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Valley falters while losing twice; looking to improve defense

On Wednesday and Friday, January 17 and 19, the Buffalo Boys endured defeats, at home vs. lowly Bryce Valley and away against Wayne, respectively. In the Mustangs 35-28 JV win, the home team led 18-16 at halftime before trailing behind 29-25 after the third-frame, then with only three points in the fourth, to bear the loss. Scoring-wise, point guard Keenan Chamberlain made eight from three deuces, no triples and of his four free throw attempts, making two [3-0-4-2], center Holden Harris handed-in six from under- the-bucket [3-0-0- 0], as Payson Harris’s came from three treys [0-2-0-0]. Ivan Spencer added another three [1-0-2-1] and Hadley Harris had a double [1-0-0-0].

Valley junior forward Jace Cox gets his shot airborne between underdog Bryce Valley’s Rustyn Chynoweth and Zaren Roberts (34), adding to his 17 points on the night! Photo by Jerry Melrose.

Again, in their subsequent game with the Badgers, they were ahead 25-20 midway, then following an eight-point offering in the third compared to their adversary’s 18, their 13-point fourth couldn’t overcome Wayne’s 17 in the 55- 46 decision.

JV Coach Jake Millard forthrightly analyzed the situation later in the week. “Problem is our second half performance has been well below our first-half performances. We’ve played pretty good first-[halves]; and then, come out and lost the game ultimately in the third quarters. So, we need to go put together a complete game for all four quarters. And, if we can do that, we’ll start putting some good wins together.”

Further, he observed, “Biggest struggle for our JV team is controlling the ball and not having turnovers ... unfortunately. And we’ve been improving that, and that’s why we’ve been able to stay competitively for three quarters of the game. But, there’s always a quarter at some point in the game where we kinda’ lose our focus and have too many errors. Got too many errors and turnovers that ultimately lost it for us.”

Then, from the brighter side, he noted, “On Wayne, Holden Harris had his best game of the season, which is nice to see. But, as a team, we just didn’t put together a full, complete game.”

From the Varsity perspective, in their shocking, 52-48, upset home loss to the last place, then three-win, nine-loss, Mustangs. Behind a 16-6 second stanza, the visitors led 26-17 after two quarters to close the gap from nine to five points in the third, 39-34, into the unexpectedly disappointing fall. In it, Jace aced 17 [5-2-4-1]; Johnny,12 [5-0-4-2]; Warren,10 [4-0-6-2] and Preston Franklin’s lone deuce [1-0-0-0].

Versus Wayne, at the half Valley led by two, 29-27, before the host’s 36-27 point second-half onslaught for the win: 63-56. With only four contributors, Johnny Cox was high man with 21 [6-1-7-6], followed by Jace Cox’s 18 [5-1-6-5], Boede Cox’s 15 [3-3-0-0] and Warren Spencer’s solo double [1-0-0-0]. In matter-of-fact fashion, Head Coach Owen Hoyt said, “We’ve lost two straight. There’s just a few little things that we’ve got to fix: mainly, defense. Our defense hasn’t been good enough! We’re letting people go by us too easily, and they’re not containing our defense. We’ve got to do a better job there.”

But, with hope, he noted, “And so, guys are committed. We had a good talk with them; but, they’re committed to getting better on defense and working on it. But, saw some good things on Wayne County offensively. But again, our defense let us down, down the stretch. And that’s where we gotta’ get our focus. So, we’ve got a long week of practice before we play Piute on Saturday. And, we’re going to work towards getting better on defense.” Nevertheless, the Buffalos are currently maintaining an 8-5 record in third place behind second place Piute at 11-3 and 15-3 Panguitch on top.

That’s a home game on January 27, prior to hitting the road for league-leading Panguitch on Wednesday, January 31, prior to hosting Telos on February 3, with the JV contest at 1 p.m. and Varsity at 2:30 p.m.




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