Stadium boys down Gig Harbor, 39-34, to keep control of 4A Narrows

Staff writerJanuary 10, 2014 

Lucious Brown would be the ideal point guard – if he weren’t so useful as a mobile big man.

At Stadium High School, he does a bit of everything – pass, score and bring the basketball up against pressure.

Did we mention he is 6-foot-6 and rather large?

It doesn’t matter how it is getting done – the Tigers are getting it done. They now own a two-game lead in the Narrows 4A, courtesy of a 39-34 victory over second-place Gig Harbor in Tacoma on Friday night.

If you had Stadium (10-2, 6-0 in Narrows 4A) and Gig Harbor (6-7, 3-2) in your league-leader pool at the halfway point, collect. Not many folks did.

“The kids are winning close games, which is a good sign,” said Tigers coach Doug Cocke, whose team opened up the season playing nine of its first 11 games on the road, and has now won 10 games in a row.

“I am surprised where we are at, but we go hard in practice. We are trying to win the game on the practice floor.”

A case can certainly be made in the South Sound, no team relies more on one player than the Tigers do with Brown.

And it was his passing that allowed Stadium to create a bit of breathing room after the teams were tied 17-all at halftime.

He fed Malik Mayeux inside for a quick basket. And after a Tides’ turnover, Brown went back to getting the basketball back inside – and got it to Bobby Moorehead for another easy bucket, and 21-17 lead.

Two possessions later, Brown waited for Mayeux to make a cut into the paint, and threw a perfect pass for another quick basket.

The next trip down, Brown showed off some of his sweet shooting, sinking a fall-away 10-footer over Gig Harbor big man Nick Edens to cap an 8-0 Tigers run in the first 3:49.

“I just think it is probably a natural instinct to be able to see the floor,” Brown said. “I am not rattled by anybody. I take my time, and I just wait for everything to happen.”

The Tigers lost their entire backcourt from a year ago, and are trying to break in first-year starters. They aren’t asked to do a whole lot, either, because Brown can make up for it, especially when teams try to pressure full-court.

“Brown is a tough matchup because he is so thick and he can handle it,” Gig Harbor coach Billy Landram said. “They play really good defense and rebound the ball. They have three 6-6 guys who play all the time … and they play hard, too.”

Brown’s three-point play to start the fourth quarter gave the Tigers a 35-27 lead. They then went 6 1/2 minutes without scoring, only to be held up by their own solid defense.

Brown finished with a game-high 14 points and five assists.

Chris Drake led the Tides with 13 points, but the closest the visitors got down the stretch was five points.

“The few times we had a chance to take a shot at them, we had a couple of turnovers,” Landram said. “Part of it was their length hurt us.”

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442

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