The Grantsville girls basketball team has been known as one of the top squads in Class 3A for the past several years, but what sets this year’s Cowboys apart is their devastating depth.
Far from a one-woman show, the third-seeded Cowboys had four players score in double-figures in Saturday afternoon’s 70-32 win over No. 14 Juab in the second round of the Class 3A state tournament at Grantsville High School. More than half of Grantsville’s scoring output came from the bench, as the Cowboys (20-3) got 39 points from their reserves.
That included 18 points from Emily Backus and 13 more from Emily Ware. The starters were led by Kenzie Allen’s 13 points and 12 more from senior center Maison White.
Juab (7-16) struggled from the get-go, falling behind 7-0 on layups by White and Allen and free throws from Allen and Backus. The Wasps finally got on the board on a 3-pointer by Madeline Eyre with 4:00 left in the first quarter, but the Cowboys pulled away with 10 unanswered points — five from White, a 3-pointer from Allen and a layup by Ware — to take a 17-3 lead after one. Juab committed 13 turnovers in the opening frame, compounding the Wasps’ problems.
Reserve Maddie Martin’s conventional three-point play was part of an 11-0 Grantsville run early in the second quarter that stretched the Cowboys’ lead to 28-5. Juab scored the next four points, but Backus scored eight of Grantsville’s next 10 points to put the Cowboys up 38-9 at halftime.
The Wasps outscored the Cowboys 13-12 in the third quarter, but it was far too little, far too late. Allen, Backus and Ellie Thomas all hit 3-pointers for the Cowboys in the third quarter, while White had a layup and a free throw.
Then, it was the bench’s turn to shine in Grantsville’s final home game of the season. Ware scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer, and Brylee Castagno knocked down a 3 from the corner in the waning seconds. Gracie McCinnes put home an offensive rebound off a missed free throw by Backus with just over a minute left in the game, as well, and senior starter Chloe Butler hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter in her final home game.
Thomas, Castagno, Butler and Martin all had three points for the Cowboys, who posted a perfect 10-0 record on their home floor this season. McCinnes finished with two points. Allen’s stat line also included six rebounds, six assists and six steals, while Backus had seven steals, Butler had five and White had four.
Avia Stowell led Juab with 11 points.
The Cowboys will face Region 13 foe No. 6 Judge Memorial (13-4) in a quarterfinal game at 9:10 p.m. Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Grantsville won both meetings against the Bulldogs this season, beating Judge 53-48 on Jan. 26 in Salt Lake City before a 56-48 win Feb. 11 in Grantsville. The winner will take on No. 2 Emery or No. 7 Delta in a semifinal game Friday, with the loser meeting the Emery/Delta loser for a berth in the fifth-place game.
Top-ranked South Sevier will meet No. 8 Morgan and No. 4 Carbon will face No. 5 Richfield in Thursday’s other quarterfinal games.