In Stephenville High School’s 2019-2020 boys basketball season opener Tuesday at Dublin, Skylar Stilwell pumped in 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets to an 84-59 victory.
As a team in that game, the Yellow Jackets shot 60 percent from the field.
Will Boyd and Calvin Darby each had seven rebounds, and teammate Kelvin Ong dished out six assists.
“The guys played a solid all-around basketball game,” Brooks said. “We handled their press well, did a good job of shooting, and took five charges.”
SHS reeled off 25 points in the opening period, taking a 19-point lead to stun the Lions. Stephenville led 44-19 at halftime and 63-30 entering the final quarter. Dublin outscored SHS 29-21 in the fourth quarter.
Brooks led the Yellow Jackets to a 10-18 record last season, when they placed third in the District 7-4A standings to qualify for the playoffs. They fell in the bi-district matchup against eighth-ranked Argyle.
This season there will be a nice mix of quickness and shooting ability, with six returning lettermen.
“We’re quick and athletic and we shoot the ball well,” said Brooks, entering his fifth season as SHS head coach after two years as the boys assistant. He notched six seasons as a boys basketball assistant at Class 5A Burleson.
Post players Brooks listed as being on the season-opening varsity squad are Calvin Darby, Will Boyd, Trace Morrison, Aidan Espinoza and Jamee Nelson. Guards include Kelvin Ong, Kyle Styron, Grayson Traweek and Skylar Stilwell, who was voted as the District 7-4A Offensive Player of the Year for last season. Guard/post players include Kendal Storrs and Sean Gooding.
Boyd, a senior, is the tallest member of this squad, at 6-4. But four others — seniors Stilwell, Storrs and Darby along with a junior, Espinoza, all stand 6-3.
Boyd, Nelson and Gooding are the other three seniors. Styron, Traweek, Ong, Morrison and Espinoza are juniors. Both Traweek and Morrison have not yet joined the squad because they are still involved in the football playoffs.
Boyd, Styron and Ong played on the junior varsity last season.
“I’ve been impressed with the guys coming up from the JV,” Brooks noted. “They fit in well. So I’m anxious to see them in game action.”
Brooks’ best season as a head coach was two years ago when the Jackets were eliminated in the area round by a strong Wichita Falls Hirschi squad.
In their two scrimmages, the Jackets won over both Weatherford and De Leon.
Brooks likes what he sees, because it’s clear the players love basketball enough to put in the necessary work.
“I feel like we’re further along now than we were at this point last year,” Brooks said. “They all love basketball. If you take a peek in the gym, anytime, you’re going to see those guys playing.”
Brooks indicated it should be competitive from top to bottom in the five-team District 7-4A race, featuring Brownwood, Glen Rose, Godley and Mineral Wells.
“The competition will be just like last year,” Brooks stated. “All five teams have their best players coming back.”
He noted that Brownwood is the defending champion, and a recently resurgent Glen Rose team claimed two wins over SHS.
“You always want to be the district champion, and you want to make a deep run in the playoffs,” Brooks said. “I’m excited to see what we can accomplish this season.”