The Deer Park Stags got nine points from Canyon Nielson and Travis Pierce in the final 3 minutes to edge the Riverside Rams 47-45 on Tuesday.
The Stags saw their lead trimmed to 39-38 on a basket by Riverside center Jeff Reed with 2:59 to play. Deer Park responded with baskets by Nielson and Pierce only to have Ram guard Andrew Kramer hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 43-41 with 2 minutes to play.
Nielson hit another basket and a free throw to extend the Stag lead to 46-41. Kramer and Reed responded with baskets of their own but the Rams could not get any closer.
Deer Park head coach Chad Hand was pleased with his teamâ€™s â€śgritty effort.â€ť
The Stags, who had trouble hitting an outside shot (they made only one three-pointer in the game), held a distinct advantage on the board.
Deer Park, which led 20-18 at halftime, saw the Rams take its only lead of the second at 30-29 on a Dallas Shuler basket. The Stags answered with a 7-0 run to close out the third quarter.
Four points from Kramer and a Reed free throw trimmed the Stag lead to 36-35 but the Rams could not catch the Stags the rest of the way.
The win improved the Stagsâ€™ overall record to 3-3, while the Rams fell to 2-3.
Nielson took game-high scoring honors with 17 points, while Kramer led the Rams with 15 points.