By Scott Boyle
The San Juan Broncos completed a satisfying weekend of basketball with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Manti Templars on February 2.
The Broncos fell behind early. Cold shooting and turnovers saw them down 24-9 after one period to the veteran Manti team, who sports the same starting line-up as last year.
Freshman Cameron Shumway led the Broncos with four points in the quarter, but a harbinger of things to come was the four free throws the Broncos managed in the quarter.
Kyle Johnson led the Broncos back in the second quarter, scoring 10 points, including a trey and three free throws. The Broncos eeked back to within ten points at the half, 38-28, thanks to eight points from the charity stripe.
Manti’s Tylan Jackson caught fire in the third quarter, after the Broncos had gotten within six on three Dane Lyman inside moves, by scoring all the Manti points in the quarter himself, 16 in all, and pushing the Templars to a seemingly insurmountable 54-40 lead.
But the Broncos got back to the foul line in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points from the foul line to sneak back into the game.
Kyle Johnson led the charge with 10 more of his team high 22. Teddy Royer tossed in eight free throws in the quarter. Manti assisted the Broncos in their comeback by missing seven free throws in the fourth quarter.
Leading by two, 66-64 with just four seconds to go, Manti sent senior Dave Hugentobler to the foul line for two more free throws. Hugentobler missed both charity shots, and fouled Teddy Royer on the rebound of the second, drawing a controversial technical foul on the play for protesting a little too loudly.
With only two seconds on the clock, Royer calmly stepped to the line and sank all four foul shots, before the Broncos ran out the final two seconds. Royer finished with 12 points on the night, 10 from the foul line, and the Broncos as a team made 27 of 32 free throws.
Lyman with 13 points and Nate Einerson with 11 gave the Broncos four players in double figures. The win over Manti, coupled with a Friday victory over Gunnison, leaves the Broncs tied for second place in Region 12 with a 7-3 record.
Against Gunnison, the Broncos broke open a tie game in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Bulldogs 13-8. Royer, Johnson, and Einerson all scored 13 points on the night. This week finds the Broncos at home on Wednesday against Grand and on the road at Richfield Saturday.
The Broncos girls split road games this weekend, losing at Gunnison, 52-43 before outlasting Manti 37-35. Heather Meyer led the Lady Broncos in scoring in both games, connecting for 13 and 19 points. Katie Meyer tossed in 11 in the loss to Gunnison.
At 3-7 in Region 12, the Broncos find themselves tied with Grand for fifth place. Both games this week are home, against Grand Tuesday and Richfield Saturday.
The Buck boys’ only game was canceled last week, but a tough home contest against Whitehorse looms Thursday.
The Lady Bucks triumphed over Monument Valley, 70-35. The Lady Bucks had four players in double figures, led by Ashley Dowell’s 17, Bettina Benally’s 15, and Linda Barton and Jenny Bailey who both tossed in 12.
The girls travel to Navajo Mountain on Tuesday before hosting the Whitehorse Raiders on Thursday.