The Stansbury boys basketball team stayed within striking distance throughout Tuesday night’s Region 11 home opener against Bonneville, but the Stallions ultimately couldn’t quite get over the hump as the Lakers held on for a 57-50 win at Stansbury High School.
Jake Spaulding’s jumper from the top of the key pulled Stansbury (4-8, 1-1 Region 11) within four points at 49-45 with 1:37 left in the contest, but the Stallions were unable to get any closer as Bonneville (7-4, 1-1) went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch. The Lakers led by as many as 10 points before Peyton Thevenot’s late 3-pointer provided the final margin.
The Stallions got off to a strong start, taking an 8-6 lead with 2:20 left in the first quarter after a conventional three-point play by sophomore Pae Tia. But that was the only time Stansbury held the lead in the game. SHS trailed by just one with 4:39 left in the first half after a bucket by Spaulding, only to allow Bonneville to go on a 7-1 run to extend its advantage to 25-18.
Stansbury briefly cut the lead to two points late in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Thevenot, but Bonneville’s Tyler Hancock knocked down a jumper from the right wing as the buzzer sounded to give the Lakers a 36-32 lead entering the final quarter. Jaden Jenkins pulled the Stallions back within three points at 39-36 with 5:36 left, but that was as close as Stansbury got the rest of the way. However, the Stallions managed to stay within single-digits until there were less than 13 seconds left in the game, when they were forced to put the Lakers on the foul line to stop the clock.
Jenkins and Thevenot each had 13 points to lead Stansbury, with Jenkins adding four rebounds and four assists. Spaulding had 12 points off the bench, setting a new career-high. Jet Richins had five points, Tia had three and Kale Vorwaller and Payton Gaillard each had two.
Hank Bushell and Kinnon Finder each had 14 points to lead Bonneville. Hancock and Zach Alspaugh each had 12 points, DJ Frye had three and Luke Dixon had two. The Lakers shot 10-for-12 from the free-throw line in the game, while Stansbury was 12-for-20.
Stansbury faces a tough test Friday night in Draper against Juan Diego. The Soaring Eagle come in with an 11-1 overall record, with their only loss coming against Rangeview (Colorado) at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas. Juan Diego is 8-0 against in-state competition, including Wednesday night’s 51-43 win over Tooele.
Following Friday’s game, Stansbury will return home to face county rival Tooele on Tuesday at 7 p.m.