By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (December 1, 2015) — Easton Jones hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute remaining, and the Stephenville advantage swelled to four on a pair of Darian Brown free throws at the nine-second mark as the Yellow Jackets held on, 60-59, despite a 3-pointer at the buzzer by host Whitney Tuesday evening.
Brown led Stephenville with 17 points while Coby Vanden Berge added 16. Josh Nowell scored nine in the paint and Jones added seven.
Stephenville trailed 49-41 after three quarters, but quickly got within two thanks to baskets on three straight possessions with stops in between to begin the fourth.
“We just played a lot better in the fourth quarter than we did the rest of the night,” said first-year Stephenville head coach Bill Brooks, whose club outscored Whtiney 19-10 in the fourth. “We just made the plays and got the stops we needed in the end.”
The Yellow Jackets have won three of their first four games under Brooks, and each have been within four points. They defeated Gatesville by four, lost to Burleson by three and beat Springtown and Whitney each by one.
Whitney hit seven 3-pointers before intermission, but Brown scored nine points in the second quarter to keep Stephenville within two, 34-32 at halftime. The Yellow Jackets went cold in the third, scoring just nine points to fall behind eight.
Whitney started fast with 22 points in the first quarter, but failed to score more tun 15 in any period the rest of the night.
Rett Dittfurth had four points, Mason Holtein three and Zoey Kendall two for Stephenville, which competes next in tournament play in Lake Worth. The three team pools pit Stephenville against Midlothian Heritage on Thursday and Fort Worth Nolan Catholic on Friday. Pool results will determine the brackets for Saturday.