The Grantsville girls basketball team has been on a mission all season to prove that last year’s trip to the Class 3A state championship game wasn’t just a one-time thing — the Cowboys wanted to show that they are a legitimate powerhouse.
According to the Utah High School Activities Association’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), mission accomplished.
When the final RPI rankings were released late Saturday night, Grantsville (19-3, 8-2 Region 13) found itself seeded No. 3 in the 19-team field, behind only No. 1 South Sevier and No. 2 Judge Memorial. That puts the Cowboys on a collision course with Judge Memorial for a possible semifinal matchup, with the two teams having split their meetings during region play.
As one of the top 13 teams in the bracket, Grantsville will receive a first-round bye. The Cowboys will play the winner of a No. 14 Summit Academy in the second round of the state tournament Friday at 7:30 p.m. at USU Eastern in Price. Should they get past that game, the Cowboys could have a rematch of last season’s state title game against Emery in the quarterfinals. The Spartans are seeded No. 6 and could face Grantsville on Feb. 20 at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Summit Academy is a familiar foe for the Cowboys, having faced Grantsville twice in Region 13 play. The Cowboys won the first meeting against the Bears on Jan. 14 in Bluffdale by a final score of 53-21, with junior center Maison White scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshman McKenzie Allen had 13 points and eight rebounds and senior guard Ashlee Edwards added 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
The rematch was equally lopsided in Grantsville’s favor on Jan. 30, as the Cowboys rolled to a 55-28 win on their home floor. Edwards had 25 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and picked off seven steals. White had 15 points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
In first-round action, No. 15 Union defeated No. 18 Grand 46-17 on Tuesday in Roosevelt to advance to a second-round matchup against Judge Memorial. No. 16 Providence Hall beat No. 17 North Sanpete 42-37 in Herriman, and No. 14 Summit Academy beat No. 19 Maeser Prep 58-24 in Bluffdale. Providence Hall will face top-ranked South Sevier in the second round.
Other second-round matchups include No. 4 Richfield against No. 13 Juab, No. 5 Carbon against No. 12 American Leadership Academy, No. 6 Emery against No. 11 San Juan, No. 7 Morgan against No. 10 South Summit and No. 8 Manti against No. 9 Delta.
The Grantsville boys team (12-9, 7-3 Region 13) earned the No. 8 seed in the Class 3A bracket after finishing second to Judge Memorial in the Region 13 standings. The Cowboys will face No. 9 American Leadership Academy in a second-round game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at USU Eastern in Price, with the winner getting a quarterfinal game against No. 1 Manti or No. 16 North Sanpete on Feb. 20 at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Like their female counterparts, the GHS boys earned a first-round bye. Grantsville has gone 8-3 since the start of the new year, led by a balanced scoring attack. Davin Ekins averages 10.9 points per game, while Jackson Sandberg scores 10.3 points and Tuhker Mulford is at 9.1 points per contest. Mulford has hit a team-high 41 3-pointers.
Jonah Larson is ALA’s leading scorer at 19 points per game, and Norman Rentschler is at 13.4 points. Marcus Kemp averages just a shade under 13 points.
No. 15 Grand defeated No. 18 Providence Hall 61-58 in a first-round game Wednesday in Moab, earning a second-round matchup with No. 2 Emery. No. 16 North Sanpete held off No. 17 Maeser Prep 56-50 in Mount Pleasant to advance to the second round against Manti, and No. 14 South Summit beat No. 19 Union 70-48 in Kamas to move on to the second round against No. 3 Richfield.
Saturday’s other second-round matchups include No. 4 Judge Memorial vs. No. 13 Carbon; No. 5 San Juan vs. No. 12 Summit Academy; No. 6 Morgan vs. No. 11 Juab and No. 7 Delta vs. No. 10 South Sevier.
The final three rounds of the Class 3A boys and girls state tournaments will take place Feb. 20-22 at Salt Lake Community College’s Lifetime Activities Center (Bruin Arena), located at 4600 S. Redwood Road in Taylorsville.