The Grantsville Cowboys suffered their first loss of the season at the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic in Cedar City, but they managed to win two games as well to extend their record to 10-1.
The Cowboys opened with a loss Thursday to co-host Cedar 50-43, but they bounced back Friday morning with a win against Rockwell 64-35. Finally, they ended the weekend on high note, beating co-host Canyon View 47-30.
“This is a special group, and they defend with anybody,” said GHS head coach Chris Baker. “We don’t always have the best offensive days, but we pride ourselves on not letting other people score.”
Baker said other teams know about the skills of Devon Arellano and Devin Adams, but they forget about the other players on the roster and the abilities they have to take over games. Those other players were the ones who stepped up in the team’s two victories.
But first the Cowboys battled Cedar and got a taste of defeat before they bounced back and had a successful weekend. Both Grantsville and Cedar got off to sluggish starts Thursday with the score tied at 23 going into the fourth quarter. Grantsville kept pace until the score was at 38-36 in favor of the Redmen.
Cedar hit two free throws to go ahead 40-36, and on Grantsville’s next possession Spencer Lawrence went to the ground for a loose ball. The referees called Lawrence for traveling after they said he stood up with the ball, and Cedar converted that turnover into points at 42-36. The Cowboys just didn’t have enough juice for one more run, and Cedar pulled away for the win.
Grantsville bounced back the next morning with a blowout win against the Rockwell Marshals. The Cowboys outscored the Marshals 18-6 in the fourth quarter after leading 44-29.
Devon Arellano opened the scoring in the quarter with a drive to the rim for a 46-29 lead. Tyler Colson followed that with a steal that he took coast to coast for a layup. Dallin Williams then found Colson for a score to make it 50-31 in favor of the Cowboys. Colson then picked up an offensive rebound later off a missed free throw, and he put the layup back in for 52-31.
Aaron Harrison got involved in the explosive fourth quarter with a close-range hook shot, and Williams scored the dagger with a drive to the rim. He finished the layup, got fouled and hit the free throw to make the score 57-35. Braden Sandberg, Ky Fisher and Cameron Potter rounded out the scoring to end the game for the 64-35 win.
Against Canyon View the following afternoon, the Falcons got out to a 6-2 lead over the Cowboys. Adams scored to make it 6-4, and then Adams found Lawrence for a long bucket to even the score at 6.
Nick Arbon made his presence known with a steal that led to a fast break three-on-one opportunity for Grantsville. Arbon dished it over to Adams on the break, and Adams finished with an emphatic two-handed dunk to make the score 8-6.
Canyon View re-captured the lead at 9-8, but Arbon wasn’t done taking over the first quarter. With the clock winding down, Arbon faded back and launched a jump shot that went through the hoop at the buzzer, giving Grantsville a 10-9 lead.
The Cowboys had all the momentum they needed from there to take over and get the win. Leading 30-24 in the third quarter, Arbon drove to the baske and was fouled. The ball went in for two points, and he finished the three-point play with a free throw. Williams then drove to the hoop and finished the scoring for the quarter at 35-24.
Arellano and Adams then finished off the game in the fourth quarter. Arellano dished a pass to Adams, who finished for a 39-26 lead. Arellano then crossed up his defender later on and drive to finish at the hoop for 41-26. Adams also had a finish at the rim with a finger roll.
“They just all played so well,” Baker said. “The first couple games, Adams struggled here and there, and Arellano was huge. And then today it was Devin’s turn, and the other Devon took a back seat a little bit. So when you’re not scoring you play defense as hard as you can. That’s just who these guys are; different guys step up.”
He said he’s grateful to have players who are unselfish and want their teammates to succeed.
“We keep talking about the we over me,” he said. “We have so many players that could probably have more playing time on other varsity teams, but you’ve just got to wait for your time. When your time’s called you never know.”
Baker said his team is excited about region play, which starts next week, and they feel the momentum building.
“I wouldn’t trade any of my kids for the world,” Baker said. “They’ve got hearts of champions. They want this. They want to keep winning.”
Grantsville has one last non-region contest on the road at Park City, and then it starts region play against Bear River on Jan. 15.