Stanfield and Echo high schools kicked off basketball season in the area Wednesday night with both boys and girls varsity action in Stanfield.
The Tigers held off a late rally by Echo to win the boys game, 62-51, and the Cougars overcame an early deficit to walk away winners, 36-29.
In the boys game, Stanfield forward Quin Grogan owned the paint, pouring in 28 points and reeling in 10 rebounds. Taking advantage of a smaller Echo lineup, Stanfield cleaned up the offensive glass, earning 24 offensive rebounds.
Stanfield guard Devin Bailey chipped in 13 points for the Tigers.
Fueled by an effective full-court press, Stanfield raced out to an early lead and held it for most of the game, until the Cougs came storming back to tighten up the contest.
After Ray Harris hit a 3-pointer to keep Echo close late in second quarter, the Cougs mounted their comeback and were within two until Stanfield rallied to keep the lead.
The girls contest was tight the whole way through, but Echos defense came up huge to start the second half.
The Cougars were down 16-11 at halftime, but used an 11-2 third-quarter surge to take the lead.
In the latter portions, the game became a free throw contest of sorts, with Echo stepping to the line and hitting crucial shots. In contrast, Stanfield wasnt knocking down the charity shots, converting 8 of 22 attempts.
Echos Kirsten McCallum finished the game with a game-high 13 points, mosting coming off fastbreak layins and free throws. With Stanfield starting to rally, McCallum took care of that and rebounded her own missed shot, put it back up and was fouled.
She made a free throw to stretch the lead to 28-21, then Katelyn Elligsen provided the dagger with a layin off a fastbreak to give Echo a 30-21 lead with a little more than three minutes remaining.
Stanfields Katelynn Zabransky gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope with her bucket with 1:20 left, but the hill was too steep for the Tigers to climb.
Along with McCallums 13 points, Rachael Round chipped in nine for the Cougs. Emma Gabriel led the Tigers with nine points and eight rebounds.
Both schools have teams in action this weekend at the Echo Hoops Invitational, held at both Echo and Stanfield high schools. On the girls side, Echo takes on Irrigon at 3 p.m. in Echo today and Stanfield plays Wallowa at 3 p.m. in Stanfield.
The Stanfield boys also play Wallowa, which is set to start at 4:30 p.m. today. Echo will play Irrigon at 4:30 p.m. in Echo.