BARSTOW - The Barstow High School boys basketball team needed a jump start on Thursday.

The Aztecs defeated Silverado 65-62 in a game that went down to the final seconds Thursday evening. Barstow trailed at the end of the first and third quarters, but made big runs in the second and fourth quarters to go ahead.

The Aztecs outscored the Hawks 18-3 in the final five minutes of the second quarter, after trailing by as much as 14, to take a 23-22 lead at halftime. Although Barstow hasn't been able to get a good start this season, they build throughout games. They average 12, 14, 15 and 16 points in the first, second, third and fourth quarters respectively.

Barstow coach Mark Hassell said he can't seem to find the reason for the sluggish starts.

"We just start off slow," Hassell said. "They're like an old Edsel that takes forever to get going. I've tried not warming them up aggressively. I've tried warming them up more aggressively. Nothing seems to change it. Earl (Jefferson) was slow starting today as well. He usually gets us rolling. When he struggles we struggle."

Jefferson, the Aztecs' leading scorer, played strong defense throughout the entire game, but didn't get a field goal in the first quarter. However, he led Barstow's second-quarter comeback with eight points and ended the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jefferson took control of the game at several points often directing his teammates, something he said he wanted to improve after the Aztecs' 70-59 loss to Granite Hills last Thursday.

Barstow found inspiration for Thursday's game in an injured Trashon Herndon. Herndon played a large role on the Aztec basketball team on and off the court this season. He originally injured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in a summer league basketball game and aggravated it on Jan. 3 against Granite Hills. Herndon was taken to the hospital and will require surgery before he can return to the court. Herndon said he hopes to be able to get the surgery done soon so he can return if the Aztecs make the playoffs.

"I was calling for the ball more since Lanky (Herndon) was out, I had to do it for him," Jefferson said. "He wanted it. I told him before the game that this was for him. We're going to get to the playoffs for him."

Barstow took the game to the final seconds. The Aztecs and Hawks were tied 62-62 with a little more than 30 seconds to play in the game when Andrew Maes fouled out on a charge. Maes charge sparked the crowd in the Don Bilsborough Gymnasium and announcer Scott Fig started shouting, "Stand up for your Aztecs. It's the final 30 seconds." Barstow made a big stop on the next play with Alvin Jefferson grabbing a loose ball and Hassell calling a timeout to save the possession. Earl Jefferson hit Harold Riley III in the paint and Riley III dropped what would be the winning basket with nine seconds remaining. Alvin Jefferson got to the line on the next play making one to put the Aztecs ahead by three. Silverado's Jordan Thornton threw up a prayer as the buzzer sounded, but the ball and the Hawks hopes fell short.

SILVERADO

Scott 19, Woodard 15, Thornton 10, Espinoza 6, Hicks 6, Daum 4, Williams 2.

BARSTOW

Riley 23, E. Jefferson 18, Maes 15, Embry 4, A. Jefferson 3, Muir 2.

Silverado 12 10 26 14
Barstow 5 18 20 22

3-point field goals - Silverado 5 (Scott 3, Hicks 2); Barstow 1 (E. Jefferson). Fouled out - Maes (B).