It has been a frustrating season for the Stansbury girls basketball team, with injuries and COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the Stallions’ lineup and leading to inconsistency.
That frustration continued on Tuesday night at Stansbury High School, as Stansbury suffered its fourth loss in a row. Cedar Valley used an 18-5 second-quarter run to build a 12-point halftime lead, coasting to a 50-43 win over the Stallions in a Region 10 game.
The loss left Stansbury (5-12, 2-6 Region 10), which was picked by the Region 10 coaches as the region title favorite in the preseason, in sixth place with just over two weeks left before the Class 4A state tournament tips off.
The Stallions got off to a solid — if slow — start to the game, as they went more than five and a half minutes without scoring after taking an early 4-2 lead on layups by Sarah Gatluak and Ainsley Thurber. A drive to the basket by Epa Tia put Stansbury ahead 6-5 after one quarter, but that’s when things started to go south.
Cedar Valley (10-7, 7-2) opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Madi Leathem from the left wing, and Anna Taumoepeau converted a layup after a steal by the Aviators to put CVHS up 10-6 less than a minute into the period. A traditional 3-point play by Taylor Miyasaki and another layup by Naomi Nicholson capped a 10-0 run by the Aviators.
Tia hit a layup and a free throw to pull the Stallions within six points at 15-9 with 3:39 left in the first half, but Cedar Valley responded with a quick 8-2 run on baskets by Nicholson, Shanyse Anderson, Miyasaki and Mallory McInnes to take a 23-11 halftime lead.
The Stallions outscored the Aviators 11-9 in the third quarter, but turnovers kept them from cutting into the lead any further. Stansbury committed seven turnovers in the quarter to Cedar Valley’s zero. Stansbury freshman Brooke Jensen hit a pair of 3-pointers during the third quarter to keep the Stallions within striking distance, as the Aviators never led by more than 14 points despite Stansbury’s miscues.
Tia’s drive to the basket cut Cedar Valley’s lead to 32-24 with 5:51 left in the game, but the Aviators were able to maintain their advantage thanks to strong free-throw shooting. CVHS was 9-of-14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, with Megan Jensen hitting 6-of-8 down the stretch. With Stansbury forced to foul to extend the game, this kept the Stallions from mounting any sort of comeback despite scoring 21 fourth-quarter points.
Tia led all scorers with 18 points in the loss for Stansbury. Gatluak added 10 points and Jensen had six. Thurber scored four points, Reagan Richins had three and Jessica Smart had two.
Jensen led Cedar Valley with 11 points as the Aviators overcame a 17-for-60 (28.3%) shooting night. Nicholson, Leathem and Miyasaki each scored eight points.
Following Wednesday night’s road game against Ben Lomond, the Stallions will face region leader Juan Diego on Saturday afternoon in Draper. They will play host to Uintah in their home finale Tuesday, with the regular-season finale scheduled for next Thursday on the road against Ogden.