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Men’s basketball falls to Pleasant Grove

Sophomore Arcel Rusanganwa lines up to take a free throw. (Photo: M. Spangler)

By Hanah Wyman,
BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–

It’s hard to complete a puzzle without the key pieces. After a shaky first half and lack of scoring, the Blue Devils lost to the visiting Pleasant Grove Eagles, 75-82.

“They played a complete game, and we didn’t. The first half was one of our worst halves of the season,” coach Daniel Gonzalez said.

By the end of the first half the Devils were down by 14 points.

“The bright side of it is that we put together a pretty darn good second half. Defense was there, we started scoring. It’s just frustrating at this point in the season, we really want to put together complete games,” Gonzalez said.

The Devils did indeed complete the puzzle the second half. They came out from halftime a more noticeably cohesive and aggressive team, with an intensity that seemed to be amiss the first half.

“In the second half, we started to get some energy,” said senior Rowan Hart, something he thought Davis had been missing in recent games.

After being down in the first half, that score quickly became an afterthought as Davis came out from the half guns ablazing, with junior Reed Hessl scoring 8 points and dishing out an assist in the first two minutes of the third quarter, ending the quarter with 11 points.

The Devils went on a 24-16 run in the third quarter to bring the game back within reaching distance. Soon after, the Devils lost three key players in quick succession, with senior Will Smith and junior Gavin Schouten fouling out, and Hessl having to come off the floor because of an injury, all in a single minute.

Although there was some compensation for the missing players with freshman Collin Yee’s four point play in the fourth quarter, the Devils were certainly feeling the absence of some of their most important assets.

“Reed is our key scorer, and not having him in at the end there, maybe was the difference in the game,” Gonzalez said.

In Yee’s first game up from JV, the freshman showed great maturity and expertise on the court. “We have a pretty good guard group, once we brought up Collin Yee, the freshman, he added a lot,” Gonzalez said.

Despite a bad first half for the Devils, senior Ben Bergevin kept them in the game, with a 9 point quarter, accounting for about a third of the team’s points in the first quarter.

The Devils defensive downfall can be accredited to the clearly stretched defense, leading to scoring opportunities for Pleasant Grove.

“As a team we weren’t helping out on defense, which lead to a lot of open layups underneath,” Schouten said.

The team agreed, but looks to their improvement in the second half as an example for the rest of the season.

“Coming out flat tonight was an issue, and playing with that kind of inconsistency hurts us. It was good to see us have a strong second half but we have to learn how to build on that and start playing complete games, with 32 minutes of effort and intensity,” senior Greg Silver said.

The comeback in the third and fourth quarters wasn’t enough for the Devils, as they fell 75-82 in the end. “We certainly had them on their heels and I thought we were going to be able to do it,” Gonzalez said.

The Devil boys play Grant at home on Friday, Jan 20.

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