The Brownwood Lions’ home woes continued as they dropped their third straight game at Warren Gym, 71-48, to the Stephenville Yellow Jackets Monday night in Underwood’s Christmas Classic action.
The Lions (3-9), who have suffered five straight losses and have yet to record a win at home, will face San Angelo Lake View for the third time at noon today, then battle Wichita Falls at 7:30 p.m. to close out Classic play. Brownwood was dealt a pair of double-digit losses by Lake View earlier this season.
Trailing 27-24 at halftime, the Lions allowed 30 third-quarter points to Stephenville as the Yellow Jackets (5-11) took a 56-41 lead into the fourth period.
“The third quarter was really disappointing,” said Lions head coach Charles Pattillo. “We couldn’t guard No. 25 (Dalton Griffin) and then No. 41 (Juder Stidham) stepped up. They executed their offense really well and took advantage of our soft defense.”
Griffin scored all 18 of his points in third period, where he converted four three-pointers and the Yellow Jackets made five as a team, including a buzzer beater from halfcourt to end the quarter.
Derek Longoria, who scored 10 points for the Lions, tallied the first bucket of the second half to bring Brownwood to within 27-26, but the Yellow Jackets answered with six straight points as part of an 11-2 run that gave Stephenville its first double-digit lead, 38-28, with 4:59 left in the third period.
A bucket by Graylon Brown, who chipped in 11 points for the Lions, trimmed the deficit to 40-32 at the 4:21 mark of the third quarter, but Griffin drilled back-to-back treys to stake the Yellow Jackets to a commanding 46-32 edge at the 3:29 juncture.
Brownwood’s highest point total came in the third period where it tallied 17 points, but it was overshadowed by the Stephenville offensive explosion. The Lions then mustered just seven points in the fourth quarter, their worst period of the game.
“I thought we checked it in a little toward the end of the fourth quarter and quit competing,” Pattillo said. “I want to see that change, and I want to see better defense.”
The Lions led 14-12 after one quarter and their lead peaked at 17-12 on a three-pointer by Greg Jefferson — who scored all of his team-high 14 points in the first half — with 6:23 left in the second period.
“Greg Jefferson made some good outside shots and attacked the basket some,” Pattillo said. “That’s what I asked them to do before the game, attack the basket and see if we can get a free throw shooting string going. They did that some, but we just have to get more consistent.”
A driving layup and free throw by Michael Ballejo gave Brownwood its last lead of 21-20 with 2:48 left in the first half. Stephenville responded with six straight points and seized a 27-24 halftime edge.
“The first half was OK, but on the defensive end we didn’t stop them when we needed to,” Pattillo said. “Every good team is going to play great defense. After the last game I said offense was our Achilles’ heel, so I guess we have two Achilles’ heels.”