After a weekend in Cedar City where the Stansbury Stallions played four games in three days, they returned home Wednesday and defeated the Rockwell Marshals 49-43.
Fatigued from the weekend before, head coach Rich Lakin decided to rest his players the day before, and he said they came out and played rusty against the Marshals.
“They looked like they had rest. They did not look sharp,” Lakin said. “We’re looking to sharpen up what we’ve done because we did not look good today.”
A close win against Rockwell is nothing to wince at. The 2A Marshals are 6-6 on the season with their last four losses coming against 3A schools, including Stansbury. However, the Stallions needed an extra push in the second half to come back and get the win.
Rockwell started the game with a 6-2 advantage before Tom Griffith came into the game and gave Stansbury a boost. He scored the next three baskets for the Stallions, cutting Rockwell’s lead to 9-8 going into the second quarter.
Justin May, Gage Manzione and Tyler Jensen then gave Stansbury the lead with baskets. May grabbed an offensive rebound and put back a layup. Manzione did the same thing except his offensive rebound was an immediate tap in for a layup. And then May grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and zipped the ball down to a charging Manzione, who dished it over to Jensen for a layup. The Stallions had a 14-10 lead.
With the game tied at 14, Shane Andrus possessed the ball and drove toward the paint. He gave just enough of a head fake to get his Rockwell defender into the air, and then Andrus passed the ball to a wide-open Zayne Anderson, who scored a layup.
However, Rockwell got its shots going. The Marshals knocked down two 3-pointers to close the half, taking the lead 20-16 going into halftime.
Andrus opened the third quarter with a steal and a fastbreak opportunity. He missed the layup, but Griffith followed right behind him to put back the offensive rebound. May then found Manzione for a bucket to tie the game at 20.
With Rockwell leading 22-20, Andrus passed over to Griffith to tie the game back at 22, and Andrus gave Stansbury the lead with a drive and layup at 24-22.
Jonathan Gibby got involved in the scoring with Stansbury leading 26-24. He worked his post moves on a Rockwell defender and got himself into position for an easy layup. Jensen then picked up a steal and scored the fastbreak layup to give Stansbury its largest lead to that point at 30-24.
Andrus grabbed a steal with the quarter winding down, but he passed the ball into the open court with no Stansbury players to retrieve it. Taylor Graves and Jensen raced down the floor to scramble for the loose ball against the Rockwell players, and Jensen ended up with it. He scored on a layup to give Stansbury a 32-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Stallions built the lead to 47-36 in the fourth, and the Marshals gave one last push to try and get back into the game. The Marshals knocked down one free throw and missed the second, but they grabbed an offensive rebound. They worked the ball back outside and sank a 3-pointer for an unconventional four-point possession.
Graves responded by finding Anderson for a basket to make the score 49-40, and the Marshals didn’t have quite enough to break into a closer game after scoring three more points.
Manzione finished as the high scorer for Stansbury with 15 points. Lakin said the team captain brings a lot to the table in helping Stansbury be successful.
“Number one he brings rebounds,” Lakin said. “He’s a solid rebounder. He knows how to play good defense down low. He takes up space, and he’s just a strong guy. His leadership hopefully ripple effects through the rest of the players.”
Stansbury next plays on the road against Delta on Friday, which will be the final non-region game of the season before it visits Tooele the following week.