The Conference 2A Northland Prep Spartans opened their Central Region schedule with a 37-26 road victory over the Glendale Prep Griffins on Tuesday.
Drew Gibson went 3 for 4 from 3-point range on the way to recording 12 points in the low-scoring affair for the Spartans, who used a strong defensive effort in the second half to pull away from the Griffins.
Cameron Larson and Brody Hibbert each tallied three steals in the second half, helping the Spartans hold the Griffins to a regular-season-low 26 points. Northland Prep ended the night with 10 total steals.
Adam Nicol asserted himself around the rim more in the second half and ended up with 12 rebounds for the Spartans, who took control of the game thanks to outscoring the Griffins 12-3 in the third quarter after deciding to use a half-court press out of the break.
Northland Prep won the rebound battle, 34-23, on the way to handing the Griffins their third straight loss.
Larson had 10 points, and the Spartans held their opponent to 27 percent shooting on the way to improving their regular-season record to 5-3. The Griffins, last year's runner-up for the region title, fell to 5-3 after opening their region slate with the loss.
The season continues for the 22nd-ranked Spartans Friday when they end a stretch of four away games with a tough test against No. 2 Paradise Honors in Phoenix. Paradise Honors is the reigning region champion.
Playing their first regular-season game since Dec. 11, the Flagstaff Eagles suffered a 5-0 loss to the Greenway Demons on Wednesday in Phoenix in a Conference 4A match.
The Eagles fell to 3-2-1 and have not had a victory in their last three games, with a tie coming against Shadow Mountain on Dec. 8 before hitting their current two-game skid.
Flagstaff will look to get back in the win column when they host the Lee Williams Volunteers for a Grand Canyon Region game that starts at 3 p.m. today.