Stansbury students had to wait and wait and wait and wait — before they could finally cheer.
The student cheering section made a pact that they would not start cheering until the Stallions scored 10 points in a home rivalry game against Grantsville Friday night.
It took a long time before the silence was finally broken. Gage Manzione hit two free throws with 3:53 left in the third quarter to give Stansbury its 10th and 11th points of the game.
Meanwhile, Grantsville had already scored 30 points by that time and led 30-11. So the cheering ended up being too little too late as the Cowboys crushed the Stallions 49-24.
“We knew from posts on Facebook that they had planned a Silent Night 10,” said Grantsville senior Devin Adams. “It is something a small college is famous for doing — not starting to cheer until their team makes 10 points. Our goal was to not let them reach 10 until the second quarter, but they didn’t make it until the third quarter.”
The Cowboys got their first 10 points with 1:31 left in the opening quarter on a drive to the basket by Adams to take an early 10-3 lead. Adams nearly outscored the whole Stansbury team with his game-high 23 points compared to the Stallions’ total of 24.
“We have confidence in all our defensive sets, and it doesn’t matter who we play we feel we can keep the score low. We weren’t planning on this being a high-scoring game. Our goal is to keep teams at 40 and score 50,” Adams said.
Stansbury took its only lead of the game when Justin May knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Stallions a 3-2 advantage with 5:19 on the clock in the first quarter.
Grantsville scored the next nine points with baskets from Nick Arbon, Jake Riding, Spencer Lawrence and Adams to go up 11-3.
Stansbury made a foul shot followed by a Grantsville layup from Tyler Colson to make it 13-4. Manzione tipped in a shot to make it 13-6 after one quarter.
Grantsville’s defense was tenacious, but Stansbury’s shooting was as cold as Utah’s January temperatures. Stansbury shot a woeful 22 percent from the field and 54 percent from the foul line.
The Stallions made one basket in the second quarter, and scored three points in the third quarter.
“It was just one of those nights,” said Stansbury coach Rich Lakin. “When you shoot down around 20 percent you’re not going to win games. You have to give Grantsville credit with their strong defense. The silent night thing may have put some pressure on us, but regardless we should have scored 10 points in the first quarter.” Grantsville’s shooting percentage was about twice as good with most of the scoring inside the paint.
Stansbury cut the lead to 13-8 early in the second quarter on a put-back basket by Taylor Graves, and didn’t score the rest of the second quarter.
The Cowboys scored 11 straight in the second quarter while holding Stansbury scoreless for six minutes.
Lawrence scored with a basket-and-one foul shot to make it 16-8. Arbon swiped the ball and fed Dallin Williams for an easy basket to give the Cowboys a 10-point lead.
A few minutes later, Williams came down and drained a 3-pointer. One minute after that, Adams scored inside and was fouled for a 3-point play to make it 24-8 at intermission.
“We are a defensive-minded team and like to mix up our defenses and make it hard for teams to get comfortable,” said Grantsville coach Chris Baker. “We preach defense and rebounding. You can’t really single anyone out on defense because everyone that saw action played great on defense.”
The coach said Stansbury had a hard time defending Adams. “He’s so strong and has creative moves inside. D-Will also played a great game on offense.” Williams had his third-highest scoring night of the season with seven points.
Stansbury’s third-quarter scoring included three foul shots from Manzione.
Grantsville opened the third with baseline jumper from Adams, a basket by Lawrence and then a runner by Williams to make it 30-9 before Manzione broke through the 10-point barrier with two foul shots to loosen the lips of the Stansbury student body.
Arbon slashed to the bucket for a basket followed by an offensive rebound put-back from Colson to give Grantsville a 34-11 advantage after three quarters.
“At halftime the coach said we probably only needed five or six more offensive possessions if we continued to play tough defense and not rush shots on offense,” Adams said.
Grantsville’s lead swelled to 36-11 early in the fourth quarter until Manzione broke a seven-minute Stansbury scoring drought with a basket.
Stansbury’s Tyler Jensen connected on a 3-pointer, and later scored on a layup to trim the lead back down to 20 with 2 minutes remaining.
The Cowboys ran the final margin back up to 25 on a basket-plus-foul-shot by Adams and a basket from Cameron Potter on an assist from Ky Fisher.
Grantsville scoring: Adams 23, Williams seven, Lawrence five, Arbon four, Colson four, Devon Arellano two, Riding two, Potter two.
Stansbury scoring: Manzione nine, Jensen five, Graves four, May three, Anderson three.
Lawrence led Grantsville in rebounding with seven, Riding nabbed six rebounds.
Manzione had seven rebounds and May five for the Stallions.
Stansbury hosts Ben Lomond on Wednesday and Juan Diego on Friday.
Gransville hosts Tooele Wednesday and plays at Bear River on Friday.
The Cowboys improve to 2-1 in region while the Stallions drop to 1-2.