SALT LAKE CITY — Judge Memorial scored nearly half of its points in the fourth quarter, but Grantsville held off the late rally to win 56-53 on Friday.
The Cowboys raced out to a 12-0 lead during the first 3:15 minutes of play and led by as many as 15 during a 20-7 first quarter.
“I felt like defensive intensity was there a lot better in the first half,” Grantsville senior guard Ryan Potter said. “As the game went on, I don’t know. I guess we just got comfortable with it. They picked up their game, and we just kept our same defensive intensity, and it wasn’t good enough, as they were scoring baskets.”
Judge was held to 13 points in the first half before putting up 17 and 23 in the final two quarters.
Bulldog junior guard Mack Tarver scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, including 11 during the third quarter. He converted a 3-point play to pull Judge to a single-digit deficit midway through the quarter, then hit a long 3-pointer two minutes later that pulled the home team to within six.
“We lost track of (Tarver),” Potter said. “We were keeping him somewhat contained in the first half, but then the second half, we let him go off.”
Judge senior forward Parker Edgington stole an inbounds pass and put in a layup to cut the Grantsville lead to seven with 6:35 to play, and freshman guard Dominic Burns hit a 3-pointer the next time down the court to make it 41-37.
A few minutes later, Edgington scored at the block, and Burns stole the inbounds pass for a layup to make it 45-43 Grantsville.
With a minute remaining, Tarver took and missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but Grantsville senior guard Coy Johnson fell into him on the block attempt. Tarver made one of the three ensuing foul shots, cutting Grantsville’s lead to 49-48.
With less than 30 seconds left and a two-point lead, Johnson drew a charging foul on Tarver, who ran through the Cowboy in an attempt to drive to the basket.
After a pair of Cowboy free throws, Judge senior guard Simon Chamness made a three from the top of the key to pull back within one point with less than five seconds remaining.
Rather than hold the ball out of bounds as the clock expired, Grantsville head coach Bryan Detweiler called a timeout. Potter was fouled after the inbounds pass and made two free throws to give the Cowboys a 56-53 lead, and Tarver’s half-court attempt missed, giving Grantsville its second win in Region 13.
“The first half we were flying around on defense. The second half we were just lackadaisical, I think,” Kevin Roberts said. “All of our defense created our offense, and that’s how we scored so many points in the first half. Then the second half, our defense wasn’t as good, so our offense wasn’t as good.”
Edgington chipped in 13 points, but Judge went 7 for 20 from the free-throw line.
Potter and Roberts each had 19 points for Grantsville, and the Cowboys made 28 of 35 from the charity stripe.
The Cowboys played without their leading scorer and rebounder, senior forward Brady Arbon, and junior forward Isaac Riding, who has seen significant playing time at the varsity level during the season. Both were out with flu-like symptoms.
Grantsville (12-6 overall, 2-1 Region 13) will next face Summit Academy (10-5, 2-1) at home Wednesday. Judge Memorial (3-13, 0-3) will take on Morgan (14-2, 3-0) at home Wednesday.
Tavin Stucki has covered prep sports in Utah for more than nine years. This story was not subject to the approval of the Grantsville basketball program.