KINNIKINNICK — The Washington Blue Lions varsity basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with a game against Division I Lancaster at the Zane Trace Tip-Off Classic Saturday night, Dec. 1.
The game marked the head coaching debut of Connor Scott for the Blue Lions.
In a game marked by several crucial runs, the Blue Lions fell in a close contest, 45-42.
Lancaster began the game with an 8-0 run.
The Blue Lions sharply responded with a 13-0 run.
Washington held a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter really hurt the Blue Lions’ chances as Lancaster overtook Washington with a 16-0 run to secure a 32-21 halftime lead.
The Blue Lions played very well defensively in the second half.
It began in the third quarter when the Blue Lions held Lancaster to just six points.
Managing just eight themselves, it was nevertheless a start on the road back.
Still the Golden Gales held a nine point lead, 38-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Washington saved its best play for last, outscoring Lancaster 13-7 in the fourth quarter.
Blaise Tayese fired his team up by taking a charge early in the fourth.
The Blue Lions, struggling at times from the field, had three-point buckets from Dillon Steward and Ross Matthews Jr. to pull to within five points.
Omar Porter had a steal and lay-in that put the score at 40-37.
Steward scored again for Washington and with 4:30 remaining to be played, Lancaster held a precarious one-point lead, 40-39.
The teams again traded baskets and Evan Upthegrove hit his team’s only free throw of the game to tie the score, 42-42 with just over one minute to play.
Leading by two, Lancaster went to the foul line, but missed the front end of a one and one.
After a Blue Lion turnover, the Gales made 1 of 2 from the line with 2.6 seconds left, putting the final tally on the board.
Washington took a time out with 2.2 seconds remaining.
The final shot was no good, leaving Lancaster with the victory.
“I thought we handled adversity in the first half,” Washington head coach Connor Scott said. “We gave up just 13 points in the second half. We gave up 20 points in the second quarter alone.
“Those are just consistent energy things,” Scott said. “I was really proud of us in the second half. We were down 11 and we tied the game. We made them take a really tough turn-around fade-away jumper that rolled in.
“I think we went 3 out of 20 from the three-point line and we lost by three,” Scott said. “That’s how it’s going to go sometimes.”
Both teams made 16 two-point field goals and three three-point field goals.
Washington was 19 of 55 from the field for 35 percent, while Lancaster made 19 of 43 field goal attempts for 44 percent.
“I think we had a good amount of offensive rebounds,” Scott said. “We could have had more. I don’t think they had a ton of them.”
At the foul line, Lancaster made 4 of 6 attempts, while Washington went to the free throw line just once in the game, making 1 of 2.
Evan Upthegrove, who was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points, was named his team’s most valuable player.
Brian Shupp got the award representing the Golden Gales with 13 points.
Also for the Blue Lions, Omar Porter scored 10 and Dillon Steward had nine.
Steward also had perhaps the most rousing block of the game, swooping in from behind a Lancaster player who seemed destined for an easy layup.
Members of both teams received souvenir t-shirts after the game.
The Blue Lions will host Circleville Tuesday with the j-v game at 6 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 15 6 8 13 — 42
L 12 20 6 7 — 45
WASHINGTON — Dillon Steward 3 (1)-0-9; Evan Upthegrove 6 (1)-1-16; Ross Matthews Jr. 0 (1)-0-3; Blaise Tayese 1-0-2; Omar Porter 5-0-10; Drew Moats 1-0-2; Trevor Rarick 0-0-0. TOTALS — 16 (3)-1-42. Free throw shooting: 1 of 2 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals; Steward, Upthegrove, Matthews Jr. Field goal shooting: 19 of 55 for 35 percent. Turnovers: 10.
LANCASTER — Deven Savage 1-2-4; Cameron Roudabush 2-1-5; Brian Shupp 3 (2)-1-13; Owen Snyder 3-0-6; Kyle Chandler 0-0-0; Jacob Davenport 1 (1)-0-5; Tanner Roush 6-0-12. TOTALS — 16 (3)-4-45. Free throw shooting: 4 of 6 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: Shupp, 2; Davenport. Field goal shooting 19 of 43 for 44 percent. Turnovers: 15.