In just the second game of the season, the Grantsville Cowboys had a different set of stars than they had in the first game.
Devon Arellano scored 18 points and Spencer Lawrence added 11 off the bench to lead the Cowboys to a 59-52 victory Wednesday night over the Juab Wasps.
“Juab is a good defensive team,” said GHS head coach Chris Baker. “It was a good learning game for us. We knew they would come out hard with man-to-man defense.”
Grantsville opened with an 11-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter thanks to points from Arellano, Devin Adams, Tyler Colson and Jake Riding. Arellano nailed a 3-pointer on an assist from Adams, and the Wasps answered to take the lead at 4-3. Grantsville then scored back-to-back buckets on a drive through the lane by Arellano, and then Adams capped a fastbreak with a layup.
Adams then tossed a pass through traffic to the side of his shoulder while trapped in the corner. The pass went through the Juab defenders unscathed and found the hands of Colson, who put the ball up and in, making the score 11-4. Colson finished the night with 10 points, the third and final Cowboy to score in double figures. Juab ended the quarter with another bucket, making the score 11-6 going into the second.
The Wasps kept the pressure on the Cowboys in the second quarter, tying the game at 13-13 before Nick Arbon found Lawrence, who made a spin move under the basket for a layup. The Cowboys then forced a turnover, which led to a fastbreak layup for Arellano.
However, Juab captured the lead at 20-19 with 31.6 seconds remaining until halftime. Adams took over to give Grantsville the lead at halftime, driving the lane and putting in the layup for a 21-20 advantage. Adams had just 6 points on the night, but he was still heavily involved in the offense with his passing. He finished the night with seven assists. He also injured his wrist toward the end of the game. Baker said he was concerned with the injury, and the team will see how Adams feels from day to day.
Baker said Adams is the focal point of the offense, and everyone else builds from there. However, he said any player can step in and make a difference when they’re needed.
Those other players proved that in the third quarter when Grantsville built its lead. Riding and Dallin Williams each knocked down two free throws after an Adams bucket, which Arellano tallied an assist. Arellano then assisted Colson for a 29-23 lead, and Colson followed that with an assist of his own to Lawrence, who knocked down a 3-pointer. Lawrence returned the favor to Colson, who was fouled on a layup that went in. Colson hit the free throw, and the Cowboys suddenly led 35-23 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Williams kept the lead going with a drive through the lane that he finished with a floater. Colson knocked down a 3-pointer on an inbounds play, and then Arbon dished assist to Arellano on a fastbreak, putting the score at 42-30 going into the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys held on to their lead, but Juab hit 3-pointers near the end of the game to cut into the deficit. One 3-pointer came with 15.9 seconds remaining, which made the score 57-52. But the Cowboys finished off the win.
“Arellano had a good game,” Baker said. “Spencer had a big game off the bench. Once they figured out [Josh Clark of Juab], Spencer played really well in the third and fourth quarter (guarding him). Colton Adams came in and gave us some minutes off the bench. We’re getting better, and that’s all we can ask.”
Baker said he knows what to expect with these Grantsville players, and it puts him at ease when he’s coaching them. He said he’s able to sit down a little more often because he trusts them.
Grantsville’s next game is Friday at home against Union. The game starts at 7 p.m.