The referees told him that his uniform was in violation, so Stubbs left the floor to take off his long-sleeve undershirt. But when he came back, the officials told him it was his tights, worn to help his tendonitis, that were illegal, not his shirt. So Stubbs disappeared again.
Stonewall Jackson’s Diandre Stubbs plays on with one healthy hand in win over Battlefield
He was on the floor when it mattered most, however, scoring five consecutive points during a late 21-second span to aid the Raiders’ 76-65 victory and complete a regular season sweep of the Bobcats in the Virginia AAA Cedar Run District.
Stonewall (9-6, 5-0) had trailed by three early in the fourth quarter.
Stubbs not only had to tend to the wardrobe malfunctions, he was playing one-handed. He dislocated a knuckle on his left hand in a game over the weekend and had that hand taped to the point of immobility. Even so, he scored 11 points after not being allowed to practice Monday.
“I just didn’t think about it and just played for my team,” said Stubbs, one of several football players on the Raiders’ basketball squad.
“He’s a strong boy,” 12th-year Stonewall Coach Marcus Lawrence said. “I try to work with him in the post sometimes. He hit me a couple times and I had to go to the chiropractor.
“His hand was hurting, so the little finer points of the game [were gone], but when it gets to crunch time, he’s there. He just totally forgot about it.”
Senior guard J.R. Washington hit 10 of 20 shots to lead Stonewall with 28 points, including a three-pointer that gave the Raiders the lead for good with 5 minutes 34 seconds left. Senior guard Mustafa Ali added 16 points and junior guard Greg Stroman had 12 points and five steals off the bench.
The Raiders made all nine of their free-throw attempts in the final 1:35, the first three by Stubbs.
The game featured six ties and eight lead changes before Stonewall pulled away. The first time the teams met this season, a Battlefield basket at the buzzer was waved off and the Raiders slipped away with a 77-76 win.
This game was closer than the final score but the victory more definitive.
“We just tried to be more aggressive, more physical, just tried to be active more, and it paid off,” said Washington, who scored 61 points in a recent holiday tournament win, heightening his recruiting profile. Marist College was on hand to scout him Tuesday night.
“We wanted to limit them from running, that’s why we didn’t come out and press right away,” said Lawrence, whose team outrebounded the Bobcats, 36-18, but committed 21 turnovers. “We played the first half really to get to the second, and then we unleashed our pressure.
“We’re in the driver’s seat [in the district],” Lawrence added, “but unless you drive the car to the finish line, you don’t win.”