Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Bridger Thomas scores in a game against Cedar Valley.

January 26, 2022
Stallions win twice to stay undefeated in region

Stansbury (11-4) and Payson (14-1) played for the Region 7 lead in a game at Stansbury on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Payson sits at third in the 5A RPI with Stansbury at eighth.

Last week, the Sallions picked up a pair of region wins with a 58-56 overtime victory over Cedar Valley at home, and 52-49 victory over Uintah at Vernal.

Stansbury 58, Cedar Valley 56 OT

This game was tied at 49-49 at the end of regulation. Cedar Valley’s Cole Roberts knocked down a 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining in overtime to give the visitors at 54-51, but Stanbury’s Preston Birch answered with a big-time shot from distance to tie the game 54-54 with 1:48 left in the extra period.

Will Hinton gave the Stallions a one-point lead with a foul shot, and then Matthew Topham battled for an offensive rebound after his missed shot and was fouled. He hit both foul shots and Stansbury led 57-54 with 38 seconds remaining. 

The Aviators missed a 3-point shot with about 10 seconds left, but scored off an offensive rebound to make it 57-56 with nine seconds left in the OT.

Landen Giles hit one-of-two foul shots with 7.5 seconds to go to make it 58-56.

The Aviators got a good look to tie the game, but it bounced off the front of the rim, and the Stallions came away victorious.

Birch was in the game in place of Bridger Thomas who had fouled out.

“We have a lot of confidence in Preston. I told him if he gets an opening look to hit the shot. He just had two 3-pointers the night before against Hillcrest and he’s been working on his shot,” said Stansbury coach Joe White. “He plays great on defense as well.”

The Stallions led 39-35 after three quarters with Giles connecting on a 3-pointer to close out the third period.

Stansbury built a six-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Aviators charged back to tie the game at 45-45 with 3:53 left in regulation. The Aviators eventually took the lead at 49-47 with under 1 minute to play. Topham followed his own shot to tie the game at 49-49 with 40 seconds remaining in regulation. Thomas fouled out with 29 seconds to go. 

Three timeouts were called in the final 8.5 seconds, the first by Cedar Valley and then two back-to-back timeouts by the Stallions.

“Sometimes the kids are not quite sure what we’re trying to do in a close situation like that so we called two timeouts to go over things twice just to make sure,” the coach said.

The Stallions switched to a zone defense instead of a man-to-man defense in the closing seconds of regulation and it seemed to confuse the Aviators a bit. Cedar Valley was unable to get off a shot before the horn sounded to end regulation.

Stansbury closed the Cedar Valley lead to 12-9 after one quarter with a 3-pointer from Thomas. The Stallions went up 25-18 in the second quarter with a barrage of 3-pointers, two from Topham and two from Giles. They led 25-18, before Cedar Valley ended the first half with a 3-pointer to make it 25-21 Stallions at intermission.

The third quarter was tight, with the Stallions up 39-35 after three.

Scoring: Giles 20, Birch 3, Richins 7, Thomas 5, Topham 16, Hinton 5, Jacob Rich 2.

Three-pointers: Giles 3, Birch 1, Thomas 1, Topham 2.

Assists: Giles 4, Richins 2, Hinton 4, Rich 1.

Rebounds: Richins 10, Giles 1, Thomas 4, Topham 7, Hinton 3, Rich 2.

Stanbury 52, Uintah 49

The Stallions led 26-23 at intermission, but fell behind 36-33 after three quarters. The Stallions came back to win the game 52-49.

“It’s interesting, we never shoot well in Vernal, but we had a lot of attempts because we had 20 offensive rebounds in the game,” the coach said. 

Uintah had only three offensive rebounds. The Stallions won the overall rebounding battle 37 to 21.

Scoring: Giles 18, Birch 3, Richings 12, Thomas 3, Topham 13, Hinton 3

Three pointers: Giles 2, Birch 1, Thomas 2.

Rebounds: Giles 2, Richins 13, Thomas 11, Topham 1, Hinton 6, Thorpe 1, Rich 1.

After the Jan. 25 home game against Payson, the Stallions host Hillcrest on Thursday, Jan. 27 and play at Cottonwood on Wednesday, Feb. 2.


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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