The No. 4 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines held on to a 42-41 lead in the final 41 seconds to knock off the No. 5 ranked Stephenson Jaguars to complete a sweep in two nail biting Region 6-4A games at Stephenson on Monday night.
Zyair Greene’s layup on a pass from David Brooks Jr. with 1:24 was the 14th lead change in the game and the final one as the Wolverines (10-4, 6-1) went ahead for good at 42-41 in a tough defensive struggle.
The Jaguars had a chance to tie the game with 25 seconds to play but the shot missed, and Miller Groves Jamarcus Glover gobbled up the rebound, his seventh of the game, and Miller Grove called timeout with 41 seconds to play.
Miller Grove went into a stall and with Stephenson trying to foul was avoiding the calls until with 21 seconds left the second foul of the quarter was called on Stephenson. Miller Grove inbounded the ball three more times and Stephenson got its fifth foul needing one to send Miller Grove to the free-throw line.
The fourth inbounds play ended up in a turnover by the Wolverines with 3.0 seconds to play near midcourt. The Jaguars inbounded the ball and with fouls to give Miller Grove fouled with 1.8 seconds to play to force another inbounds play.
Stephenson’s Caleb Parker got free deep behind the three-point line to take the inbounds pass, but his desperation heave was short, and the Wolverines held on for the victory.
The Jaguars (8-4, 5-4) took a 31-20 lead into the final quarter of play as Greene pulled the Wolverines within one on a tip-in at the buzzer.
Parker drove to the basket in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to give Stephenson a 33-30 advantage with 7:50 to play.
Stephenson went cold from the floor at that point missing six consecutive shots and having one turnover as the Wolverines 9-0 run led by Tyriek Boyd. Boyd started it with a rebound and drive followed by Greene with a 14-foot pull up. Boyd finished the 9-0 run with a baseline drive for a bucket and a three-pointer to make it 39-33 with 5:00 left in the game.
EJ Walker hit one of two from the line to break the run and Boyd followed with a one-for-two at the line to make it 40-34 with 3:37 remaining.
The Wolverines missed three shots and turned the ball over once as the Jaguars clawed their way back into the game. Walker’s rebound and stick back started a 7-0 run. Stephen Lewis completed an old fashioned three-point play and Jalen Peterson took a nicely lofted pass from Chase Ballard for an easy lay-in that gave Stephenson its final lead at 41-40 with 1:46 showing on the game clock.
Nine lead changes happened in the first half alone with Stephenson taking an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter on Peterson’s put back and Miller Grove grabbed a 21-19 lead at the half on Greene’s pull up jumper on the baseline.
Greene finished the night with a game-high 22 points to lead the Wolverines and added five rebounds. Tyriek Boyd who’s fourth quarter blitz gave momentum to the Wolverines finished with eight points and six rebounds.
Chase Ballard finished the night with a team-high 14 points to lead Stephenson and EJ Walker added 10. Jaylen Peterson finished eight points and seven rebounds.
(G) Miller Grove 44, Stephenson 40
A 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter proved to be big for the Miller Grove Lady Wolverines as they defeated the homestanding Stephenson Lady Jaguars 44-40 to open the Region 6-4A doubleheader at Stephenson.
Stephenson had tied the game at 27-27 on a pair of free throws by Kennedy Barrett with 7:31 to play but Miller Grove answered with a 7-0 run to take control of the game.
Jalina Robinson played a big role in the run opening with an assist to Trinity Coleman for a layup and following with a three-pointer and a layup of her own to give Miller Grove a 34-27 advantage with 4:17 to play.
Barrett closed it to four with a drive to the basket before Miller Grove countered with layups by Jayden Clark and Antoinette Mountain to take a nine-point lead at 38-29 with just 3:02 to play.
Kelli Finkley’s three-pointer with 1:42 to play closed the gap to 40-34 only to have Miller Grove answer with two free throws by Coleman and a put back by Clark off an offensive rebound to push the lead to 44-34 with 52 seconds to play.
It would be the last points of the game for Miller Grove as Stephenson would score six unanswered on two free throws and a layup by Jirah Snellings and two of three from the line by Blezzy Abong before Miller Grove ran out the final 11 seconds to hold on for the win.
Stephenson led 10-5 after the first period of play and Miller Grove closed the gap to 18-17 at the half on an offensive put back by Lyndsey Myles.
Jalisa Mann’s three-pointer just before the third quarter ended sent Miller Grove into the fourth-quarter up 27-25 after Abong had just hit a three-pointer to give Stephenson a short-lived 25-24 lead.
Jalisha Mann led the way for Miller Grove with 11 points with Trinity Coleman added 10 points and 9 rebounds and Jalina Robinson chipping in 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Jayden Clark had four big fourth quarter points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Kennedy Barrett finished with 13 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Stephenson (4-9, 3-4) while Jirah Snellings put in 10 points of her own.