Adrian Escalante puts up a shot for Green River.
Green River photos by Eugene Swalberg and Emery by Tina Oliver
With the win against Tabiona still fresh in their memories and the excitement generated by playing the Grand County Red Devils at home, the Green River Pirates were looking forward to the battle of what was described by a local radio commentator from Moab as a battle of a Goliath against a David, with the Pirates taking on the role of David.
David it was and he came out gunning hard with Chance Pfander draining a three, TJ Hughes swishing a two with Adrian Escalante and Nick Corrigan each hitting their charity stripe shots at the line; but David was still getting beat down by Goliath and the Devils led by 10 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, each team tried to establish themselves and the play was fast and physical a typical rivalry game against two teams who never tire of showing their stuff on the hardwood and the perceived smaller team erased some of the deficit of the first quarter and entered half time down by six.
The Pirates kept up the heat in the third and matched what the Devils dished out but were still down six as time ran out. Things got interesting as minutes ticked off the clock in the fourth. The run and gun Pirates steadily ate into the Devil lead and with 3:38 on the game clock the Pirates were down by two. The crowd supporting each team had reason to be off their seats to cheer on their team as did each coach and Coach Hughes pushed the limits a bit too far and was called for a technical late in the game.
This brought the desired effect on his players as they dug deep and kept up their relentless attack at the basket but their guns just weren't big enough and their steam not hot enough to shut down the red Devils and the lead widened.
If you judge the game by the final score you might get the impression that the game was a bit of a yawner but nothing could be farther from the truth. This was hard fought, rivalry basketball, the kind of game you enjoy as a fan and as a player which inspires each team to improve and look forward to the rematch in just a few short weeks.