STAB boys pull away from Woodberry

St. Anne’s-Belfield’s boys basketball team has struggled in critical stretches of games against a tough schedule, which led to a one-win record coming into a Prep League clash with Woodberry Forest at home Tuesday night.

When that critical stretch came against the Tigers though, St. Anne’s turned to their post players and finished off a 59-40 victory over Woodberry.

Aaron Stinnie and Jeff Jones combined for 13 points in the fourth, allowing the Saints to turn a 4-point advantage at the start of the fourth into a blowout. Stinnie notched nine of the 13 while Jones seemed to settle down and control the pace for the Saints.

“Aaron just took over and once he got that momentum behind him, he was unstoppable,” Jones said.

The fact that the Saints’ defense held Woodberry’s offense to just five points in the fourth helped in a big way too. Stinnie was a big part of the effort, helping hold Woodberry’s dynamic Doug Randolph to just two points in the fourth. Randolph led the Tigers with 12 points after not practicing with the team of late because he was a part of the U.S. Army All-America football game in San Antonio.

Offensively before the fourth, Parker Morris carried much of the load for the Saints, knocking down three 3-pointers en route to a 15-point night. But the Saints’ ability to pound it in down the stretch made the difference as Woodberry couldn’t find an answer for Stinnie or the versatile Jones.

“(Aaron) is playing with confidence, every game he comes out and plays the same way,” said STAB coach Brian Kent. “Jeff knows when to push it, when not to push it. We came out of halftime and said, four out, one in and let Jeff go to work because he passes well out of the post, he can hit the boards there and he can knock that shot down if you give it to him.”

The Saints are hoping that the win can give them a little momentum after a rough start to the season. Now at 2-8, STAB face a daunting schedule coming u with Fork Union on the road Thursday and a clash with Trinity Episcopal, one of the Prep League’s top squads at home on Friday. That won’t stop Kent from enjoying the win that came as something of a relief.

“Without a doubt (it was a relief),” Kent said. “We’ve played some tough games and it’s been five or six minutes or each game where we get ourselves in a hole and hadn’t been able to get out of it because we’re playing really good teams.”

Woodberry will have to bounce back quick. They face talented Christchurch Friday and then host archrival Episcopal Saturday in back-to-back challenges.