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 team’s “gritty effort.”
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 Stags’ 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.