Guards get things started in Indians’ win

STAFFORD — Seniors Chip Spicer and Steve Miller got the entire Stafford High School boys basketball team a little defensive in the opening quarter of the first round of the Commonwealth District playoffs.

As a result, the starting guards on “Senior Night” sparked the team to eight steals in the first quarter as the Indians broke out to a 24-4 lead. The rest of the team rode the wave as Stafford rolled to a 55-34 win over visiting North Stafford to advance to the district semifinals.

“I think the guys were able to turn it up a little bit defensively tonight,” Stafford coach Steve Spicer said. “They realize what is ahead of them and they came out better than they have all season. The good thing is we were able to rest some guys later because we got a big game coming up tomorrow night at Albemarle.”

Because of a scheduling change, due to a forecast of more snow in the area later this week, the entire district tournament (boys and girls) has been moved up to tonight and Wednesday. Therefore the No. 3 seeded Indians will travel to No. 2 Albemarle tonight while the No. 1 Stafford girls will host No. 4 Culpeper, which was a one-point winner over No. 5 Brooke Point on Monday.

The championship games in both boys and girls will be held at the higher seed on Wednesday.

During the first quarter, Miller scored all of his game-high 14 points, had three steals and two assists while Josh Summers had four points and Kevin Edwards and Cole Arnett had two points apiece. Spicer, Summers, Edwards and Arnett all had steals in the opening quarter, which gave the Indians constant open looks to the basket.

In fact, the Wolverines only points in the final 6-1/2 minutes of the quarter came on two free throws by Chris Darnell as Edwards was called for a technical for hanging on the rim on a dunk attempt.

“We just came out tonight with great intensity,” Miller said. “We came in here tonight knowing this was not going to be our last game of the season. I think it clicked in everyone’s mind and we just started capitalizing on the turnovers we were creating.

“The best part about tonight’s game is we played as one. And we realize that is the way we are going to have to play to move on.”

Edwards and Summers finished up with nine points each while Arnett netted eight points. Edwards, normally the point guard, moved inside some and paced the Indians with a team-high seven rebounds.

“We just need another rebounder,” Edwards said. “So I am the one guy who can go to the boards. We are just trying to do what we need to do to win the game and we have to stay focused on taking this thing one game at a time.”

Darnell and Ryan Griffin each had 10 points and six rebounds for the Wolverines.

With the win, Stafford moved one game over .500 at 11-10 while North Stafford ended its season at 5-18.

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