By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 13, 2017) — Blake Aragon completed a 17-point performance with his biggest bucket of the night, rising above traffic for a one-handed floater for the final lead change with 44 seconds left in a 57-56 Stephenville win over Godley Friday evening at Gandy Gym.
“We have a couple lobs against zones, and they hadn’t stopped that one yet,” said second-year Stpehenville head coach Bill Brooks. “We thought, no reason not to go back to it again and it worked.”
The Yellow Jackets earned a stop, missed the front end of a one-and-one and then survived a shot just before the buzzer to hold on in the 8-4A district clash on Coaches for the Cure Night at Gandy Gym.
“Blake blocked a shot, and I teach my guys to stay on the floor and the only time you try to block a shot is from the help side,” Brooks explained. “That’s exactly what Blake did, and it was a big play for us.”
Behind Aragon, Cody Vandenberg scored 15 for Stephenville including two free throws to break up a 6-0 Godley run and bring the Jackets within one, 48-47, with 5:22 left. But the senior post’s biggest play came 42 seconds later, after a Godley bucket to push its lead back to three.
Vandenberg drew contact while powering toward the basket and banked in the shot with the foul from the right block, then buried the ensuing free throw for a 3-point play and 50-50 tie with 4:40 to go. Senior guard Mason Holstein followed the next Godley basket with a right wing 3-pointer for a 53-52 Jacket edge, but the Wildcats did the same thing from almost the same spot on the other end to move back in front, 55-53.
But Vandenberg, who scored seven in the final 5:30, banked in another one to tie the game with 1:50 left. Godley used a free throw to grab its final advantage, but the Jackets went to Aragon and the junior post delivered, as he had much of the night, in the most clutch of situations.
The Jackets’ big night in the paint was just enough to fend off the 11 3-pointers buried by Godley, including four by Bobby Goodloe, who led everyone with 24 points. But Goodloe couldn’t get loose around the arc in the fourth quarter, when the Wildcats hit just one 3-pointer and the Jackets came back for the win.
Coming back was what both teams had to do throughout the contest, which left Stephenville alongside Alvarado in a tie for third with one game remaining in the first of two loops through 8-4A. The Jackets host second-place Waxahachie Life about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday following a girls contest at about 6:15.
Stephenville led 14-9 before Godley buried a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first, then the Wildcats knocked down four triples including one from about 35 feet straightway from the basket at the buzzer to draw even, 30-30 at intermission.
Aragon scored four in the early moments of the third as the Jackets jumped on top 36-32, and a transition 3 by Cole Pettit made it 42-36 before Godley’s strongest run of the night. The Wildcats scored six of the last nine to trail by just three entering the fourth, and it was ultimately a 12-3 run before the Jackets answered.
Godley scored the first six points of the final stanza and was ahead 48-45 before Vandenberg took over and Aragon provided the winner. Stephenville outscored Godley 15-11 over the last four minutes of the nail biter.
Clay Krause was also in double figures with 11 for Stephenville, which picked up nine from Mason Holstein, three from Cole Pettit and two from Merit Holstein.