STANFIELD - For a half, Horizon Christian hung tough with the Stanfield boys' basketball team. Then the Tigers-who had already limited the Hawks to 25 first-half points-really got after it on defense and blew the game wide open, winning 64-40 in Day 1 of the Echo-Stanfield tournament.
Mario Madrigal led the way for the Tigers (2-0) with 12 points, but it was Quinn Grogan's all-around game that sparked Stanfield. Grogan finished with just six points, but he hauled down a game-high nine rebounds and added five steals and five assists.
"(Grogan is) big and he's fast and he's strong and he's athletic and you can play him just about any position you want to," said Tigers head coach Daniel Sharp. "Overall when you look at a game, he might score four or five points in a game or he might score 15, but he's always going to get you a ton of boards, he assists and he just plays solid basketball games."
At first it looked like it might be a long night for Grogan and his teammates as 1A Horizon Christian trailed by two after the first quarter and by just three at halftime.
"We started off pretty shaky," Grogan said. "We weren't sure about these guys, not knowing who they are. Our defense did great. We held them under 30 points in the first half. We held them under 20 in the second half.?We came out and just played hard."
Devin Bailey gave the Tigers a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter on a fastbreak bucket, and Trey Blevins put Stanfield up by double-digits for the first time early in the fourth and then the team coasted from there.
The Tigers finished with 46 rebounds and 26 steals which helped key the offense. The chemistry on Stanfield's senior-laden squad was evident, especially during a 17-2 run stretching from midway through the third quarter to deep into the final period.
"The first couple of quarters we didn't have so much communication. The next couple of quarters it kind of all came together. We started hustling, driving it in more," said senior guard Kameron Watson. "As a senior, I think I've grown up a lot with the younger kids. We've all kind of grown together.?We respect each other, know how to play with each other and get along really well."