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U-Prep boys knock off Anderson 58-39 despite slow start

U-Prep senior Tanner Stephens, pictured in December, scored a game-high 21 points in Tuesday night's win over Anderson. (FILE -- Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)

ANDERSON — Sometimes shots aren’t going to fall and mistakes are going to happen, but it’s about staying focused and sticking to what you know. 

That’s what the University Prep boys basketball team did Tuesday night as they shook off a dismal first half and knocked off Anderson 58-39.

After a lopsided loss to Pleasant Valley Saturday, the Panthers knew they were capable of being a better team than they showed last week. 

“I think we were a little tentative, we were a little unsure the first half, not taking care of the ball,” said U-Prep coach Mark Stephens. “I think we missed some point blank shots (in the 1st half) that would normally go in.

“In the second half we got a run going and guys got their confidence scoring the basketball.”

A quick corner 3-ball from Daman Randhawa in the opening moments of the first quarter led to a 14-8 U-Prep advantage, although Anderson would counter by outscoring U-Prep 10-4 in the second quarter to even the game at 18-18 heading into the break. 

Trevor Jones’ right wing 3-pointer, followed by Logan Hawes’ pair of free-throws, a layup from Jones, and a turnover converted into a layup by Randhawa propelled the Panthers to a 9-0 run to start the third. It forced Cubs’ head coach Brian Long to call a timeout to talk with his team. Out of the timeout U-Preps’ Tanner Stephens started to find his rhythm beating his defender off the dribble for a right handed layup, followed by a 3 in the eye of his defender from the wing. 

Anderson still remained energized keeping the lead within single digits as they cut a 12-point third-quarter lead to just five with 5 minutes remaining in the game. U-Prep didn’t allow Anderson to get any closer than that as they finished the game outscoring the Cubs 18-4.

“We came into the locker room at halftime and talked about what we were doing wrong. In the second half we came out and settled and really executed our plays well.” said Tanner Stephens who led all scorers with 21.

Anderson falls to 9-9, 0-2 NAL and travel to Yreka to play the miners on Friday night. Meanwhile, U-Prep improves to 12-7. 2-0 NAL and host West Valley Thursday, which the Panthers beat in the D-IV Section Championship last year.

“The energy was there, but we lacked focus for a full four quarters,” said Anderson head coach Brian Long. “We need to be more focused.”

U-Prep 14-4-19-21–58
Anderson 8-10-12-8–39
U-Prep (12-7, 2-0 NAL): Stephens 21, Hawes 15,  Jones 7, Randhawa 5, Lipman 3. Lanning 2.
Anderson (9-9, 0-2 NAL): Teague 14, Armstrong 7, Ryan 6, Brophy 4, Wilson 2.
3-Pointers–Anderson 2 (Teague) U-Prep 4 (Stephens 2, Randhawa, Jones)

Max is a young up-and-coming journalist who carries shares a die-hard passion for sports with the rest of the SCS team and has loved sports ever since he can remember. He's covered Northern Section championship football and basketball games as well as state playoffs games in his first year as a reporter for SCS. Max is currently enrolled at Shasta College and is working toward his Bachelors Degree in journalism.

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