Union’s Jace Phillips, right, drives to the basket Friday past Stanfield’s Hobtamu Hurty during a Blue Mountain Conference basketball game. 

UNION — Odin Miller has been preaching mental toughness to his Union Bobcats.

The Union head coach said they showed it Friday in how they countered every run by the visiting Stanfield Tigers.

Keegan Glenn scored a game-high 21 points, Cole McLean had 14 points, and the Bobcats earned a 57-42 home win in Blue Mountain Conference play.

"That is a huge thing for us. We’re trying to work on our mental strength and mental discipline,” Miller said. “For us to be able to respond to their runs is a huge, huge asset to our growth.” 

Cole McLean scored 14 points and Jace Phillips added 12 for the Bobcats, including three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help give Union an 11-2 lead. Union, which never trailed, went on to lead by as much as 13 points in the first quarter, held a 10-point lead after one and led by double figures most of the night. 

“A total team effort I would say,” Miller said. “Stanfield came out and wanted to take Keegan away with a couple jump defenses. Our other guys stepped up. They just simply wouldn't be denied. The team was hungry for a victory and they did whatever it took.”

The Bobcats built as much as a 17-point lead in the contest and were never truly threatened by the Tigers, even when Stanfield did go on a run.

Stanfield cut the deficit to eight on five separate occasions after the first quarter and used a 9-2 run in the fourth to get within 48-39 on a Mario Sanchez steal and layup with 5:18 to play. But the Bobcats responded with an 8-2 run, getting a pair of baskets inside from McLean during the rally, to ice the game.

“A lot of guys stepped up and gave us big minutes,” Phillips, who scored all 12 of his points in the first 11 minutes of the game, said. “That was really key and crucial, definitely was big to see.”

Phillips added the Bobcats were able to stay “calm, collected and cool” whenever Stanfield made a push to cut into the deficit, and that enabled them to respond.

“That was just us keeping our composure like (Miller) always preaches to us,” he said. “That’s what we've been working on all year and it was good to see that out of us today.”

Also Friday

La Grande 62, Ontario 48: Cristian Mendoza scored 17 points Friday to lead three players in double figures as the Tigers moved to 2-0 in Greater Oregon League play with a win at Ontario.

Devin Bell added 16 points and hit four 3-pointers for La Grande, and Justin Jenner added 11 points. The Tigers took an early advantage and stayed ahead throughout the contest. 

Ontario was led by a 24-point night by Bradley Nielson.

The Tigers (3-10 overall, 2-0 GOL) host McLoughlin Friday 

Heppner 57, Enterprise 29: The Mustangs pulled away from Enterprise after a close first quarter to earn a win in Blue Mountain Conference play.

The Outlaws trailed just 16-12 after one quarter, but they scored only six points in the second and third quarters combined. The deficit grew to 16 at halftime and 44-18 after three.

Foster Hobbs scored six points to lead Enterprise, and Jericho Peters added five points.

Powder Valley 74, Wallowa 61: Reece Dixon scored 17 points to lead a balanced offensive attack for the Badgers as they secured a road win in Old Oregon League play.

Dixon was one of five Badgers in double figures. Dominick Grende scored 16 points, Roper Bingham had 15, Ethan Stephens added 14, and Moziss Nesser scored 10. 

Quinten Tillery led the Cougars with 16 points. Kolby Mandal had 15 points, and Tristin Bales scored 14. 

Imbler 39, Griswold 30: The Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter Friday to earn their second Old Oregon League victory.

Imbler had just a 27-26 lead after three quarters but held the Grizzlies down on defense and scored timely baskets to put away Griswold.

Jayce Burnette scored 12 points to lead the Panthers. Isaac Herron added 11, and Wyatt Frost had nine.

Nixyaawii 103, Cove 28: The Golden Eagles scored more than 100 points for the second time in school history in an Old Oregon League home win over the Leopards.

Tyasin Burns scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter as the Golden Eagles soared to a 35-6 lead. 

Nixyaawii led 57-12 at the half as Cove had no answers for the hot-shooting Golden Eagles.

Mick Schimmel added 19 points for Nixyaawii.

Caden Hall led the Leopards with eight points.

Annie Fowler of The East Oregonian contributed to this report.

East Region Sports Editor

Ronald's primary beats are Eastern Oregon University, La Grande High School and the other eight high schools of Union and Wallowa counties. As an avid sports fan, he is primarily reading about or watching sports when he isn't covering a game.

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