By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 30, 2016) — Blake Aragon scored 22 points, none bigger than six straight during a 14-0 run in overtime as Stephenville turned back neighbor Dublin, 90-81, at Gandy Gym Tuesday night.
Stephenville (2-2) had to fight off 28 points by Dublin senior Brady Moore and 11 Lion 3-pointers including one for a 77-74 lead in the opening seconds of overtime.
The Lions (1-1) led 78-76 before Aragon scored six straight for the Yellow Jackets, then Easton Jones scored six of the next eight – separated by a pair of Cole Pettit free throws – to make it 90-78. Jones finished with 17 points, as did Dublin’s Jeremiah Martinez, who hit the right corner 3 to begin overtime.
Clay Krause began the decisive Stephenville run and brought the Jackets within one with a pair of free throws, fitting as the Jackets were 33-45 from the line. Dublin was 20-33 as they combined to attempt 78 foul shots.
Aragon, who already had a pair of two-handed slams during regulation, took over the for the next 90 seconds, scoring on a layup with an assist from Krause, a put back following an offensive rebound and two free throws after stealing the ball and being fouled as he went up in transition. His foul shots made it 82-78 Stephenville lead with 2:23 to go.
Jones scored a fast break layup with 2:07 on the clock, and after Mason Holstein blocked a shot at the other end, Jones went on the attack and was fouled with 1:52 to play. He hit both, and it was suddenly 86-78.
Pettit was fouled following another Stephenville steal, and he, too, enjoyed a perfect trip to the stripe. Aragon then blocked a shot, Jones was fouled and two more free throws went through as the Jackets were a perfect 10-10 from the line in overtime.
Holstein scored 12 including an important seven during the fourth quarter. Coby Vandenberg also netted 12 for Stephenville before fouling out late in regulation. Rayce Jackson fouled out early in the overtime period after scoring 11 for Dublin.
Both teams had to come from behind in regulation. Dublin had to do it twice.
Stephenville led 73-65 following a Holstein 3 and a put back by Vandenberg with a little more than three minutes to play, but the Lions responded with a left-corner 3 by Martinez and an immediate timeout with 2:48 remaining.
Jackson banked in a transition layup after Dublin won a scrum for a 50-50 ball, then Jones made one of two free throws to make it 74-70 Stephenville. That would turn out to be the final point the Jackets would score in regulation.
Dublin cut its deficit in half on a pair of free throws by Moore, then tied the game on one of the crazier plays in a game full of them. A long Stephenville inbound pass ricocheted off the head of a Yellow Jacket and was scooped up by Dublin, setting up another Jackson transition layup to make it 74-74.
When Stephenville came up empty and Dublin got the ball back, the Lions were able to stall out most of the final 75 seconds. Stephenville was content to apply little to no pressure in half court defense, and Dublin protected the ball until second-year head coach Will Parker called timeout with 13 seconds to go.
It was all for naught, as a charging call gave the ball back to Stephenville with five seconds left, only for Jones to miss on a buzzer beater from just inside half court.
Stephenville found itself trailing 54-47 midway through the third and began to come back after a timeout by then-frustrated second-year head coach Bill Brooks. That was after Dublin overcame a 25-4 deficit to begin the game. Everything went Stephenville’s way early, as Dublin’s uptempo approach seemed to play right into the Yellow Jackets’ hands.
But the Lions began to cut into the big deficit by scoring six of the final eight in the first, bringing the score to 27-10 entering the second,when they really caught fire. Five players combined for five 3-pointers as the Lions scored 32 points in the second quarter, closing the gap all the way to 44-43 at halftime.
The first lead for Dublin was 47-44 after a 3 by Josh Hanes early in the third quarter.
For Stephenville, Pettit scored six and Krause added five. Kai Williams, Merit Holstein, Will Beaty and Brayden Hayes each netted four. The Jackets are competing in the Brock Showcase Thursday through Saturday.
For Dublin, Tim Teten netted eight, Hanes six and Gabe Garcia three. Brayden Burleson, Tyshon Hopkins and Blake Porter each scored two. The Lions are home this weekend for the Dublin Athletic Booster Club Tournament.