A frantic full-court press helped Grantsville rally from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter and nearly topple Maeser Prep Monday night in Grantsville.
Sophomore Whitney Castagno drove to the basket for a score to slice the Lions’ lead to 42-41 with 11.5 seconds left in the game.
The Cowboys were able to force another turnover and got fouled, but could not connect on two free throws.
The game was tight throughout, and neither team was able to forge ahead by more than seven points durng the contest.
“It was a tough loss, but I felt it was the best game we have played so far this year,” said Grantsville coach Megan Vera.
Grantsville is now 1-3 on the season with losses to Union and Summit Academy and a victory over Layton Christian. The Cowboys hosted St. Joseph Tuesday night and will host Park City on Thursday.
The Cowboys are definitely in a re-building mode this season with several young players logging multiple minutes.
Two freshmen, Riley Ekins and Abby Butler, combined for 21 points in Monday’s game. Ekins scored 10 and Butler 11. Sophomores Castagno, Megan Caferelli and Kalli Hammond combined for 14 points. Castagno scored 5, Caferelli 5 and Hammond 4. Senior Jessy Davis scored 4.
Castagno and Ekins pulled down eight rebounds each, Butler nabbed seven and Hammond six.
Ekins scored five points in the first quarter, and Grantsville led 11-10.
Angel Cloward knocked down a 15-foot jumper to start the second quarter for the Cowboys. Grantsville grabbed an 18-17 halftime lead on a fastbreak basket from Castagno, who was fouled on the play. Castagno knocked down the foul shot for a 3-point play.
Grantsville increased the lead to 26-19 early in the third quarter until Maeser Prep went on a 12-1 run to lead 31-27 after three quarters.
It looked a bit dismal for the Cowboys when the Lions’ Ashlyn Ellis sank a 3-pointer from the right side early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to seven points. But Grantsville countered right back when Butler scored inside and was fouled for a 3-point play. Butler later put back an offensive rebound to cut the visitors’ lead to 34-32. Later, Butler knocked down a 17-footer to keep Grantsville close down 39-42.
Grantsville cut it to 42-41 on the drive by Castagno, but was unable to hit free throws to win or send the game to overtime.