By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (December 8, 2015) — Aledo built a narrow lead early on and made it stand despite several Stephenville rallies, edging the Yellow Jackets 41-37 at Gandy Gym Tuesday evening.
The Bearcats began the second half on a 7-1 run for a 29-21 lead early in the third quarter. It was 31-23 before five straight points by post players Zoey Kendall and Josh Nowell helped Stephenville cut it to 33-30 entering the fourth.
A pair of Brown free throws pulled the Jackets within 35-34 with 4:16 left in the game, but they need got over the top. Mason Holstein made it a one-point game with a layup off a backdoor cut, and after another Aledo basket Kendall hit one of two free throws to narrow the margin to 39-37.
Darian Brown got a steal and Stephenville had a chance to tie it up just before the one-minute mark, but after the Jackets missed their own missed free throw and got the offensive rebound, Aledo stole the ball away in the paint and made it a 3-point game with a free throw at the other end.
Stephenville had two good looks at game-tying 3-pointers in the final seconds, but each missed the mark, and Aledo, after corralling its biggest defensive rebound of the game, hit one final free throw to put it out of reach.
Kendall scored 11 to lead Stephenville, while Coby Vanden Berge added 10. Brown scored seven, Nowell and Holstein each had three and Cameron Frazier netted two. Stephenville is in the Glen Rose Lions Club Tournament beginning Thursday. They face Midlothian Heritage in a rematch at 1 p.m. and Lorena at 7 p.m.
Stephenville scored the final six points of the first half to trail by just two at intermission. Brown hit a left wing 3-pointer on a kick out pass from Zoey Kendall, then Cameron Frazier knocked down a transition two through contact and added the free throw to get within 22-20.
Aledo missed a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to ensure Stephenville kept the momentum it had just wrestled away from the Bearcats. Aledo led 22-14 after outscoring the Yellow Jackets 13-5 over the first six-plus minutes of the second.
Stephenville scored the first five points with Kendall hitting a right corner 3-pointer and Vanden Berge knocking down a bucket in the paint, but Aledo scored the next seven to grab its first lead at the two-minute mark of the first. The quarter ultimately ended in a 9-9 after the second hoop by Vanden Berge.