It has to be a thrill anytime 2 kids who are brothers get to play on the same high school basketball team. It must be even better when those 2 brothers both start, they combine for 46 points in the same game and they lead their team to a blowout victory over a a squad that some were thinking would be a top 5 team in the division.
That's exactly what happened on Wednesday evening at Epping High School. Junior Frank Stanley had 25 points and his younger brother Jimmy Stanley dropped 19. Epping only led 26-25 at halftime, but they went on a 12-0 run in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Sunapee 27-10 in the 3rd stanza. The Blue Devils built up a 63-38 4th quarter lead, and they notched an impressive 63-41 win in Division IV boys basketball action.
"I'm not sure if they could play any better than that" said Sunapee head coach Ed Tenney. "I've been doing this for 21 years and I've never seen a team play better than that, on both offense and defense."
Epping was able to really get out on the break and run in the 3rd quarter. They are a team that is very quick, very athletic and they make the extra pass to set each other up for easy baskets. The Stanley brothers and Jacob West give the Blue Devils 3 of the more athletic players in D-IV. The scary thing is Jimmy Stanley and West are only sophomores while Frank Stanley is only a junior. The other 2 starters for Epping were also solid contributors in junior Brandon Carleton and senior Paul Holmes.
"Everyone moved well without the ball" said Frank Stanley. "It was a good team effort."
In that 3rd quarter Epping was able to do a better job of slowing down Sunapee's 2 big scoring threats, senior guards Brian Brewster and Troy Fowler. Brewster and Fowler are a very tough duo to contain. They can both hit threes like they're layups and they can also take it the rim and rebound inside. Brewster ended up with 13 points and Fowler had 11, but I'm guessing this duo will put up some much bigger numbers on other opponents as the season goes on.
"Our team is all about defense" said Jimmy Stanley. "When we play good defense our offense just flows from there."
Holmes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer from 6 feet behind the three-point line, which sent the crowd into a frenzy with Epping taking a 53-35 lead. Then to start the 4th quarter the Stanley brothers got going once again, combining for 6 quick points to push the lead to 59-35 with 5 minutes left in the game - the route was on.
Sunapee is a team loaded with seniors. Brewster and Lawson are both seniors, their other main scorer TJ Walcholz is also a senior, as well as other key players Cameron Manson, Kieren O'Brien and Brett Simpson who are all seniors as well. Many expect them to be a top 5 or 6 team in D-IV this season, so the fact that such a young Epping team beat them by so much makes it a statement win for the Blue Devils. The rest of D-IV will now have to really watch out for this fast-brekaing, high-flying Epping team.
"This was a huge step forward for our guys" said Epping head coach Tim Sullivan. "We've been talking all year about playing a full 32 minutes of basketball, and tonight we did it."
The Stanley briothers have good size and athleticism. They can run, they crash the boards and they can finish well inside, even through contact. This Epping team isn't terribly big, but the Stanleys and West can all really jump which allows them to grab boards over taller players.
"This was definitely a statement win" said Jimmy Stanley. "We've been playing together with this group since elementary school."