For the first time in five years, the Stephenville High School boys basketball team recorded a playoff victory when the Yellow Jackets defeated Fort Worth Castleberry 60-56 in overtime Tuesday in Brock.
The Class 4A bi-district playoff win sends the Yellow Jackets (14-14 on the season) into the area playoff round against seventh-ranked Wichita Falls Hirschi (23-8). That matchup is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jacksboro High School.
Bill Brooks, in his third season as SHS head coach, was an assistant coach on the school’s last playoff squad five years ago. That Yellow Jacket squad defeated Hirschi in the third round of the playoffs on the way to making it to the regional final.
Skylar Stilwell and Mason Holstein led SHS in scoring in the win over Castleberry, with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Three other Yellow Jackets — Cody Storrs, Cole Pettit and Blake Aragon — added six points each.
The Yellow Jackets trailed Castleberry by four points with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter, but tied it at 53 to force the extra period. SHS did take a shot near the end of regulation that would have ended the game, but missed.
Stephenville then outscored the Lions 7-3 in overtime, despite the fact that Holstein and Pettit both fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
“They all played real well. They did what they were supposed to do,” Brooks said of the Jackets’ performance. "They made their free throws, played good defense and got rebounds. They’re excited. They’re just fired up that they won.”
The Jackets continued to shoot well from the field as a team overall, making 22 of 37 shots for 59 percent. Castleberry hit just 41 percent (19 of 46).
Brooks noted that the Lions got a combined 40 points from their two starting guards.
Stephenville outscored the Lions 19-17 in the opening quarter, but Castleberry had a 15-13 edge in the second quarter and a 16-3 margin in the third. The scoring pace slowed in the fourth quarter, when the Jackets outscored the Lions 8-5.
The Jackets had a 30-19 advantage in rebounding, getting seven boards from Braden Hayes, and six each from Aragon and Stilwell. Holstein added three steals and three assists.
Against Hirschi, the Yellow Jackets will be without Quade Griffin. He will be in San Antonio competing in the state ag competition with a project, Brooks said.
The winner of the SHS-Hirschi contest will advance to the regional quarterfinals against either ninth-ranked Abilene Wylie (29-3) or No. 13 Waxahachie Life School (31-7).
Brooks said that Hirschi’s team is comparable to Life School, which was the runner-up in Stephenville’s District 8-4A alignment behind Midlothian Heritage.
“We’ll have to play good defense, and we’ve got to be able to continue to make our shots,” Brooks said.