Stacy’s career night lifts Mill Valley boys past Gardner
When Nathan Stacy was just a freshman, Mill Valley boys basketball coach Justin Bogart knew Stacy had the potential to be a special player for the Jaguars.
Stacy earned varsity minutes early in his freshman season, and soon he found a place in the starting lineup.
On Tuesday, Stacy — now a junior — proved that Bogart’s long-term vision was correct. Stacy turned in the finest single-game performance in Mill Valley history. Stacy scored a school-record 37 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and dished seven assists while leading the Jaguars to a 76-75 home victory against Gardner-Edgerton in double-overtime.
The previous MVHS record for points in a game was 31 by Jack Johnson.
The game was tight throughout. Gardner led 15-14 after one quarter, and the Blazers maintained that one-point edge at halftime, 32-31.
Any time the Blazers attempted to open up a lead, Mill Valley responded — usually with a play by Stacy.
“I’d say for quite a while it was obvious that Nathan was having a good night,” Bogart said. “There was a point in the third quarter where he had two consecutive layups and a number of rebounds.
“Then, on an inbound play you could see him set it up. He told three guys what to do, and he spun to the corner. You could just see the ball coming out of his hands, and it just splashed through. That was probably the moment where he said ‘Jump on my back, and here we go.’”
The trey from the corner helped Mill Valley stay right with Gardner, and the game was tied 46-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
Again in the fourth quarter, Gardner tried to put the game away. The Blazers led by two with 18 seconds to go, but two Stacy free throws tied the game at 66-66 and sent it to overtime.
The Blazers again pulled ahead in the first overtime. They led late, but a reverse layup by Brett Hamilton tied the game and forced the game into a second overtime tied at 71-71.
ON the opening tip of the second overtime, the ball got knocked around and Stacy dove for it, rolled and flipped the ball over his shoulder to Moylan for a go-ahead layup. The teams then traded buckets until the game was tied at 75-75.
The Blazers brought the ball up the court looking for the final shot. The ball got knocked loose with 18 seconds to go, however, and it bounced right to Stacy. Stacy snagged the ball and flipped it ahead to Jake Theis who was fouled on a layup attempt. Theis stepped to the free throw line with six seconds to go and missed both of his tries, but Austin Moylan got a hand on the long rebound and knocked it to Stacy who was fouled with three seconds to go.
“Nathan goes to the line and makes the first one, so Gardner called a time out and we planned to miss the second,” Bogart said. “Nathan threw it so hard off the backboard, but he did it quickly so Gardner wasn’t ready. It hit the front of the rim, and Nathan grabbed it for his 20th rebound on his own shot at the end of the game. It was a great way to finish.”
While Stacy had a huge game, Bogart was quick to point out that it took a complete effort from the Jaguars to earn the victory. Theis scored 13 points and Moylan added 10.
“Everyone knows Nathan has to score for us to win,” Bogart said, “but if Austin doesn’t get 10 points, six of them on stick-backs, we don’t win. If Jake Theis doesn’t go for 13 points, a career-high for him, we don’t win. It was a great team effort.”
Gardner-Edgerton falls to 0-2 with the loss. Mill Valley improves to 1-1. The Jaguars next play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Bonner Springs (1-1).