By BRAD KEITH
DUBLIN (November 28, 2017) — Skylar Stilwell exploded for 25 second-half points including seven during the final two minutes when Stephenville scored nine unanswered to knock off Dublin in a 78-74 thriller played in front of a fired-up crowd filling the home side almost to capacity.
Stilwell scored 13 of the 16 Yellow Jacket points in the fourth quarter, hitting all five of the team’s field goals, two of them 3-point shots. He kept the Jackets in the game with six of their first seven points in the period, then made sure they won it down the stretch.
Stilwell efficiency was off the chart at 12-14 including 2-4 from the arc. He also collected seven rebound and swiped two steals.
Dublin seemed despite an already impressive second half performance by Stilwell. Rayce Jackson scored the final five of his 29 points over the initial six minutes of the fourth, when Dublin used a 12-4 run to lead 74-69 with two minutes remaining.
The Lions began the fourth quarter down three because of the highest-scoring stanza of the season by the Yellow Jacket, who poured in 28 in the third, 12 of them by Stilwell.
All that after the lead went back and forth in the first half, Dublin finally securing it at the midway point of the second quarter. The margin was just one before the Lions scored the final four to lead 39-34 at halftime.
Jackson also grabbed 10 boards for the game’s only double-double. He filled out the stat sheet with four steals and two blocked shots. Sophomore Angelo Ramirez was another stat stuffer for the Lions with 11 points, six rebounds – all offensive – six assists and four steals all while committing just one turnover.
Dublin committed 20 turnovers but also had 20 assists, 10 of those by Tim Teten. The Lions had 19 steals, pushing Stephenville to 27 turnovers, but the Jackets owned the backboards 40-32, with each team collecting more rebounds offensively than defensively.
The fast-paced Lions attempted 81 shots, Stephenville just 45. But Dublin shot just 33 percent while the visiting Yellow Jackets were a blistering 65 percent.
The Lions attempted 50 3-pointers, hitting just 20 percent to score 30 points from the arc. The Yellow Jackets were a more conservative 3-9 with two being knocked down by Stilwell and the other by Braden Hayes, who scored 14 while Mason Holstein added 10.
The large home crowd, fewer but equally animated visitors and student sections roaring back and forth at one another presented a playoff style top seeds.
Stephenville 78, Dublin 74
SHS 12 22 28 16 – 78
DHS 15 24 20 15 – 74
SHS 29-45 FG, 3-9 3ptFG, 17-27 Fs
DHS 27-81 FG, 10-50 3ptFG,, 7-10 FTs
Stephenville – Skylar Stilwell 31, Braden Hayes 14, Mason Holsten 10, Mason Castleberry 8, Chase Griffin 7, Quade Griffin 3, Calvin darby 2, Kaelean Dijulio Dublin – Rayce Jackson 29, Angel Ramirez 11, Jakob Seals 10, Blake Porter 8, Josh Hanes 7, Tim Teten 3, Jeremiah Martinez 2.