Nothing is going to come easy for the Grantsville boys basketball team this season, and particularly not now that the Region 13 season has tipped off.
Wednesday’s win over South Summit literally came down to the last possible second, as Dylan Defa’s desperate shot swished through the net as the buzzer sounded to provide the final 71-68 margin. In a stacked region that also includes Morgan, Summit Academy and a Judge Memorial squad that may be struggling now but can’t be discounted, expect more of the same between now and mid-February.
“There are going to be hard region games every night,” Grantsville coach Bryan Detweiler said. “I don’t have any more hair left so I don’t have to worry about that.”
The Region 13 season may provide the best basketball action in Tooele County this year. With all due respect to the two Tooele-Stansbury matchups on tap in Region 11, the rest of that region is largely non-competitive — Juan Diego arguably should be playing up a classification or two and will likely run away with the region title, while Park City is a year away from being decent and Ogden, Bonneville and Ben Lomond are all going through rough seasons.
There are no weak games in Region 13. If you think Judge’s bad record means the Bulldogs are going to lose every region game by 20, you’re probably mistaken. South Summit has the shooters to compete with anyone, as evidenced by the Wildcats’ nine 3-pointers in the second half against Grantsville. Morgan picked up a convincing win against Summit Academy in its region opener, but the Trojans still have to face the Bears again in Bluffdale later this season, where it could (and likely will) be a different story.
As for Grantsville? The Cowboys managed to win Wednesday’s game despite having an off night defensively. Winning when you’re not at your best is certainly a relief, but it can also build confidence later in the season.
Defa, who only had two points before his game-winning shot from near the Cowboy logo in front of the Grantsville bench, is evidence of what a little swagger can do for a team.
“Every time at halftime of the JV game, we play H-O-R-S-E,” Defa said. “The shots we take are out there, so that’s what we were joking about in the locker room. H-O-R-S-E paid off there. All I was thinking was, ‘someone’s about to be an H.’”
It likely won’t be the last time that a Region 13 game comes down to last-second heroics — or a shot from the playground.
Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. The other reason he finds Region 13 basketball entertaining is the free ice cream promotion at Grantsville’s home games. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.