Stafford holds on to beat Brooke Point

By THOMAS C. DOZIER

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STAFFORD — The Brooke Point-Stafford boys basketball seems to always come down to the wire.

On Tuesday night at Stafford High School, it was no exception as the two teams were forced into overtime before deciding a winner.

Stafford center Cole Arnett pick this county showdown to have his finest performance of the season and with help from a trio of guards lifted the Indians to the 66-64 over the visiting Black-Hawks in the Commonwealth District.

Those guards — Steve Miller, Kevin Edwards and Jahmil Cobb — were the perfect complement for Arnett’s breakout game.

Plus, it was a good thing for Stafford since it lost its other big man, Brian Tyson, from the team because of academics.

Arnett, a 6-6 junior who has been a starter since his freshman year, pulled off a double-double in one of the most important games of the season. On the night, the slender center had 17 points, with 15 coming in the second half and OT, and he hauled down 12 rebounds.

“I knew going into the game it was going to be important for me to get on the boards,” Arnett said. “This was a game of two great teams and Brooke Point comes right at you. Therefore, with Brian gone, I knew I would have to step up.

“And when Steve Miller and Kevin Edwards start getting hot that kind of opens things up for me inside.”

It was Arnett’s put back and free throw with 18.3 seconds left in regulation that gave the home team a one-point lead at 56-55. After hitting two more free throws, Arnett had apparently sealed the victory for the Indians with little time left for the visitors. However, Brooke Point’s Eric Tate drained a 3-pointer from the deep left side with 2.7 seconds left to tie the game at 58-58 in regulation and forced the OT.

In the OT, after Brooke Point opened the extra period with a turnaround jumper by Bernard Grimsley (nine points), Arnett got loose on the inside for the first basket by Stafford on a feed from Edwards to tie the game. Edwards hit the front end of a one-on-one for the one-point lead, and after two missed free throws from both teams, Edwards added a pair of free throws for the 63-60 lead. The Indians followed with free throws by Steve Miller (two) and Brian Anderson and closed the deal before Julian Borders had the tap-in at the buzzer for the final margin.

In the end, Miller matched his season-high with 26 points, including five 3-pointers while Edwards, who got sick at halftime and did not return until late in the third quarter, finished with nine points and a season-high 12 assists.

The Black-Hawks opened a lead of nine points midway through the third quarter by riding the strength of their overall quickness. But when Edwards reenter with 1:36 left in the third quarter, the Indians especially Miller, who had eight points in the first half, got re-energized.

“Basically we just don’t get down on ourselves,” Miller said. “We never really lose focus on what is going on the floor. They are a tremendously fast team and they will tire you out. So with Kevin not being out there they were giving us some problems.

“But when Kevin returned in the third quarter it gives us another player they have to focus on.”

Not to mention, the backcourt duo, thrives on playing together.

Point in fact, when Edwards returned, the Indians wiped out the nine point deficit and took a one-point lead in less than five minutes with Miller hitting for 10 points and Edwards dishing four assist and hauling down four rebounds during that span.

Tim Pedersen paced the Black-Hawks with 17 points while Borders added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

GIRLS BASKETBall

STAFFORD 51, BROOKE POINT 19: Hanna Taylor had 10 points and seven rebounds Tuesday night to lead first-place Stafford to a 51-19 Commonwealth District victory over Brooke Point.

Devlin Reiley finished with nine points and Anne Gehring added eight for the Indians, who improved to 11-6 overall and 6-1 in the Commonwealth.

Ten different players scored for Stafford.

Marqui Mason paced Brooke Point (1-12) with five points.

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