Miller Grove, Stephenson split region battle

Miller Grove High School’s boys’ basketball team used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to pull away from the Stephenson High School Jaguars on the way to a 50-33 Region 6-4A win at Miller Grove.

The win gives Miller Grove the current edge for the third seed in the region.

With Miller Grove leading 12-8 with 7:10 to play in the first half, the run got started on a three-pointer by Miller Grove’s Xavier Lewis. Nicholas Burton followed with two free throws and an offensive put back to push the lead to double digits at 19-8. 

Kory Young’s drive and Taison Mathis’ free throw line followed by a steal and a quick bucket made it 24-8 with 2:48 to play in the first half. The Jaguars made just two of 15 shot attempts in the first half but were seven of 10 from the free-throw line. 

Amore Randolph’s three-pointer and Elgin Wingard’s steal and dunk sent Miller Grove to the half up 29-12. 

Stephenson’s shooting struggles continued in the third quarter with the Jaguars hitting just two of 12 from the field. 

Young made an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:37 left in third period to make it a 39-17 lead for the Miller Grove Wolverines. Stephenson was six of eight from the line in the final 3:21 of third period but could only close the gap to 39-23 by the end of third quarter. 

Randolph hit a pair of free throws with 1:33 to play to give Miller Grove (10-7, 6-2) its biggest lead of the game at 50-28. Benton Allen’s three pointer and Javonte Stanford’s put back both came in the final minute of play to make the final of 50-33. 

Stephenson (10-7, 5-3) hit three field goals in the fourth quarter (3-15) to finish 7 of 42 from the field (16.7 percent) and combined with 23 turnovers proved costly in a key region loss. 

Mathis led the way for Miller Grove with 11 points, while Marion Hopkins added nine points and five rebounds. Wingard put in seven points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Wolverines. 

Stephenson got 11 points from Cory Whitmire, and Christian Thompson pulled down eight rebounds as the Jaguars out-rebounded the Wolverines 28-27. 

(G) Stephenson 35, Miller Grove 31 

The Stephenson Lady Jaguars took the lead for good at 5-4 with 4:20 left in the first quarter on a free-throw by Natalia Gooden on the way to a Region 6-4A win over the Miller Grove Lady Wolverines. 

Gooden hit one of two free throws to break a 4-4 deadlock in the first quarter on the way to a 35-31 region win for the Lady Jaguars (7-7, 4-2) over Miller Grove (4-10, 2-6). 

Gooden scored six points in the second quarter to give Stephenson a 20-12 lead at the half. 

Tehya Brewer’s basket to open the second half gave Stephenson its largest lead of the night at 22-12, but Miller Grove would not go away. 

Arieyona Christian scored six points for Miller Grove in a two-minute span as the Lady Wolverines pulled within four points twice, the last at 24-20 with 5:08 left in the third quarter. 

Sabrina Russell’s offensive rebound off a free-throw miss by Jamiyah Barray pushed the lead out to 28-20 for Stephenson in the third quarter. 

Miller Grove came back to cut the Stephenson lead to four points at the end of the third quarter on a layup by Julisa Payne-Wright with eight seconds remaining. 

Stephenson opened another nine-point lead with a 5-0 run to open the fourth quarter, capped by a pair of free throws by Blezzy Abong to make it 35-26 with 3:20 to play. 

Baskets by Ja’Niya Smith and Christian helped close the gap back to 35-31 with 43 seconds to play. Miller Grove had the opportunity to get the game within two points, but a turnover occurred with under 29 seconds to play. 

Barray led Stephenson with nine points and nine rebounds; Gooden added nine points and five rebounds. Brewer finished the night with 11 rebounds. 

Christian led all scorers with 13 points for Miller Grove. Jaylen Clark had foul trouble during the second half but finished with five points and 15 rebounds. 

 

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