Stephenville's boys didn't win Friday night. They did, however, make a statement against one of the state's top-ranked teams.
Unbeaten and second-ranked Kennedale (18-0) led the Yellow Jackets (2-9) by just five points entering the fourth quarter, as Stephenville showed immediate improvement with the arrival of players from its football team that was eliminated in the 3A Division I semifinals six days prior.
Football imports accounted for 43 points in the 61-48 loss. Kennedale led 40-35 entering the fourth.
"It was a good outing," said Stephenville head coach Jonathan Normand. "We just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter against a very talented team."
Kennedale, which reached the regional tournament last season, outscored Stephenville 21-13 in the fourth quarter to make up the final margin.
The Jackets rode 18 points from Grayson Sweet and 13 from from B.J. Walker. Malik Taylor scored seven and Tyler Isham five. All four players hit the hardwood this week after the completion of the Jackets' football campaign.
Will Holland scored three points and Colby Brandon two for Stephenville, which returns to action in the Whataburger Basketball Tournament Thursday-Saturday.
The Jackets still do not have their full roster available and won't for some time. Junior Jarrett Stidham injured a hamstring playing quarterback and won't be available for at least three to four weeks, Normand reported. Senior Mookie Carlile has had his hand in a cast because of a broken finger and will be out another week. Senior Brandon Stevens is also injured and is out "a few more weeks."