Chris Rossow understood the enormity of the moment.
With Brazosport leading Stafford 51-46 in the waning stages of the third quarter, the Exporters’ senior point guard found the ball in his hands. Rossow drilled a three-pointer near midcourt as the period drew to a close.
Rossow scored seven consecutive points, including the first two field goals of the fourth stanza, to give Brazosport a 58-51 cushion. Stafford never recovered.
Brazosport (30-3) advanced to the Region IV-4A tournament with a 69-62 over Stafford at Pearland High School. It marked the first time since Rossow was in the eighth grade that the Exporters had qualified for the regional tournament and only the second time since 1989.
“I knew I had to lead my team with energy and on defense so that we could get a lot of stops and create some turnovers,” said Rossow, who scored a game-high 24 points. “I’ve put in hard work that’s prepared me for moments like these.
“I’m a senior and one of the leaders of this team,” Rossow said. “Coming into the season state was already on our minds. We didn’t know our record was going to be this good, but we’re ready.”
Jayson Cooper finished with 14 points for the Exporters while Hunter Quick and Daniel Ortiz added 12 apiece.
“Chris Rossow is a special player,” said Brazosport head coach Ondra Waddy. “We’ve known it for a long time down in south Brazoria County and I’m excited about what he did tonight.
“He really propelled us in the fourth quarter to get us over the hump in a close ball game,” Waddy said. “By extending the lead he gave us a cushion and then utilized his ball-handling ability to make key shots and free throws time and time again.”
Brazosport (33-3) will make the school’s first appearance at the boys’ state basketball tournament (March 9-11) after winning the Region IV-4A title with victories over Somerset (77-44) and Corpus Christi West Oso (100-51). Rossow scored a game-high 27 points in the regional championship game.
“We’re proud to have him,” Waddy said. “We want to do something special this year and a lot is going to be on his back.”