The Stanfield Tigers came out against Pilot Rock on Tuesday with something to prove. They’d just lost to Irrigon over the weekend, a middle-of-the-pack team in the Blue Mountain Conference, and were feeling frustrated. And newly determined.
“After that Irrigon loss put us at two losses (in conference), we knew things needed to chance, if we wanted that league title,” Stanfield’s Devin Bailey said. “Man, we really wanted revenge in this game. So bad.”
The Tigers (13-6, 7-2 BMC) punished the Rockets (16-3, 9-2 BMC) in a 65-54 physical game that got Pilot Rock in hot water early. The Rockets defined the phrase foul trouble with 27 personal fouls in the game.
The Rockets fall a full game off the pace of Weston-McEwen (14-5, 9-1 BMC) in the league standings. Pilot Rock lost to the TigerScots a week ago and will travel to Athena to meet the team again on Friday. After hurting itself with the loss to Irrigon, Stanfield remains in the hunt in third place.
Pilot Rock kept the score close, even tying things at 37-37 at the end of the third quarter while Thorne and Bowie were out of the game. The credit there goes to the role players filling in, like Tanner Doherty and his eight points off the bench.
“Frankly, our two guys that played in their place did a better job tonight,” Pilot Rock coach Doug Baxter said.
The inside game of Stanfield dominated with two of the Rockets’ tallest players missing as Tiger post Koty Kamm scored 18 points and collected nine rebounds.
“This was the first game (this season) we were relentless all game long; we haven’t had that yet,” Kamm said. “When our team is clicking, I think we’re pretty hard to stop.”
Pilot Rock had a decent night shooting the ball but couldn’t make up for the free points they gave away at the line. Tyler Simmons scored 16 points while running point guard and playing in every minute of the contest. Logan Thorne put up double-double numbers despite his partial game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Stanfield scored almost a third of its total points at the free throw line, where Bailey got nine of his 19 points for the game. The Tigers attempted 35 foul shots.