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.
Emery 56, Grantsville 36
Emery iced the game from the foul line to hold off Grantsville 56-36 on Friday in the semifinal of the Class 3A girls basketball state tournament at Dixie State University.
Emery went 12-of-14 from the free-throw line during the final 4:25, outscoring the Cowboys 16-9 in the fourth quarter, in what had been a close game in the first half.
Emery outrebounded Grantsville 34-26.
The Cowboys led early after a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Ashlee Edwards made it 9-8 about four minutes after tipoff, but Emery went on an 11-0 run after that to end the period.
Then in the fourth quarter, Emery iced the game from the line. As a team, the Spartans went 17-of-24 from the charity stripe, compared to Grantsville’s 1-for-4.
Fields led the Cowboys with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Emery junior guard Kacelyn Toomer led all scorers with 17 points.
South Sevier 47
In Grantsville’s quarterfinal game against South Sevier on Thursday at Dixie State University, the Cowboys led for approximately two-and-a-half seconds.
Unfortunately for South Sevier, it was the two-and-a-half seconds before the final buzzer, as Edwards stripped the ball from Ram sophomore guard Kenzie Jones and scored the go-ahead layup to avoid overtime, winning 49-47.
“I just was going for the ball and the basket,” Edwards said. “I knew that we had this in us the whole time. Coach just told me to get to the basket.”
With four seconds left, Grantsville senior forward Hannah Butler was fouled driving to the basket to tie the game at 47, and South Sevier called timeout before Butler’s free throw.
Butler missed the shot, Jones collected the rebound, and Edwards stripped the ball away for the basket.
Grantsville was down by five and had two team fouls heading into the final two minutes, but Vera elected to play tough defense instead of extending the game at the free-throw line.
Edwards had 10 points and two steals, and Butler had nine points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cowboys.
South Sevier’s Kaylie Jenson led all scorers with 16 points.