Free throws lift Vikings past Blue Lions in OT


The Washington Blue Lion varsity basketball team closed out the regular season portion of their 2021-22 schedule with a home game against Vinton County Saturday, Feb. 12.

In a closely-contested game that came down to one team shooting three times as many free throws as the other, the Vikings won, 68-66 in overtime.

The Vikings made 16 of 26 free throw attempts to 5 of 8 for Washington.

Both teams hit 20 twos for 40 points. The Blue Lions made 7 threes for 21 points to 4 threes for the Vikings for 12 points.

The nine-point difference in points garnered from three-point shots by the Blue Lions was overcome by the 11-point differential for the Vikings at the free throw line.

Vinton County improves to 14-7 overall.

Washington falls to 12-7 overall.

Vinton County is the No. 11 seed in the tournament and will play at No. 6 seed Sheridan Friday at 7 p.m.

The Blue Lions are the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 seed Unioto Friday at 7 p.m.

A win in the Sectional final will advance a team to the District tournament, set for Saturday, Feb. 26 at Southeastern High School not far from Chillicothe.

“I told our guys Vinton County was going to come in here ready to go,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “Coach (Matt) Combs does a good job.

“I didn’t think we had near the same energy tonight as we did last night (against Miami Trace),” Bartruff said. “(There were some) key rebounds, free throw situations, I felt like they did a good job getting their feet in the paint. We didn’t do a good job of guarding at times.

“We had six fouls in the first quarter and I told our guys we have to adjust to how they’re calling the game,” Bartruff said. “I don’t know that we ever did. We have to do a better job of (maintaining our) composure when we don’t feel like the game’s being called the way we think it should be called.

“We’ve lost a couple of games because of technical fouls,” Bartruff said. “We had two more techs tonight. They shoot eight free throws in those positions. They were in the double bonus, so they get two there, then they get two more (for the) technicals, then they get the ball and that happened twice.

“You get beat in overtime by two points and you get beat at the free throw line by (11) and eight of their 26 (free throw) attempts were self-inflicted,” Bartruff said. “We just didn’t do a good job of handling adversity. Our body language from a couple of our guys wasn’t good. We’ve kind of been fighting that all year and we’ve just got to be better. We’ve got to be mentally tougher.

“We’ve played enough basketball at this point, our guys have to understand that there’s more to the game than just the offensive end,” Bartruff said. “We’ve got to stay focused enough when our shots aren’t falling.

“Reico (Colter) made three huge free throws,” Bartruff said, speaking of Washington’s lone senior making three free throws to tie the game with 26 seconds to play in overtime. Colter was the game’s leading scorer with 31 points.

Washington was called for a foul with 5.1 seconds to play and Vinton County made both of those attempts to make it 68-66.

Coming out of a time out, Vinton County fouled a Washington player at the buzzer.

With no time on the clock, the player went to the line for a one-and-one situation.

Unfortunately for the Blue Lions, he missed the first attempt, which ended the game in favor of the Vikings.

“We have to bounce back,” Bartruff said. “We’ve got to get ready for a good Unioto team that we host for a Sectional championship game (Friday at 7 p.m.).”

Washington played its second game of the season at Unioto back on Nov. 30 and won, 56-48.

Sophomore John Wall hit three threes and scored a total of 13 points. Sophomore Isaiah Haithcock had 10 points for Washington.

Senior Eli Radabaugh led Vinton County with 19 points. Senior Zayne Karr and Braylon Damron both scored 14 points for the Vikings.


W 9 27 13 14 3 — 66

VC 9 24 15 15 5 — 68

WASHINGTON — Reico Colter 12 (1)-4-31; John Wall 2 (3)-0-13; Brayden May 0-0-0; Raleigh Haithcock 0-0-0; Troy Thompson 0-0-0; Micah Brown 1-1-3; Tanner Lemaster 0 (3)-0-9; Isaiah Haithcock 5-0-10. TOTALS — 20 (7)-5-66. Free throw shooting: 5 of 8 for 63 percent. Three-point field goals: Lemaster, 3; Wall, 3; Colter. Field goal shooting: 27 of 59 for 46 percent. Turnovers: 16.

VINTON COUNTY — Jack Davidson 1-4-6; Zayne Karr 6-2-14; Bradyn Cain 0 (1)-0-3; Luke Bledsoe 0-0-0; Eli Radabaugh 6 (1)-4-19; Braylon Damron 3 (2)-2-14; Asa Davision 2-2-6; Ashton Allman 2-2-6. TOTALS — 20 (4)-16-68. Free throw shooting: 16 of 26 for 62 percent. Three-point field goals: Damron, 2; Cain, Radabaugh. Field goal shooting: 24 of 44 for 55 percent. Turnovers: 16.

Washington junior Tanner Lemaster (left) launches a three-point shot attempt over Vinton County senior Zander Woodall (10) during a non-conference game at Washington High School Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. junior Tanner Lemaster (left) launches a three-point shot attempt over Vinton County senior Zander Woodall (10) during a non-conference game at Washington High School Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

By Chris Hoppes

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