The Washington Blue Lions welcomed defending Frontier Athletic Conference champions Chillicothe for a Tuesday night encounter at Washington High School.
The Blue Lions made the most of their opportunities from the free throw line as they posted a 47-41 victory over the Cavaliers.
Washington made 15 of 18 free throw attempts for an outstanding 83 percent, including 8 of 8 in the fourth quarter with the game on the line by senior Blaise Tayese.
Tayese erupted in the second half, scoring all 14 of his points after the intermission to lead Washington to the victory.
Senior Evan Upthegrove scored 12, senior Dillon Steward had eight points, senior Richie Burns scored seven and senior Omar Porter had six points.
Chillicothe was led by junior Jayvon Maughmer with a game-high 17 points.
Junior Tre Beard scored 10 and junior Brandon Noel added eight points.
The Blue Lions trailed in the early going, but went on an 11-0 run to take a 17-11 halftime lead.
The Cavaliers cut into that lead, gaining two points on Washington by the half to trail the Blue Lions by four, 28-24.
Their were five lead changes in the third quarter with the Cavaliers holding a 36-35 lead with eight minutes remaining.
It was Blaise Tayese who scored all 12 points in the fourth quarter for Washington.
The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter.
Chillicothe last enjoyed a lead of 39-37 with 3:26 to play on a free throw by Maughmer.
Tayese then made a bucket and moments later, a pair of free throws.
Chillicothe missed the front end of a one-and-one, but after a Blue Lion turnover, Beard hit 1 of 2 from the line for the Cavs to cut Washington’s lead to 41-40 with 48.2 seconds remaining.
Tayese again was fouled and went to the line with 33.9 seconds remaining.
Again, he seemingly calmly made both throws to put Washington on top, 43-40.
Chillicothe brought the ball down court, but it was stolen away by Steward, who got the ball to Tayese who was fouled again.
Yet again, Tayese went to the line and sank two more free throws to set the score at 45-40 in favor of Washington with 17.8 seconds to play.
The Blue Lions did not want to foul, yet a foul was committed, sending Maughmer to the line where he made 1 of 2 throws.
Tayese sealed the victory with an additional pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.
“Blaise scored our last 14 points,” Washington head coach Connor Scott said. “He works hard every single day and I’m so happy for him.
“This was a huge team effort here tonight,” Scott said. “Look at Evan (Upthegrove); he does everything. He guarded their point guard all night for 32 minutes. He made shots, he did not turn it over. It was an incredible job.
“I’m so proud of Richie Burns and his defense,” Scott said. “Chillicothe is an explosive team and they missed some shots that they’ll (normally) make. I’m very proud of our defensive effort.”
Washington (3-1 overall, 2-0 FAC) will travel down to Jackson to take on the Ironmen in another FAC contest Friday night.
Jackson lost at home to Hillsboro Tuesday, 69-33. Jackson is now 2-2 overall, 0-2 in the FAC.
Hillsboro improves to 3-3 overall, 1-1 in the conference.
Chillicothe (3-2 overall, 1-1 FAC) will play at McClain High School against the undefeated Tigers Friday night.
McClain is now 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the FAC after a 60-42 win over the Miami Trace Panthers (0-4, 0-2) Tuesday night.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 17 11 7 12 — 47
C 11 13 12 5 — 41
WASHINGTON — Dillon Steward 2-4-8; Evan Upthegrove 3 (1)-3-12; Ross Matthews Jr. 0-0-0; Blaise Tayese 3-8-14; Omar Porter 3-0-6; Drew Moats 0-0-0; Richie Burns 2 (1)-0-7. TOTALS — 13 (2)-15-47. Free throw shooting: 15 of 18 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Upthegrove, Burns.
CHILLICOTHE — Josh Howard 0-0-0; Tre Beard 0 (3)-1-10; Vincent Roper 2-0-4; Chris Postage 1-0-2; Courtland Duncan 0-0-0; J’Quan Harris 0-0-0; Brandon Noel 1 (2)-0-8; Jayvon Maughmer 7-3-17. TOTALS — 11 (5)-4-41. Free throw shooting: 4 of 9 for 44 percent. Three-point field goals: Beard, 3; Noel, 2.