It has been a difficult preseason for the Stansbury boys basketball team, but the Stallions are staying positive despite four straight losses.
The Stallions lost 59-47 to Payson on Wednesday night at home as the visiting Lions knocked down seven 3-pointers. However, Stansbury (1-4) didn’t let Payson (2-2) run away with the game, keeping the score tight for the majority of the second half.
“We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to score and how we’re going to rebound,” Stansbury coach Joe White said. “We’ve learned some of the things we definitely need to work on — some of our skill sets, being patient with the ball, and trying to slow down and make it a better passing game.”
Stansbury struggled to score in the first half and had a hard time rebounding, with the Stallions’ zone defense allowing Payson to get multiple offensive boards and second-chance opportunities. Despite that, the Stallions held the Lions to just 23 first-half points and trailed by eight at halftime.
The second half was a different story as Stansbury’s Peyton Thevenot caught fire. He scored 16 of his 18 points over the final 16 minutes, including a 3-pointer with 3:38 left in the third quarter that pulled the Stallions within five points and another trey that beat the third-quarter buzzer. However, Payson also found its offensive game, with Conner Bateman and Logan Sorensen each scoring nine points as part of a 36-point second-half outburst, though it wasn’t for a lack of effort by Stansbury’s defense.
“It was nice to see them respond to some challenges — ‘hey, we’ve got to go rebound, we’ve got to get in their grill and try to make them do something they’re uncomfortable doing,’” White said. “We played the best (man-to-man defense) that we’ve played.”
Kale Vorwaller had eight points for the Stallions and Jaden Jenkins added seven. Pae Tia had five points, Kaden Taylor had four, Tanner Mears scored three, and Jacob Spaulding had two.
“Our record isn’t where we would like it, but it’s not our identity, either,” White said. “(The record) doesn’t matter. We just want to get better.”
Sorensen led the Lions with 16 points. Samuel Mitchell had 15 points and Bateman had 12. Kade Rowley had nine points, Brennan Jensen and Zachary Adams had three each, and Hayden Roundy had one.
Stansbury’s next game is Tuesday in Midvale against Hillcrest.
“I’ve always believed there’s three seasons — there’s preseason, region and then state,” White said. “This is my 14th year coaching and I don’t mind playing a tough preseason. Come region, you’re going to have those battles.”