Prospectors tame Tigers in Saturday home tilt
PHILIPSBURG – The Granite Boys basketball team survived a sluggish third period to claim a 57-38 win over Darby Saturday in Philipsburg.
The season sweep of the Tigers keeps Granite in second place behind Valley Christian as the basketball season heads into its final two weeks.
The Prospectors held a 12-11 lead after one quarter, but rallied with a 12-4 surge in the second to take a 27-15 lead at intermission. But the third quarter saw Darby grab the momentum, hold Granite scoreless for the first six minutes before outscoring them 12-5 for the period and trailing by five, 32-27.
“We came out with terrible focus in the third quarter,” said GHS Head Coach Dustin Keltner. “We’ve just got to be consistent with the mental aspect of the game. One game it looks like our focus is up everywhere and the next it’s just not happening and we’re not going to reach our potential.
“We talked before the season that every team goes through a lull, but no team can afford that this year. A lot of that is the mental aspect of the game and our kids didn’t do well with that in the third quarter tonight. … They’re real coach-able kids and that there’s a lot of love towards them and respect and that I demand a lot out of them. But we’re a better basketball team than we played in the third quarter for sure.”
Darby closed the Granite lead to as little as three early in the fourth before the Prospectors started showing righting their ship. They exploded for a 25-point fourth period that lead to the eventual 19-point winning margin.
Balanced scoring was the key for Granite for most of the game, with Brian Ward eventually sinking a bunch of late free throws on his way to a game high 16 points. Preston Metesh scored 11, Andrew Tallon 10 and Kade Cutler nine in the winning effort.
The Prospectors will get six days off before they head north to play the Trojans in the second round of the county rivalry. Granite beat Drummond 60-50 January 15 in Philipsburg in a game that saw a combined 55 fouls between the two clubs.
Darby – 11/4/12/11 – 38
Granite – 12/15/5/25 – 57
Darby – Lewens 5, Smith 8, Hendley 7, Martin 9, Reed 9
Granite – Cutler 9, Metesh 11, Ward 16, Palen 5, Tallon 10, O’Donnell 6