Stafford nips Cats at home

Bay City’s Marquis Edwards is challenged by Stafford’s Xavier Iyalla (23) as he goes in for a layup Monday night in a non-district game at Bay City High School.  (Anthony Maenza photo)

A late rally wasn’t quite enough as the Bay City Blackcats fell to state-ranked Stafford 58-54 Monday night in a non-district contest.

The Blackcats came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter only to have the Spartans, who are ranked No. 22 in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 4A, rally late for the victory.

“We had a chance to beat this team. They are a very good 4A team,” Bay City Coach Larry Butler said. “We just couldn’t get the shots when we needed to and we came up on the short end.”

The Blackcats trailed 54-51 when Ke’Vaughn Gaskin hit a 3-pointer with 1 minute left in the game to even the score. It was part of a 9-2 Bay City run to knot the game 54-54. 

Gaskin, who tallied 14 points in the contest, had a pair 3-pointers during the run, including the game-tying one. Marquis Edwards, who led Bay City scorers with 23 points, also had a 3-pointer during the run.

After Gaskin’s game-tying 3-pointer, the Blackcats couldn’t put up another shot. Stafford’s pressure defense down the stretch resulted in a basket by Daylan Presley and a dunk by Zcorrian Haynes to seal the victory.

“We tried to play too fast in the fourth quarter at times and that hurt us. We have to learn to slow it down. We have to learn to be patient on offense and execute and things will happen,” Butler said. “But we’ll try and rush things and then we make mistakes and then we compound the problem and then we make it worse and worse.”

The Cats trailed 42-37 after the third quarter but went on a 5-0 run to start the fourth to tie the game 42-42 with 7 minutes left to play. Marquis Edwards hit a pair of free throws and Marcus Edwards hit a 3-pointer during the run.

Stafford followed that with a 10-3 run of its own to take a 52-45 advantage before the Blackcats made their late run to tie the game.

In the first half, Bay City was able to slow down the Spartans offense. The Blackcats held the Spartans to just seven points in the first quarter and held a 12-7 lead. Marquis Edwards had nine points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer. Gaskin also hit a three as the Blackcats went on to hit eight 3-pointers in the game.

Bay City upped its lead to many as 10 points in the second quarter. A 5-0 run to start the quarter, gave the Blackcats a 17-7 lead with 6:31 left in the first half. Marquis Edwards and Ray Bibbins hit baskets during the run.

Stafford closed the quarter on a 7-1 run to leave the Blackcats with a 24-21 lead at halftime.

“I was proud of the effort. We worked hard. In the first half, we played extremely well defensively and held them to 21 points, which is really good,” Butler said. “Third quarter we struggled on the defensive end, but we did better in the fourth quarter in holding them. What they scored on were tough shots. They had to work for their shots. We gave ourselves a chance to win, it just didn’t work out.”

Marcus Edwards and Ky’Adrian Green finished the game with five points each for Bay City. Quinton Sims had three points and Konnor Greene finished with two.

The Blackcats travel to Snook Friday for a non-district game.

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