San Juan sports teams close out old year, start new one with basketball and wrestling trips

The San Juan High School boys basketball team had just a couple days to enjoy a very short Christmas break before they hit the court again at the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic in Cedar City December 28-30.

It was a tournament of positives and negatives for the Broncos. They lost their opening game to Juan 61-43, but bounced back for a 72-48 win over Millard in game two before suffering defeat in the final game of the trip 52-43 to Grantsville.

Against Juab on Monday, December 28, the Wasps opened an 18-6 lead on the Broncos through the first quarter. San Juan rallied in the second to score 13 points, but Juab matched that tally to take a 31-19 lead into halftime.

The Wasps took firm command in the third quarter, outscoring the Broncos 14-7. Again in the fourth quarter San Juan answered to outscore Juab 20-13, but it was too little, too late.

The following day, Tuesday, December 29, the Broncos got a better start against Millard, jumping out to a 19-10 lead after one quarter, then increasing it to 32-18 at the half.

The Broncos really cranked it up in the third quarter, outscoring the Eagles 27-10 to take firm command of the game. Then they hit cruise control to close out the 72-48 win.

San Juan played probably their best game of the trip against Grantsville on Wednesday, December 30. Though the Cowboys led for most of the game, the Broncos led briefly on a couple occasions and kept it close.

Grantsville opened with a 13-9 advantage after one quarter, but San Juan rallied to make the halftime score 25-23. The Cowboys doubled up the Broncos 19-8 in the third quarter, and that’s all the distance they needed to hold San Juan off in the fourth quarter.

Though the Broncos are missing Jace Palmer due to injury, Nate Grover was a welcome return from injury. He led the Broncos’ scoring for the three-day event with 43 points. He was 19 of 37 shooting (51 percent) and hit a couple threes. He was also the strongest San Juan rebounder with 32.

Ladd Ivins scored 37 points for the Broncos on the trip, continuing his strong foul shooting. He went 10 of 15 from the line and added three three-point baskets. Ivins was also credited with seven assists and eight rebounds.

Jensen Grover accounted for 29 San Juan points in Cedar City, Jayden Black got 20, and Preston Imlay scored ten. All three of those players hit three baskets each from beyond the arc in the tourney. Black and Imlay were both an impressive three of six from long range.

Following the trip to Cedar City, the Broncos have eight wins and four losses on the season. They’re sixth in the most recent RPI standings with Region 12 foes Grand and Richfield just above.

It’s been a very eventful past week and a half for San Juan. Many players were forced to sit out due to COVID-19 and a game originally scheduled against Grand on January 8 had to be moved to January 27.

Head Coach Travis Black said it’s been difficult to stay in sync with so many players out. He explained that the team is at its best when the players can trust each other and play team ball instead of individuals trying to do too much.

They’ll need that team mentality as they officially open region play this week. First up is a trip to Sevier County for matchups against South Sevier and Richfield Friday and Saturday, January 15-16. Redrock 92 will broadcast both games live starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Girls basketball
Just like the boys, the San Juan girls basketball team had barely finished opening their Christmas gifts when they headed to Cedar City for the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic.

They opened the tournament with a 53-35 win over Dixie, but suffered a 59-43 loss to Grantsville and a 46-37 loss to Enterprise in the remaining games.

It was a tale of quarters in the opening matchup with Dixie on Monday, December 28. The Lady Broncos jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first quarter, but the Lady Flyers bounced back to win the second 15-7.

Dixie maintained the momentum into the third quarter, and held a 33-30 advantage headed into the final frame. But San Juan pounded the Lady Flyers with 23 points while only allowing two, and won going away.

Against Grantsville on December 29, the Lady Cowboys established an early lead and held the Lady Broncos to 12 first-half points. Though San Juan was stronger offensively in the second half, Grantsville had distanced themselves enough to hold on for the win.

In the last game of the trip against Enterprise December 30, the Lady Broncos opened with a 13-10 first-quarter lead. But the Lady Wolves bested them 36-24 in the remain three to hand San Juan the loss.

Following the Cedar City trip, the Lady Broncos actually did get a few days off to enjoy the Christmas break before getting back to action.

They headed to Moab Thursday, January 7 for their first Region 12 game of the year against Grand. In that one, the girls led from start to finish to dominate the Lady Red Devils 67-39.

Through the Cedar City trip, Emilie Palmer led San Juan scoring with 122 points. Quiana Dishface was close behind with 110 on the year, Sadie Brown had 80, Heyleigh Warren 62, and Makaeli Begaye 55.

Brown is the team’s leading rebounder so far, with 63. Begaye has 62 boards on the year, Palmer has 60, and Dishface and Warren have 45 apiece. Dishface leads the way in assists with 37, Brown has 28, Begaye has 13, and Serina Yanito has 11.

The Lady Broncos are 11th in the most recent RPI standings with a 5-6 overall record. They’re 1-0 in Region 12 and are set to head into region play in earnest.

Like the boys, they face South Sevier and Richfield this Friday and Saturday, January 15-16, but they’ll play at home in the friendly confines of the San Juan High School gym.

Wrestling
The San Juan wrestling team headed to Gunnison on Saturday, January 9 to wrestle in the Battle at the Pound. Deklan Helquist and Jeter Perkins both came home with first-place hardware.

Helquist was 5-0 at the event with five wins by fall. Perkins was 4-0 with three wins by fall and one by major decision. Callen Burke went 3-1 on the weekend, finishing in second place with three wins by fall. His only loss was by decision.

Tyler Bayles also picked up a second-place finish with a 2-2 record. Both of his wins were by fall. Tyler Winn earned fifth place with a 2-2 record and two wins by fall.

Corbin Bradford, Zach Palmer, Trace Bennett, Kaileb McNiven, Nick Joe, Nolan Cressler, and Parker Snyder all wrestled hard for the Broncos.

The team is next in action when they host the rival Monticello Buckaroos in duals this Thursday, January 14. Wrestling begins at 7 p.m. and you can catch all the action live on Redrock 92.

San Juan Record

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