In the past, a girls basketball matchup between Grantsville and Ben Lomond would have been a good game.
Relatively speaking, of course.
But when the Cowboys dismantled the Scots by nearly 50 points on Wednesday, it became quite obvious those days are past.
“They’re looking good. This is my first year coaching, but I’ve been keeping track of the region and everything like that, the opponents that we’ve played. In the past it looks like it’s been a close game,” Ben Lomond head coach James Reeder said. “This year it could be their year. They’re looking very good. They’ve got the fast break going, their defense is tough, they’re tall — If we had a couple of these tall girls on our team, I would be pleased.”
Last season the teams played twice, Grantsville winning by 16 on the road and Ben Lomond nearly getting a win a week later and losing by one.
In the 2014-15 season they played three times in Region 11 action. They split results during the regular season and Grantsville won by 24 in the last-place tiebreaker game to decide which team would get dismantled by Juan Diego.
The year before, Grantsville won both games. The year before that, Ben Lomond won both games. In the 2011-12 and 2012-13 winless seasons — well, let’s not talk about those.
“I feel like it’s a game we’ve always known we could win, but now that we finally have the confidence that we’ve never had before, you knew it and you could feel it from the beginning,” senior forward Brayle Crosman said. “The second half we played the way we should play: Grantsville basketball.”
I was impressed with how Grantsville played on Wednesday, even when the team wasn’t playing very well.
They opened with a 1-2-2 half-court trapping defense. It seemed like they might have been a little too aggressive in the set and gave up a couple layups when Ben Lomond guards kept their cool and passed over the top.
Offensively, the Cowboys were patient on the first possession. They weren’t running down the court and getting layups yet, but the Cowboys had a 6-0 lead through the first three minutes of the game thanks to a shot from the short corner by sophomore guard Hannah Butler to open, a layup by senior center Abby Butler on the next possession and a break-away basket by Rylie Ekins after she nabbed a steal.
And that wasn’t even Grantsville basketball at its best.
Everyone on the bench played at some point or another. Freshmen Ashlee Edwards and Ellie Wilson were among those who saw significant playing time.
During the final quarter, the Cowboys pressed with what looked like a type of full-court man pressure that led to steal after steal, layup after layup and half-court assist after half-court assist.
And while this performance was against Ben Lomond, a school that is on its third head coach in less than a season, the blowout was enough to make me wonder if this year really is the year for Grantsville’s senior-laden team.
But again, let’s see what happens against a team that isn’t likely to lose every game this season.
Tavin Stucki is a sports writer from Midvale, Utah, who hasn’t found a sport he doesn’t like. And yes, his Thanksgiving ham was delicious, thank you for asking. Send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.