Trailing 52-51, Stansbury outscored Payson 17-9 in the fourth quarter to defeat the visiting Lions 68-61 and take sole possession of first play in Region 7 with a 6-0 record after a Tuesday night game at Stansbury.
Payson dropped to second place at 5-1. Cedar Valley sits in third at 4-2 after Tuesday’s games.
With the score tied at 55-55, Stanbury reeled off five-straight points beginning with a steal and basket from Logan Richins followed by three free throws to go up 60-55 with 3:59 left in the game.
The Stallions were dialed in on defense which made life difficult for the Lions. Stallion defenders took three charges in the final two minutes against the Payson offense.
Stanbury kept its lead at 64-59 with a drive and score from Landen Giles with 1:44 to go.
Payson missed on a 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining. Thomas hit two more free throws and Giles fired a full-court pass to Richins for a layup to ice the game and Stanbury led 68-59. A final Payson basket made the final 68-61.
Stansbury got off to a slow start and fell behind 11-2 midway through the first quarter, but quickly rallied with a pair of three-pointers from Thomas, plus a baseline drive and score from Will Hinton. Richins grabbed a rebound and drove in for a score to cut Payson’s lead to 13-12.
After Payson went ahead 15-12, Giles scored and was fouled for a 3-point play to tie the game at 15. Matthew Topham kept it close with an inside basket and the Stallions trailed by only two points after the first quarter.
The Stallions pushed the lead to 34-28 after a 3-pointer from Hinton to lead 34-28. Giles found Richins inside to close out the second quarter with Stansbury up 36-32.
Payson outscored the Stallions 20-15 in the third quarter to take a 52-51 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Stansbury’s senior starters made for a balanced scoring attack.
Scoring: Richins 20, Giles 19, Thomas 13, Topham 8, Hinton 8.
Three-pointers: Giles 3, Thomas 3, Hinton 1.
The Stallions host Hillcrest Thursday, Jan. 27, and play at Cottonwood Wednesday, Feb. 2.