The San Juan Broncos picked a home win against North Sevier on Wednesday, January 27, and then notched up two big road wins over the weekend to improve their Region 15 record to 6-1 and move into first place.
In Friday’s game against Gunnison, San Juan controlled the game almost from start to finish. The Bulldogs led only for a short time in the third quarter.
The Broncos just kept playing, running their offense and getting stops on defense, eventually regaining the lead and picking up a 68-57 win.
All three wins were big for the Broncos, as they put San Juan in the driver’s seat in Region play.
But it was Saturday’s game, for the few fans that made the long trip to central Utah, that was more than worth the travel and price of admission.
After trailing the Templars for the majority of the game, the Broncos took their first lead with just over four minutes left to play. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Manti retook the lead and was able to stay just ahead of San Juan.
Trailing by five, Mason Bethea hit a big shot from beyond the arc to pull within two with just 50 seconds left to play.
San Juan didn’t quit and was able to knot things up at 65-65 with only 12 seconds left in regulation.
On the inbound pass after the Broncos had just tied the game, the Templars threw a long pass down court. In an effort to stop an easy layup attempt, Bethea’s momentum carried him into a Manti’s Tanner LaFever and Bethea was called for the foul with just 5.7 seconds left.
After LaFever hit the first of two free throws, Coach Monty Lee called a timeout to set up an inbound play should LeFever hit the second shot from the charity stripe.
The second free throw, however, rolled off the rim and into the hands of Jordan Blake, who immediately raced down court and hit the game winning shot from about 28 feet away as time expired to give the Broncos a 67-65 win.
On Wednesday night, January 27, the Broncos hosted the North Sevier Wolves. In what was a tight contest throughout the entire game, San Juan came out on top, 69-60, behind great play from the post players.
In the first quarter, the Wolves and Broncos both came out firing, lighting up the scoreboard for a combined 37 points.
North Sevier managed to gain the upper hand, though, and took a three point, 20-17 lead into the second quarter.
In the second, San Juan was able to gain a slight advantage, outscoring North Sevier 16-15, cutting the Wolves lead to two points at the half, 35-33.
The third quarter wrapped up with both teams posting identical scores as the second quarter, 16 points for San Juan and 15 for North Sevier, as the Broncos inched even closer to the lead to trial by just one point, 50-49 heading into the final stanza.
San Juan doubled up the Wolves in the fourth, outscoring their guests 20-10 in the period to secure a 69-60 victory.
Caleb Pugh and Bronz Eldredge posted nearly identical stat lines, leading the Broncos with 17 points and nine rebounds each. Pugh added four assists and two steals to those numbers while Eldredge added three assists to his.
Jordan Blake finished the night with 12 points, just a basket ahead of Jaden Torgerson who nailed a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.
Max Slavens chipped in four points and dished out six assists, while Dylan Ivins scored three points. Keaton Hiatt and Mason Bethea rounded out the scoring for San Juan with two points each.
Against Gunnison, San Juan jumped out to an early lead, scoring 18 points while holding the Bulldogs to 11 in the opening quarter.
The Broncos built on that lead in the second quarter, outscoring Gunnison by six points, 14-8, to lead 32-19 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs got hot from outside, hitting a number of three-point shots and briefly taking the lead.
The Broncos got their offense going again toward then end of the third and were able to retake the lead, 49-44, heading into the final period.
Gunnison would make a few more small runs in the fourth but weren’t able to overtake San Juan, who finished the game with a 19 point quarter while holding the Bulldogs to 13, ultimately leading to an 11 point win, 68-57.
San Juan had a balanced scoring attack led by Jaden Torgerson who had 19 points, eight rebounds and a couple of steals. Right behind him was Blake who netted 18 points and four boards.
Max Slavens was the third Bronco to finish in double figures, scoring 12 points to go along with four assists. Caleb Pugh finished the game with six points and six rebounds.
Bronz Eldredge recorded four points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jaxon Lee also finished the game with four points, Keaton Hiatt scored three and Zack Brown and Mason Bethea finished with one point each.
Manti seemed to be in control of the game on Saturday afternoon. They took an early lead and every time San Juan threatened, they answered right back with points of their own.
In the first quarter the Templars were able to build a small four-point lead, 18-14. The Broncos kept things close again in the second quarter, but fell even further behind after Manti outscored them by three points, 14-11 to take a 32-25 lead at the intermission.
San Juan took a small bite out of the lead in the third quarter outscoring Manti 16-15 and trailed by six points heading into the fourth quarter, 47-41.
The Broncos went to work in the fourth quarter, outscoring Manti 26-18, claiming their first lead of the game with just more than four minutes left in regulation, 55-54.
San Juan wasn’t able to keep the lead long as the Templars were able to pull ahead using great shooting from the free throw line.
When Manti’s Tanner LeFever stepped up to the line with the score tied, 64-64 with 5.7 seconds left, it didn’t look good for San Juan. LeFever calmly buried his first shot, giving the Templars a one-point lead, 65-64, prompting a timeout by the Broncos, so they could draw up an inbounds play that would help beat Manti’s full court press should LeFever take the second free throw.
Instead of going in, the free throw rolled off the right side of the rim into the out reached hands of Blake. The rest was a blur as Blake raced against the clock to get a last second shot which he launched from well behind the three point line.
The entire gym went quiet for a split second as everyone watched the ball fly toward, and then through, the basket to give the Broncos a 67-65 win at the buzzer.
Once again San Juan had a balanced scoring attack with four players finishing with double digit points. Blake led the way with a great all-around performance for the Broncos with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Pugh recorded a double-double, logging 13 points and 11 rebounds. Slavens also finished with 13 points and four assists. Torgerson finished the game just behind Pugh and Slavens with 12 points and pulled down eight boards.
Eldredge scored six points to go with six rebounds. Bethea ended the game with three points and also contributed some solid defense throughout the game. Keaton Hiatt rounded out the scoring for the Broncos with two points.
The Broncos will next host the Grand County Red Devils on Friday, February 5. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The lady Broncos overcame a rough start to their week, losing a road game to North Sevier on Tuesday, January 26, 58-38. San Juan turned things around on Friday, January 29 and Saturday the 30th as they downed Gunnison, 66-57, and Manti, 49-42, to pick up a couple Region 15 victories.
San Juan fell behind North Sevier early in the game on Tuesday and were never able to recover, as they were outscored in each quarter.
In the first quarter, the Broncos kept the game relatively close, trailing by only seven, 18-11, after one.
A slow second quarter in which San Juan managed just two points followed by a seven point third quarter doomed the Broncos as the Wolves continued to pile up points, 16 points in the second quarter and 20 more in the third, giving North Sevier a 54-20 lead heading into the fourth.
The Broncos woke up a bit in the final 8:00 minutes of the game, outscoring the Wolves 18-4, but as the cliché goes, it was too little, too late as San Juan fell to North Sevier 58-38.
Tyla Morris led the way for the Broncos with 14 points including two three pointers. Three Broncos finished the game with six points including; Megan Grover, Sharla Yanito and KrysTelle Noyse.
Ally Nielson, Krista Grover and Mary Royer rounded out the scoring for San Juan with two points each.
Against Gunnison, San Juan got off to a great start, outpacing the Bulldogs in the first quarter 14-4.
Both teams found the basket quite regularly in the second quarter with Gunnison scoring 17 points, just one more than San Juan who netted 16 in the period to lead 30-21 at the half.
The Broncos built on their lead in the third quarter as they added 18 points to their side of the scoreboard.
San Juan’s defense was able to hold the Bulldogs to just 10 points in the quarter, giving the Broncos a 48-31 lead after three quarters of play.
Gunnison came alive in the fourth, dropping 26 points on the Broncos, but San Juan stayed steady, adding another 18 points to their score to hold off the Bulldog charge and claim a 66-57 win.
Morris scored 26 points in the win for San Juan. She was followed by Lakesia Lopez who had 13 points. Megan Grover scored six points, while Noyse and Yanito each chipped in five points.
Ryann Shumway and Royer each pitched in four points and Krista Grover rounded out the scoring for the Broncos with three points.
In their final game of the week against Manti, the Broncos picked up their third Region 15 win of the season, 49-42. The Templars took an early two-point lead, 12-10, after the first quarter.
San Juan was able to trim the lead to one point, edging Manti in the second quarter 11-10 to trail 22-21 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Broncos come out of the locker room and take the game over, outscoring the Templars 11-7 to take a three-point lead, 32-29, into the final quarter.
San Juan iced the game in the fourth, again outscoring Manti, this time to the tune of four points, 17-13, to seal the 49-42 victory.
Morris and Lopez again led the Broncos with 21 and 11 points respectively. Krista Grover was next with seven points, while Noyse and Yanito each added four points to the total for the Broncos, and Royer finished the game with two points.
San Juan’s lone game this week will be on Wednesday, February 4 in Moab, UT as the Broncos take on the Grand County Red Devils in Region 15 action.
The San Juan wrestling team traveled to Mount Pleasant, UT this past weekend to participate in the North Sanpete Winter Classic tournament. The Broncos placed seventh out of 12 teams. Individuals who placed include:
Yakesien Tso – third place at 132 lbs.
DJ Howell – fifth place at 152 lbs.
Grange Simpson – fifth place at 160 lbs.
Coleman Black – fourth place at 170 lbs.
Reilly Myrick – second place at 182 lbs.
Shadin Sherrow – first place at 106 lbs. in the JV tournament.
The Broncos will travel to Richfield to take part in the Region 15 Tournament this Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6.