GUNNISON—The fact that the Bulldogs are still searching for a region win is only made more painful by how close they were to it last week.
The Gunnison Valley boys’ basketball team lost their sixth straight game last week with a pair of heartbreakingly close losses, falling to North Sevier, 52-47, last Wednesday, in a comeback for North Sevier, then losing via comeback again to North Summit, 47-41, last Friday. Gunnison’s overall record moved to 3-10, with an 0-4 mark in Region 16.
The Bulldogs held a lead going into the fourth quarter of both games.
Against North Sevier, it was a packed house down in Gunnison, with fans of both teams attending en masse.
In the first minute of the fourth, senior Myles Bartholomew hit a corner 3-pointer to push the Bulldogs’ lead to four, but the Wolves surged near the end and got a three-point lead with under a minute remaining.
Needing something, junior Jon Willden intercepted a pass on the perimeter and streaked down for an easy layup to make it a one-point game.
Gunnison fouled North Sevier to put them on the line with about 30 seconds left, but on two straight free throw misses, the Bulldogs gave up the possession back to North Sevier, squandering their chance at a go-ahead play. Needing a 3-pointer on a Gunnison last-chance play down 50-47, senior Aidan O’Neal looked to put it in Willden’s hands, but passed it directly to a North Sevier defender, giving the Wolves the victory.
Willden led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points, while senior Jack Hansen scored 11 points.
Against North Summit, Gunnison once sported a four-point lead within the first minute of the fourth quarter. Inside two minutes, with the score tied at 36-36, Willden went skyward defending a 3-point attempt. While the shot airballed, Willden landed directly on the shooter, giving him three free throws, all of which were made. Gunnison then turned it over on the next possession, leading to a fast-break layup with a foul, capping off a 6-0 run in 12 seconds to put the Braves ahead for good in the final minute.
O’Neal led the Bulldogs with only 9 points.
Gunnison will start on the second half of their region schedule as they travel to face Millard this Wednesday.