Eastern Arizona Junior College's top-rated returning 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore guard Taylor Stafford is coming off an excellent freshman season for his college program - garnering numerous post-season honors as a result of his freshman performance. On Tuesday evening, Stafford led his program to a big road win over host Glendale Junior College, 81-77 - pouring in a game-high 27 points in the victory.
For Glendale Community College and head coach Damin Lopez, this season is the Gauchos best chance to win the league since 2004 when former head coach Howard Brown would lead the program to a strong season - being selected for both the Region I and District I Coach of the Year for the 2003-04 season. The Gauchos have much better talent this season than year's past - led by the play of ultra-talented 6-foot-5 sophomore wing Ronald March, who is as good a prospect as there is in the conference this season. While very talented this season, March and the Gauchos will need to prove that they can defeat the conference's top programs this season. With Eastern Arizona as one of the top programs in the conference, Tuesday night's action would be fierce and the game would be a measuring stick for the Lopez group.
Glendale would hang in the game all evening, behind the play of March, who would finish with 20 points in the loss, while 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard Anthony Hendrix would finish with a team-high 24 points in the loss.
Stafford would lead the way for Eastern Arizona with a game-high 27 points, including numerous key baskets down the stretch, and also a strong showing from the free-throw line, as he would draw numerous fouls from opposing guards for Glendale.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Stafford led the Gila Monsters to a 20-win season as a freshman, and was selected as a Third Team All-American, Freshman of the Year in the ACCAC, and as a First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference selection in the ACCAC last season.
6-foot-1 sophomore guard Dom Hunter would also finish with 18 points in the victory for Eastern, while 6-foot-8 freshman post Tre Vance would score 13 points and 5-foot-8 sophomore point guard DJuan Miller would contribute 12points.