sevier and Richfield. Senior Tasiah Little has been the driving force behind San Juan’s season, averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game — including 11 in a row with 10 or more. She has broken the 20-point barrier six times, with her season-high of 28 coming against Palisade (Colorado) on Dec. 13. She also scored 24 points against Richfield on Jan. 11 and 22 against Grand on Feb. 4. Madison Palmer averages 13.9 points per game for San Juan.
However, Grantsville boasts plenty of offensive firepower of its own, along with a suffocating defense that leads to easy baskets in transition. Junior Maison White ranks second in Class 3A and fifth in the entire state in scoring at 19.8 points per game, while teammate Ashlee Edwards is third in 3A scoring at 16.0 ppg and fifth in 3-pointers made with 42. White is 3A’s third-leading rebounder at 8.2 per contest, while Edwards averages 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and a 3A-best 5.6 steals per game. Freshman guard McKenzie Allen has been a valuable contributor, averaging 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals.
The winner of Thursday’s game will face either No. 2 Judge Memorial or No. 7 Morgan in a semifinal game Friday at 5:50 p.m. The loser will face the Judge/Morgan loser in the consolation bracket at 11:10 a.m. Friday.
Judge and Morgan both pose a challenge for Grantsville, with the Bulldogs and Trojans each splitting their two-game series with the Cowboys during the regular season. Judge has the state’s leading scorer in sophomore Teya Sidberry (25.4 ppg), who also ranks second in 3A in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and second in steals (5.0 spg). Morgan is led by the trio of Sydney Cragun (10.6 ppg, 3.5 spg, Ashlyn Morrell (9.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Janel Blazzard (7.8 ppg, 34 3-pointers).
Morgan beat Grantsville 60-54 on the Cowboys’ home floor on Jan. 7, with Grantsville returning the favor with a 58-54 win Jan. 21 in Morgan. GHS held off Judge in a 55-53 nail-biter Jan. 16 at home — the Bulldogs’ lone loss in 2020, and the Bulldogs beat the Cowboys 55-47 on Feb. 4 in Salt Lake City — Grantsville’s lone loss since Jan. 9.