JACKSBORO — Stephenville’s boys basketball squad was the target of an all-out barrage of bombs Saturday as 7th-ranked Wichita Falls Hirschi hit 16 3-point baskets as they eliminated the Yellow Jackets from the Class 4A playoffs with an 85-48 area playoff victory at Jacksboro High School.
The loss ended the season for coach Bill Brooks’ Yellow Jackets at 14-15. They were the third-place team out of District 8-4A.
The 24-8 Huskies, the District 6-4A champion, advanced to the Region I quarterfinal round to take on 9th-ranked Abilene Wylie.
Skylar Stilwell was the top scorer in the game for the Jackets with 14 points. Blake Aragon added eight points and a team-high nine rebounds. Cody Storrs scored seven, while Braden Hayes and Mason Holstein contributed five points each.
The Huskies made 16 of 36 shots from 3-point range. That included 10 made in the second half, when they outscored the Jackets 50-30.
Brooks said the game plan going into the contest was to keep the Huskies out of the paint.
“They surprised us by hitting (16) 3-pointers,” Brooks said.
The Jackets had posted their first playoff win in five seasons in their previous outing, when they defeated Fort Worth Castleberry in the bi-district round of the playoffs, 60-56 in overtime. Brooks was an assistant coach for the Jackets the last time they won a postseason game.
“I’m proud of our season,” Brooks said. “They played really hard, and really well. This is a very coachable team. I’m going to miss our (five) seniors. They love the game, they dedicated themselves to it. They were fun to coach.
“Last year after we lost in the first round, we said that our goal was to win a playoff game. In the locker room after the game, they said their goal is to win two playoff games next year — not be satisfied with what they’ve done this year.”
Stilwell, a sophomore who led SHS in scoring this season with 14.2 points per game, also noted that the Jackets went into the contest with a winning attitude.
“We just wanted to play our game and treat them like everybody else,” Stilwell said. “I’m just proud of our team because this (season) was the first time in a while we’ve had a playoff win. I’m proud of our seniors, and how they carried the team, and they were leaders through it all.”
Holstein, one of the five seniors who will be lost to graduation, said, “We worked our butts off and didn’t quit. Even when we knew we weren’t going to win, we kept working.”
Holstein, a three-year starter, said making the playoffs made this season “very special.”
The other four seniors on the squad are Blake Aragon, Braden Hayes, Cole Pettit and Quade Griffin.
“This season was fun,” said Holstein, who recorded a team-high five assists Saturday. “All the guys are really good friends. Us five (seniors) have grown up together and played together. It’s a real honor playing with the same people."
The Jackets trailed Hirschi 21-8 at the close of the first quarter, and were down 35-18 at halftime.
But the Huskies came out with even more firepower in the third quarter, when they outscored the Jackets 27-14. Hirschi had a 23-16 scoring edge in the final quarter.
Hirschi enjoyed a 31-24 advantage in team rebounding, and forced 14 turnovers.
The Huskies shot 50 percent from the field overall, while limiting the Jackets to 36 percent.