By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (December 30, 2016) — Stephenville pulled away from Millsap down the stretch Friday, with a pair of transition dunks by Blake Aragon sandwiched around a Cole Pettit 3-pointer icing a 56-41 win at Gandy Gym.
Coby Vandenberg scored 13 points and Aragon 10 for Stephenville. They were at their best when Stephenville was stretching out its lead in the second half. Vandenberg put back his own miss for a 42-34 lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and the first Aragon steal and dunk made it 45-37 with 5:13 left. The second made it 52-41 before Vandenberg put it away with two foul shots for a 13-point margin with 2:56 remaining.
Cole Pettit buried a 3-pointer after the first Aragon dunk, opening up a 48-37 lead with 4:22 to go, and Millsap pulled within single digits only once over the last half of the fourth quarter.
Vandenberg scored back-to-back buckets in the paint to make it 30-25 in the third, and the lead grew to six on two occasions before a Millsap 3-pointer cut it to 37-34 with 25 seconds left in the period.
That was just the beginning of an entertaining end to the third, as Easton Jones tipped in an offensive rebound with three seconds left and Mason Holstein stole the ensuing inbound pass and was fouled going up at the buzzer. Holstein made one of two foul shots to make it 40-34 entering the fourth.
Clay Krause scored eight for Stephenville, Holstein netted seven, Will Beaty six, Pettit four, Jones four, Sid Davis two and Quade Griffin two.
Stephenville scored eight straight points in the first quarter and led 14-8 entering the second. Millsap used a couple 3-pointers to pull within one in the second quarter before Stephenville ultimately took a 25-23 edge into the intermission.