Grantsville senior guard Kevin Roberts scored 14 points in the second half to help the Cowboys hold on to beat Delta 55-54 in the third-place game at Dixie State University on Saturday.
“Mostly they were running a zone. Honestly, I love when teams run a zone, because that’s when I attack the hoop,” Roberts said. “My main goal the second half was just attacking the hoop, and that’s what happened.”
Delta’s 1-3-1 zone gave the Cowboys a little bit of trouble early in the second half.
Grantsville didn’t score in the final 2:30 of the third quarter, a dry spell that extended until 5:33 to go in the fourth quarter when Roberts drove through the lane for a layup to make it 46-43.
“I just think we were frantic. We were too focused on taking the win instead of looking at it one possession at a time like Coach says,” senior guard Ryan Potter said. “We just needed to slow down, calm down, and realize we can win.”
Potter gave Grantsville its first lead of the final minutes with a 3-pointer that made it 50-48 with 2:53 to play.
Delta center Brett Roundy scored to pull the Rabbits to within two points with 1:34 left, and Delta forced a turnover to get the ball back on the next possession.
The Rabbits passed the ball inside to Roundy again, but Roberts came up with a steal with 55 seconds left. That possession eventually led to senior guard Ryan Potter hitting one of two free throws to give the Cowboys a 53-50 lead with 39 seconds left.
Roundy scored in the post on the next possession, but Roberts made another pair of free throws to make it 55-52, and the Cowboys held on to take third place in Class 3A.
“None of us here treated this as a throwaway,” Grantsville head coach Bryan Detweiler said. “That was a hell of a game.”
Roberts finished with 16 points, going 8-for-10 from the foul line, with nine rebounds, two steals, an assist and three blocked shots.
Potter had 17 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Senior forward Brady Arbon had eight points and nine boards.
Delta guard Derek Smith had 21 points to lead all scorers.
Grantsville went 7-for-10 from the foul line during the fourth quarter.
“That was awesome,” Detweiler said. “Third place in state; no one expected us to be here.”
The Cowboys finished the 2017-18 season with a 16-11 record. They beat a pair of No. 2-seeds and the Region 14 champion in the tournament.
Manti 56, Grantsville 37
Grantsville had its semifinal matchup against Manti right where it wanted on Friday at Dixie State University: down by one after sophomore forward Ammon Bartley hit a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter.
The shot must have put a lid on the basket, as Manti went on a 18-0 run during the next seven-and-a-half minutes, paving the way for the Templars’ 56-37 win.
Grantsville didn’t score again until Potter hit a 3-pointer with 4:04 left in the game to make it 46-30.
From the floor, Grantsville shot 17 percent during the second half.
Grantsville was held to a pair of field goals in the 9-6 first quarter, which might have been a little worse for the Cowboys if they hadn’t closed the period with a 4-0 run in the final 3:47.
Arbon led the Cowboys with 11 points and five rebounds.
Author’s note: Tavin Stucki has covered prep sports in Utah for more than nine years. This story was not subject to the approval of the Grantsville basketball program.