Justin Johnson dunks the ball for the Green River Pirates. Pirates enter the state tournament at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
The Green River Pirate basketball team prepared for the upcoming 1-A Utah State basketball tournament by closing out the region season with a game at Monticello. After having defeated Monticello earlier in the year by a big score of 74-47, the Pirates were expecting a much tougher game on Monticello's home court and that is just what they got.
With Green River riding a winning streak of 12 straight games and Monticello on an eight game winning streak of their own, one would expect a barnburner in this game and that is exactly what came out of the game with Green River edging Monticello 56-55.
The Pirates led 17-15 after the first quarter and 27-26 at the half. Monticello led 42-39 after three quarters and Green River won this game with senior Justin Johnson hitting a lay-up with just more than four seconds left in the game to give Green River the lead.
Johnson scored 30 points to lead the team with Erick Mendez scoring 14 points, Spencer Marshall scoring eight points and Adrian Escalante scoring four points.
Green River went 10 for 12 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter in grabbing the win. The Pirates finished 17 for 22 in the game, a 77 percent rate. Monticello lost this game at the free throw line as they were five for 20, a 25 percent rate.
Green River will open the tournament at 10 a.m. this Wednesday in the Sevier Valley Center with a game against either Wendover or Valley. That play-in game will be played Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Sevier Valley Center.