Stephenville’s return from the Christmas break looked more like a WWE wrestling match than a basketball game, and the Jackets body-slammed the Grandview Zebras 47-42 at Gandy Gym Tuesday.
“It was a tough game, and Grandview showed why they are ranked #12 in 3-A today,” Coach Kia McCarty said. “It got physical inside, and that’s something we feel plays into our game.”
Early on, Stephenville appeared to have a hangover from the Christmas break as the Jackets fell behind 13-8 after the first quarter, but kicked up the inside tempo to pull within 23-20 at the half.
“We did a whole lot better job against the zone taking care of the basketball,” McCarty said.
Grandview responded with a defense that created many free-throws for the Jackets, and Stephenville ended up with 25 points at the line.
When Stephenville got into the second half, the Jackets began to resemble the team that rang up 10 wins before the holiday break.
“We were able to get the ball to the middle, and we were able to find the runner down low and created small 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 situations,” McCarty said. “We did that instead of relying on outside shooting and took each possession like it was priceless.”
Consistent possessions put the Jackets on top 32-31 at the end of the fourth quarter, and 47-42 final represented Stephenville’s biggest lead of the game.
“The game had the potential to get rougher, but the guys kept their cool just like we were telling them during our timeouts,” McCarty said. “I am proud of the poise we showed as a team in keeping focused.”
Grayson Traweek led all scorers with 15 points and had the Jackets only three-pointers (3) of the day, while Aiden Espinoza had 9, Kelvin Ong 8, Kallen Kimbrough 7, Trace Morrison 4, Brady Morton 2 Kyle Styron 2.