Grantsville ended the season with a 36-16 win over Juab in the Class 3A third-place game on Saturday at Dixie State University’s Burns Arena.
“We never quit,” Grantsville senior guard Paige McCluskey said. “I think our main focus was just go out and do us, play our defense. Because I think when we play us, we’re tough to beat.”
The Cowboys held Juab without a field goal during the first 12 minutes of the game, going up 10-2 after the first quarter. Junior center Madison Fields started things off for Grantsville with a pair of buckets midway through the quarter, and sophomore guard Ellie Wilson drove to the lane for back-to-back scores late to highlight the run.
Juab scored two quick baskets to start the second half, cutting the lead to seven.
Grantsville scored 13 in the fourth quarter, nearly matching Juab’s total for the entire game.
“Just fly around and be really active,” Grantsville senior guard Sarah Ellett said of her team’s defensive strategy, “be hands-up and play to the best of our ability.”
McCluskey, Fields and Wilson each had eight points to lead the Cowboys. Forward Hannah Butler had six steals and nine rebounds.
Grantsville finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 19-6 record, including a 7-1 record to win the Region 13 championship.
The Cowboys were the third-best team in Class 3A.
“They responded well to last night,” Grantsville head coach Megan Vera said. “They played hard and played with a purpose.”
Vera had nothing but well-wishes for the two departing seniors on Grantsville’s basketball team.
It was the final game in a Grantsville uniform for Ellett and McCluskey.
McCluskey averaged five points, two assists and two steals per game this season. She hit an important 3-pointer during her five-point performance in Saturday’s win over Juab in the third-place game.
“Paige has brought a lot of positive energy,” Ellett said. “Not only is she a great teammate, she’s also a really great friend to everyone.”
Ellett averaged seven points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists this season. She scored a season-high 17 points in the win over Bear River early in the season.
“Sarah had never played basketball until her freshman year. She bought in, she put in the time and really developed as a player,” Vera said. “This year she did a good job being one of our leaders.”
Through the two years Ellett and McCluskey have seen significant playing time as part of the Grantsville program, the Cowboys’ record is 40-10, including a 15-1 mark in region matchups. They’ve gone 4-3 in state playoff games and held their own in rivalry games during that span, going 5-1 against teams from Tooele County.