Stansbury’s complete game out-dueled Summit Academy’s 3-point-shooting game Tuesday night at Stansbury High School.
The visiting Bears knocked down 13 3-point shots compared to Stansbury’s eight 3-pointers, but the Stallions were stronger in the closing to minutes to notch a 67-62 victory.
Summit Academy erased an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter with 10-straight points from the game’s leading scorer Zach Scoot, who ended up with 28 for the contest.
The Bears tied the game at 62-62 with 1:56 remaining with their 13th 3-point basket, and called timeout.
Summit Academy continued to press Stansbury full-court, but the Stallions handled the pressure with a solid passing game.
“I told the kids we wanted to break the press quickly and take it to the basket,” said Stansbury coach Rich Lakin. There was no hesitation on the part of the Stallions.
Leading scorer Thomas Griffith made a great inside move to shake a defender for a basket to give Stansbury a 64-62 advantage with 1:33 left. After an empty possession by the Bears, Stansbury had the ball with 48 seconds left. But the Stallions gave it right back on a double dribble.
Trailing by two, the Bears hoisted up another 3-point shot with less than 30 seconds remaining, but the shot sailed woefully short and bounced out of bounds.
The Bears then fouled Stansbury guard Shane Andrus, who drilled two foul shots to make it 66-62 for the Stallions with 20 seconds remaining. Foul shooting was a big plus for the Stallions who connected on 11-of-15 shots, compared to the Bears who hit 5-of-12.
“I knew they were a great 3-point shooting team, and that had me concerned. They’re a good team,” Lakin said. The coach said he thought the Bears compared in skill level to the Uintah Utes, a team the Stallions defeated 48-45 in Vernal on Friday.
Stansbury improved to 5-1 on the season with its only loss to Dixie (5-1). The Stallions haved defeated Rowland Hall, Hurricane, Carbon, the Utes and Bears.
Stansbury is playing fast this year under new coach Lakin.
“My style is to play up-tempo, push the ball and let the boys make decisions out on the court,” Lakin said. “We want to play tough defense of course, and on offense take what the defense gives us. We want to score in the 60s, and keep the opponent in the 50s.”
The Stallions have the players they need to play at a fast pace.
“This team has a lot of speed. At one point tonight I had five fast guys in there at the same time. We also have a lot of depth so we can rotate in a lot of players,” Lakin said.
Eight players scored in the game with Griffith pouring in 18 with three 3-pointers. Inside player Justin May did a lot of damage shooting from the corner. He scored 14 points with four 3-pointers. Tanner Barton scored nine points, Taylor Graves seven, Andrus six, Johnathan Gibby six, Zayne Anderson four and Gage Manzione three.
Stansbury started quickly against the Bears with four points from Graves and a 3-pointer from Griffith to go up 7-0. Tyler Farris broke the ice for the Bears with his first of five 3-pointers for the game. Farris ended up with 16 points, and has hit 24 3-pointers so far this season.
May knocked down a pair of 3-pointers from the corner in the first quarter to match the long bombs from the Bears. Andrus hit a corner trey and Stansbury led 22-17 after the first quarter.
Stansbury maintained the narrow lead throughout the second quarter, until Farris hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 35-35.
Barton put the Stallions up 48-40 late in the third quarter on an old-fashioned 3-point play, and Stansbury led 51-47 after three quarters.
The Bears fought back and grabbed the lead at 59-58 on a 3-pointer by Scoot.
Stansbury countered with a superb reverse layup by Anderson to re-take the lead at 60-59. Manzione made it 62-59 on a strong drive to the basket. The Bears tied it at 62-62 on a trey, but the Stallions held on and hit 3-of-4 foul shots in the final 20 seconds to ice the victory.
Stansbury hosts Richfield on Friday, and will play in the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic in Cedar City Jan. 2-4.