Class 5A Abilene outscored 3A Stephenville by 20 points at the free throw line and defeated the Yellow Jackets 58-46 in the season opener for both teams at Gandy Gym Tuesday night.
The Eagles were 26-37 from the charity stripe while Stephenville was just 6-12.
Stephenville, which was led by Grayson Sweet with 15 points and Arbnor Kelmendi with 11, grabbed an early 9-2 lead thanks to nine straight points after Abilene poured in the first bucket on its opening possession. It was 9-5 after the first.
The Wildcats scored 12 times from the charity stripe in the second quarter and jumped ahead 26-25 at the break, and the lead was back and forth early in the third before AHS hit 14 more from the line to pull away in the fourth.
Stephenville acutally made 18 field goals to Abilene’s 14, but turnovers were also a problem for the Yellow Jackets, who are shorthanded while a handful of varsity players are still playing football.
Malik Taylor had nine for Stephenville, Will Holland added five, Juder Stidham had three to go with two crowd-pleasing blocked shots, Josh Hicks had two and Colby Brandon knocked down one.
Stephenville will see another 5A foe on Saturday when the Jackets visit San Angelo Central at 2:30 p.m.