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Hurricane Tops Page in the Championship

Hurricane Tops Page in the Championship
December 14
22:50 2019

Robert Smith makes a free throw

The Hurricane (Utah) Tigers surprised a lot of people by knocking off Vally Christian on Friday. They surprised even more people by knocking off the Page Sand Devils Saturday, 59-44.

You might look back to an injury sustained by  Stuart Sandall and think, “Well, that’s why the Sand Devils lost.”

But that’s not really it.

What is really it, is that the Page Sand Devil boys played their hearts out for three days and came away in second place. And because the basketball season is just beginning, that’s quite OK.

“We had one guy in double figures, that’s not good,” said Sand Devils head coach Justin Smith following the game. (Robert Smith – 21-points) “And we had one guy with eight.” (The aforementioned Stuart Sandall)

We spoke to Coach Smith right after the game.

“A lot of their stuff came out of our turnovers because we kept trying to do things that we don’t ordinarily do,” the coach went on to say.

Going back to when Sandall was hurt, the Sand Devils were doing pretty well; either on top or darn close, more than halfway through the contest.

But the coach also talked about the reality of it being very much still early in the season.

“Our goal wasn’t to win the Lake Powell Holiday Classic,” said Coach Smith. “Our goals are going to come in February.”

Braedyn Bennett escorts the injured Stuart Sandall from the court

He mentioned it was interesting, and helpful, for his team to play two really good teams during the tournament; two teams that had different styles of basketball.

That would be Saturday’s matchup with Hurricane, and Friday’s game against Ranch HS of Las Vegas, which Page won 52-48.

‘This is good for us because it shows us what we need to work on,” he added.

He told us they need to get healthy. “Stu” did come back in the game on Saturday, but the damage had been done. As far as Gabe Gomez goes, it remains to be seen when he can come back.

Interestingly, Robert Smith and Jonah Holiday both played all 32-minutes of the game on Saturday.

“Jonah’s played two straight games without a break,” said Coach Smith. “So we’ve got to develop a bench. And our kids who are hurt have to get healthy.”

Coach Smith added, to that last comment about the injuries, with a smile, “And I don’t know how you coach that.”

Interestingly, the injured Gabe Gomez was 100% during the entire football season, yet Robert Smith kept having leg issues. This time it’s turned around; Gomez is banged-up (Coach Smith’s comment) and # 1 Robert Smith is fine. (knock wood)

Smith doesn’t want to rush anyone back into action.

Next up for the Page Sand Devils is Thursday night, when the girls and the boys take on the visiting Many Farms Lobos at Page High School

 

Featured Photo: The Sand Devils being honored as runner-ups. (Gabe Gomez has his head bowed)

 

Hurricane Tops Page in the Championship - overview

Summary: Hurricane Tops Page in the Championship

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