Grayson Traweek scored 35 points Tuesday night at Gandy Gym, but none were more important than the two straight three-pointers he nailed in overtime that gave Stephenville the cushion it needed to holdoff Burkburnett for an 81-75 win.
Trayweek’s night was big and included six shots from downtown, but Kallan Kimbrough hit the buzzer-beater, to get the Jackets into overtime with an offensive rebound and instantly leaving his feet to score with no time remaining.
Improving to 12-4 against the Bulldogs (8-6) was no easy task for Stephenville as Burkburnett’s full-court trapping defense created a slew of turnovers by the Jackets. If they weren’t losing the ball on traps, the Jackets were their own worst enemies pushing the ball too hard on their end of the court.
“Whenever you play teams that have the kind of athletic ability that Burkburnett has, there are going to positive runs and negative runs,” Coach Kia McCarty said. “As long as you don’t get too high with the highs and too low with the lows, you are going to play somewhere even-keel. I don’t like giving up 75 points, but we played through it.”
Despite the mishaps, Stephenville kept calm even when trailing by five points (64-59) with 3:30 left to play.
Even the distraction of a Bulldog fan’s ejection didn’t deter the Jackets from their task as Kimbrough netted a free throw and Trace Morrison beat the defense to the basket on a layup to make it 65-63.
Down to their last possession with less than six ticks on the clock, Kimbrough came through in the clutch, pulling down a rebound and scoring to send the game into overtime 65-65 with his bucket.
From that point on, the momentum swung the Jackets way as Traweek punched in two straight three-pointers (three free throws) and Brady Morton, Kimbrough, Tanner McCailey, and Aiden Espinoza added seven more to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Stephenville had doubled up on Burkburknett in the first quarter leading 14-7 before the Bulldogs mounted a comeback to lead 18-17 heading into the second frame. Traweek was hot-handed early, scoring 10 of the opening quarter’s points.
The Jackets were hampered in the first half by an apparent lack of foul calls and at one point had been whistled eight times, while the Bulldogs had been found guilty of only two indiscretions by the officiating crew.
Trailing 36-32 at the half, Stephenville got another spark from Trayweek, and he had his best quarter of the game with 11 points, and Espinoza popped in seven of his 15 points in the period. Most importantly, the Jackets won the quarter 20-18 and kept pace with the Bulldogs’ offensive juggernaut T.J. Newton who netted 31 points on the night.
While they got few calls that sent them to the free-throw, the Jackets took advantage in the fourth quarter with Kyle Styron, Kimbrough and Trayweek hitting 5-of-7.
“We are going to have to get better,” McCarty said. “We are going to be playing teams in our district that are very athletic. When those guys look at the tape, they will hang their heads a little because we pride ourselves on defensive rebounding, and that’s something we didn’t do tonight. We hang our hats on teams not being able to score, and we gave up some points tonight.”
The win sets up some positive momentum for the Jackets with their district opener against Lampasas set for next Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Badgers come in at 14-1, and District 6-4A has another team with a stellar record as Glen Rose’s Tiger are 16-2 on the year.