Congratulations to Rhett Maughan and the Monticello Buckaroo boys basketball team, who captured the Region 19 championship and the number one seed into the state tournament.
On Thursday in Green River, the Bucks qualified for a playoff game with Whitehorse after besting the Green River Pirates, 58-50, always a difficult task, particularly in Green River.
Green River is a tall team, so tall that they don’t seem tall because they are all tall. They’re so tall they have a 6’6” guy who plays on the wing. That’s tall.
Despite the tallness, Cory Young had enough arch on his shots to lead the way with 18 points, including three treys.
The Bucks, however, matched the Pirates inside, with Dallin Duncan getting 10 points, along with Steven Redd, who scored eight. The Bucks also got great inside bench support, with Colby Draper dropping in 10 points and Tyler Ketron pouring in eight. Sophomore guard Terek Esplin provided some enormous guard play when Buckaroo starters were in a little foul trouble.
The win left the Bucks tied with Whitehorse for the region lead with a 7-1 record, necessitating a playoff game Friday night in Blanding.
The Raiders and their fans were there in force, pumped to beat the Bucks one more time. And fans weren’t disappointed as the two teams put on a basketball show long to be remembered, with the Buckaroos finally coming out on top, 67-63.
The game see-sawed back and forth at a frenetic pace, with neither team able to open up any kind of lead, until late in the fourth quarter, when the game seemed won by the Bucks with a eight point lead with 30 seconds left.
But the Raiders kept tossing in the threes and within 15 seconds they were within two points. But Kendall Maughan put the finishing touches on an emotional win for the Buckaroos by sinking some critical foul shots in the waning moments.
Steven Redd paced the Bucks with 24 points and Dallin Duncan added 22.
The Raiders, with five players draining a team total of nine treys, showed they are a team to be reckoned with at the state tournament. Shawn Dickson, with a game high 26 points, led with teammates Tavis Martin (14) and Keliah Holly (11) also scoring double figures.
1A state tournament
The Bucks open the 1A state tournament on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Richfield against the winner of the Monday’s Duchesne/Meridian play-in game.
Whitehorse has a play-in game on Monday against SL Lutheran, and with a win, plays the winner of the Liahona/Wayne play-in game on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Monument Valley has a play-in game on Monday as well, against the Bryce Valley Mustangs, followed by a game on Wednesday against Wasatch Academy if they win. You can watch the game live on the internet at www.ustream.tv/channel/mysportsguys.
Top Ten Idle Olympic Thoughts
1. The Olympics are my favorite sporting event, bar none. Having an Olympic event every two years creates just enough excitement that I always look forward to them.
2. “Vancouver” becomes one of my all time favorite sounding words, just after “Fahrvergnügen”. I just want to chortle every time I say “Van Coooverrr”. It reminds me of another favorite sounding word “maneuver.” By the way, do you know what “Fahrvergnügen” means? Driving enjoyment.
3. I kind of like the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada.” I first heard those words while attending a practice round at Augusta National Golf Course at the 2006 Masters Golf Tournament. We spent some time following Mike Weir around the course.
Weir is a Canadian golfer and also a former BYU golfer, so we were interested. As he walked alone down the eighth fairway early on that stellar April morning, someone in the very small gallery sang out, “O, Canada.”
Weir looked right at us with a smile on his face and said, “Like I’ve never heard that before.”
Instantly, I felt to sing, “What about ‘Rise and Shout the Cougars are out,’” but because of the sacred nature of the experience we were having at the shrine of all golfdom, I dared not raise my voice. Should’ve done it.
4. I love how the Canadians belted out “O Canada” whenever a Canadian is awarded a gold medal. It is heartwarming to see such patriotism, something all too uncommon in the USA these days.
Remember when Monticello won the state 2A boys basketball championship back in 1994? One of the signatures of that Mark Hugentobler-coached team, aside from their stellar play, was their energetic rendition of the national anthem before their games. To a man, including the coaches, they blasted out the anthem with passion, enjoyment and gusto; something I personally loved but also felt was kind of intimidating to the other team.
Long were the looks and stares from opposing players and fans when our boys sang out with no self-consciousness. I also like how this year’s Buckaroo squad lines up on the sideline with their right hands on hearts and left hands on a teammate’s shoulder to sing the anthem. Come on, boys, sing out!
5. To quote a local citizen who works at the post office in Monticello, Apolo Anton Ohno “is a cool dude!” And the name just rolls off the tongue nicely, don’t you think? Kind of like “Lindsey Vonn” and “Aksel Lund Svindal.”
6. Bode Miller grew up.
7. Shaun White has some head of hair. If I had hair like that I wouldn’t want to cut it either. I would comb it a little more often though.
8. OK, men’s figure skating is tolerable, especially since an American won the gold, but do they have to hold that pose at the beginning and end of their programs for so long?
9. The event called cross country skiing is not the cross country skiing I do. Cross country shuffling is more descriptive of my efforts, especially when in comparison.
10. Speedskating, particularly the 500 meter short track race, is the paramount Olympic sport. I could be a speed skater. I want to be a speed skater. It is the one event I crave to do Olympics-wise that I have never done in my life.
Can I end with a personal note today? A big happy birthday to my older brother, Doug, who turns one of the multiples of 10 today, for about the sixth time.
Doug taught me all I know about sports and sports statistics. I get my love of sport from my father, but my love of sport statistics from my brother. He invented a game as a teenager that he played incessantly and I played occasionally, a baseball game played with dice.
Rolling a one was a single, two a double, and so on. Five and six were outs, as I remember. Anyway, Doug not only played the game with every Major League baseball team, he kept stats on every player on every team for every inning for every game he played. I wonder if he still has that notebook full of all those stats? I played the game, but had a hard time manipulating the dice so the Dodgers won.
Doug, even today at his advanced age, can tell you the statistics on most Major League baseball players and basketball players as well. Thanks, Doug, for the love of stats and happy birthday!