San Juan boys pack three more wins into busy week

The San Juan boys opened week two of the 2019-20 basketball season looking to add three more wins to their already 3-0 record.

And that’s just what they did with a 19-point win over Cortez, CO in the Broncos’ home opener December 10 and 21-point drubbings of Uintah and Union on the road December 13-14.

In the first six games of the year, San Juan has outscored their opponents 430-324. Though they’re one of only two undefeated teams in 3A, they still haven’t cracked the top five in the Deseret News basketball rankings.

The Utah High School Activities Association’s first Rating Percentage Index standings of the season are set to be released this week, on Thursday, December 19.

As expected, the secret to the Broncos’ early success has been scoring. “I knew with this group that we’d score points,” said head coach Travis Black. “We’ve got kids who can shoot, kids who can finish, and kids who can make some free throws.”

Black said the team is sharing the ball well and playing well as a team. The only area he faulted the team offensively is that they may be taking too many one-pass shots. “We need to be a little more disciplined with our shot selection,” he explained.

Black said he doesn’t want players to pass up wide open shots obviously, but that good ball movement provides an equally-good or better shot, and most importantly allows the team to get in position for an offensive rebound.

Actually, the Broncos have been strong on the boards so far. Black reports that the team has gotten 70 to 80 percent of defensive rebounds and 40 to 45 percent offensively.

“I treat offensive boards as a 50-50 ball,” he said, “and we’ve hit that 50 percent mark in a couple games.”

As Black expected to begin the year, the Bronco defense is the main area that still needs work. He said it looks good at times, mainly in a zone, and struggles at other times, mainly in the one-on-one department.

Senior Jaxon Torgerson leads the scoring in the early stages for the Broncos with 102 points (17.0 per game). Big man, senior Randall Flavel has 92 (15.3 PPG) in the first six games, senior Elijah Lee 57 (9.5), senior Shaw Nielson 51 (8.5), and junior Nate Grover 41 (6.8).

Lee is San Juan’s strongest outside shooter, with 17 threes so far. Nielson has hit 12 and Torgerson 11. The team is 71 of 101 from the foul line for a solid 70 percent.

In the rebounding department, Flavel leads with 35. Senior Ryan Imlay has 29, Torgerson 28, Grover 17, and Lee 11.

The Broncos will close out the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule this week. They hosted the Monticello Buckaroos in the SJHS gymnasium Tuesday, December 17.

They’ll travel to Bayfield, CO on Thursday, December 19. Coach Black expects a challenge. He said that although the Wolverines (1-4) are down a bit this year, it’s always tough to play in their gym.

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