On December 19, Monticello (3-3) hosted the Grand Red Devils (3-2). Two weeks earlier, Monticello defeated Grand 47-45 in Moab.
After being plagued by slow starts this year, the Lady Bucks came out aggressive and turned the tale, taking command and building a ten point lead after one period 14-4.
The Ladys kept things rolling in the second quarter when they added twelve points to their lead to go into half, dominating the Red Devils 29-7.
However, the third quarter would see the two teams battle back and forth, with Monticello extending its lead by another point to 46-23 after the third quarter horn sounded.
Monticello then dropped the final quarter by a point to take the 58-36 win.
The Buckaroos showed very balanced scoring and exhibited a solid stat line in the game.
Tymbr Black led all scorers with 14 points, but added six rebounds and four assists. Alyssa Reeve had another nice game, scoring ten with eight boards and three steals.
Ashley Adair and Megan Black added eight points and three steals each, with Adair putting in the Bucks lone three.
Brooklyn Holt made seven points and six rebounds, with Journey Baird and Tristen Esplin contributing four points apiece. Esplin also added a game high six steals.
Ericka Hill rounded out the scoring with three points and three rebounds.
For the game, the Lady Bucks made 22 field goals to 17 for Grand. The Lady Bucks made 13 of 21 from the free-thrown line. The charity stripe was less kind to the Red Devils, as they only managed to toss in one free throw on seven attempts.
According to Coach Black, “Our focus this week was being aggressive on defense and offense. In many aspects, the girls achieved that on defense. Offensively, we focused primarily on passing, attacking the basket and offensive rebounds.
“We attacked the basket against Grand going right at their big girls and the results were good. We shot the ball well all around because of our aggressiveness. We also crashed the offensive boards.”
Two nights later, the Lady Bucks (4-3) traveled south to take on the San Juan Broncos (3-1). San Juan beat Monticello before Thanksgiving, 46-36.
Unlike the Grand game, Monticello dug an early hole against San Juan, quickly falling behind by nine - 14-5 after a quarter of play.
The second quarter didn’t go much better with the Bucks going into halftime doubled up – 22-11.
The second half went a little better for the Buckaroos as they only dropped the third quarter by two-points and the fourth quarter by a point to lose the contest 40-26.
The Buckaroos had an extremely balanced scoring line.
Tymbr Black lead the team with eight points, five rebounds, six steals and a three-point basket.
Alyssa Reeve poured in six points to go with two rebounds and three steals.
Six other Bucks scored two points each – Ashley Adair, Brooklyn Holt, Ericka Hill, Journey Baird, Megan Black, and Tristen Esplin – with Esplin adding a solid eight-rebound effort to her night.
Against San Juan, Coach Black noted, “We didn’t do too well at attacking the basket or crashing the boards. Although it was a rough shooting night we worked really hard. I’m proud of them for that. Bottom line is that we learned a lot of good things from what we did well as well as our mistakes.”
The Lady Bucks resume play on January 5 at home against the Tabiona Tigers, with game times to be announced.
On December 20, the struggling Monticello boys basketball team (1-3) traveled to Blanding to take on the San Juan Broncos (2-3).
For the past ten years, this match-up has been a close affair between the two-teams, with each team usually taking at least one game a season until 2015-16 when Monticello easily won the two-game series.
San Juan returned the favor last season taking both games in runaway fashion.
The hope this year was for a good tight pre-Christmas contest that both teams could use to build upon. That did not happen!
From the opening tip, plagued by foul trouble, turn-overs and an inability to rebound, the Buckaroos played on their heels getting doubled up 12-6 after one period of play.
The scoring by both teams picked up in the second period with the Bucks losing the quarter by six points to trail 37-25 at half.
The second half was not any kinder to the visiting team from Monticello as the Bucks dropped the third quarter by another seven points and the last quarter by 18 points to ultimately lose the contest 84-47.
Jake Freestone had his best scoring game of the season scoring 20 points, including one three point shot.
Lucas Hatch scored 18 points and added another three pointer. Adam Bunker tossed in five points and also made a three point shot. Ryan Bird scored three points and Weston Nebeker added one foul shot.
On the game, the Buckaroos made 19 field goals on 36 percent overall shooting, but shot only 14 percent from three.
They also chalked up eight assists and ended up making six of nine from the foul line. Monticello scored no points off Bronco turnovers.
Defensively, the Bucks struggled. Overall San Juan shot 45 percent from the field and 21 percent from the three-point line.
The Bucks also gave up 15 offensive rebounds and was outrebounded 45-25 in the game. Monticello also made five steals and two blocks.
The Monticello boys will resume play on January 5 in Tabiona as they take on the 1A Tigers. The next night, they will travel to Altamont to take on the 2A Longhorns.