Busy week for Monticello basketball teams

By David Boyle
News Director
The Monticello girls basketball team opened the week with their first win of the year on December 13, defeating Dolores on the road 44-25.
The Lady Buckaroos built a 27-5 halftime lead with stellar defense including using a press for the first time this year against Dolores.
Coach Marcia Shumway says they’ve been working on the press for the past few weeks. “We’ve been working on putting a little more pressure on each other so we can both run the press and do a press break as well.”
Coach Shumway said the team also spends a lot of time practicing free throws, evidenced by the lady bucks closing out the game at the line.
The Lady Bucks were led in scoring by Kenlee Atwood who finished with 13 points including two made threes and five points at the free-throw line.
Avery Shumway scored 11 for Monticello including four field goals and three points from the line.
Jemma Robison scored nine points including a three-point shot and six points earned at the charity stripe.
Kaymee Freestone and Jesse and Nikki Gomez each had two points to go along with plenty of rebounds and forced turnovers on the press. Rosy Beh also scored one point in the game.
The Lady Buckaroos played next on the morning of December 16 at the Bulldog Classic in Dove Creek. Monticello opened play against the Nucla Mustangs with Nucla winning 49-20.
MHS was led in scoring by Avery Shumway who finished the game with seven points. Jemma Robison added three points.
Nikkie Gomez, Rosy Beh, and Kenlee Atwood all scored two points in the game. Kahryme Alvarado and Kaymee Freestone each had one point.
The Lady Buckaroos bounced back for a win on the second day of the tournament on Saturday, December 17. The win once again came at the cost of the Dolores Bears by a final score of 54-21.
In their first matchup of the week, the Lady Bucks built their lead holding Dolores to five first-half points, but this time the first half was much more competitive with Dolores holding an 18-17 lead at the break.
In the second half, Monticello’s defense tightened up. They allowed just three points in the third quarter and none in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bucks were led in scoring by Shumway who had a monster outing scoring 20 points. Shumway hit seven field goals and six free throws in the win.
Robison also scored 11 points for Monticello including four field goals and three free throws.
Beh and Braylee Freestone each had six points in the game while Alvarado scored two points.
The Monticello girls are off for the Christmas break with their first game of 2023 set for January 5 against Grand County in Moab.
The Monticello boys also went 2-1 on the week, earning a victory on December 13 in Dolores. Monticello defeated the Bears 53-26.
The Buckaroos were led in scoring in the game by senior Tommy Sheeran who poured in 18 points on seven field goals and four free throws in the game.
MHS had even contributions from the rest of the roster with Donny Atwood scoring eight points, Jay McDonald adding six points, and Easton Young and Curtis Bunker scoring five each in the game.
Mason Atwood scored four for the Bucks while Landon Ewart added two and Michael Sheen scored one.
The boys joined the girls at the Bulldog Classic in Dove Creek, earning a 51-25 victory over Telluride in their opening game Friday, December 16.
The Buckaroos shot efficiently, forced turnovers, and shared the ball, defeating the Miners who deployed a man-to-man defense – a first look for Monticello on the year.
Coach Keyes praised his team’s defensive effort with McDonald and Young forcing turnovers coupled with Sheeran, Ewart, and Atwood more than doubling up Telluride on the boards. 
“Defensively it was really a good complete win today and I think this team is finally figuring out how good they can be.”
The Buckaroos were led by Young who finished with 19 points including eight field goals including one from three-point range along with two free throws made.
Donovan Atwood and Sheeran made four field goals each for eight points in the game. Ewart added six points while Bunker scored five points and Mason Atwood scored four.
The Buckaroos followed up their Friday victory with a close loss in the tournament championship game to the host Dove Creek Bulldogs on Saturday, December 17.
The Bucks built a 6-5 advantage after one quarter with the Bulldogs taking a 22-14 lead into halftime. Monticello battled back through three quarters to make the score 27-22 in favor of Dove Creek.
After trailing since midway through the second quarter the Buckaroos tied the game 36-36 on an offensive putback from Young with 46 seconds remaining in the game.
On the next offensive possession, the Bulldogs drew a foul and hit two free throws to give them a 38-36 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
Following a Monticello turnover on an interior pass, the Buckaroos fouled Dove Creek with 15 seconds remaining to send the Bulldogs to the free-throw line.
With just one free throw made Monticello put up a three to tie the game with five seconds remaining. The shot wouldn’t go in and the game ended with the hosts on top 39-36. 
Monticello was led in scoring in the game by Ewart and Young who each had 11 points. Ewart made four field goals including three triples in the game. Young also hit four field goals with two three-point buckets and one free throw.
Atwood finished the game with eight points while Sheeran added six for the Buckaroos.
Monticello hosted San Juan on December 20 after the San Juan Record print deadline. The boys will open the 2023 portion of the season on Tuesday, January 3 with a trip to Moab to take on the Grand County Red Devils.

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