The Washington Blue Lion varsity basketball team played its home opener against Southeastern (from Ross County) Saturday night.
The Blue Lions quickly bounced back from a season-opening loss to Vinton County the night before to post a 63-55 victory over the Panthers.
Washington senior Max Knisley was the game’s leading scorer with 26 points.
Junior Kory Proby scored 12 points and senior Cameron Eckles scored 10 points.
For Southeastern, senior Austin Kohn led with 16 points and senior Justin Dye scored 15 points.
It was a fine start for the Blue Lions, with a three-point field goal from junior Jarett Patton, then a steal and layup by Knisley and another bucket from Knisley, followed by a score by Eckles for a 9-0 lead.
Southeastern then outscored the Blue Lions 12-6 to pull to within three points, 15-12, at the end of the first period.
As he did to open the scoring in the game, Patton opened the second quarter with a three-point goal for a six-point Blue Lion lead.
The Panthers tied the game, 20-20 with 4:44 to play in the first half.
Washington led by three points after back-to-back buckets from Eckles.
A three-point play by Southeastern tied the game, 28-28 at halftime.
The game stayed close in the third quarter, with two lead changes along the way.
With a two-point basket and a three-pointer from Knisley and a two-point bucket from Patton, a 7-2 run by the Blue Lions gave the home team a 45-40 lead after three quarters of play.
Washington continued the scoring run to open the fourth quarter as Griffin Shaw hit a free throw and Eckles and C.J. Taylor both scored to give the Blue Lions a 50-40 lead.
The remainder of the game, Southeastern outscored Washington, 15-13 for the final of 63-55 for the Blue Lions.
“We didn’t know a ton about them coming in,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “But, I knew Justin Dye was solid and the Kohn kid inside, were the two players they had coming back from last year.
“(Kohn) was pretty steady all night,” Bartruff said. “When he caught it in the post, it was two points. We did a decent job on Dye in the second and third quarters. He scored 15 points in the first and the fourth quarters.
“We had a lead with two or three minutes to go,” Bartruff said. “We were just trying to keep everybody in front, not be as aggressive, then, we started giving up layups. For the most part, I thought our defense was okay. We still have to get better in help. We have to do a better job guarding the ball. There were times when guys were just going around us.
“Offensively, our transition was okay,” Bartruff said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well from the perimeter. We were 2 of 15 from three-point range.”
Washington made 24 of 57 field goal attempts for 42 percent. From inside the arc, the Blue Lions were 22 of 42 for 52 percent.
“We shot well from the line tonight (12 of 14 for 86 percent),” Bartruff said. “Which we didn’t last night.
“Max made some good decisions,” Bartruff said. “He made some good passes. He got everyone else involved.
“We took care of the ball tonight,” Bartruff said. “We had six turnovers.”
“First things first, Washington is a good basketball team,” Southeastern head coach Jeran Cox said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. I was pleased with our kids’ effort. We were right there with them. Then we had a real bad stretch late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.
“We have two starters back from last year,” Cox said. Southeastern went 13-11 last season.
“Everybody else dosen’t have much varsity experience at all,” Cox said. “When we got down 9-0, I looked at our coaches and said, ‘well, it’s make or break time.’ Our kids fought right back in it. It wasn’t a lack of effort tonight, more a lack of experience.”
Washington starts the SCOL portion of the season tonight with defending champion Wilmington coming to town.
The j-v game starts at 6 p.m.
Southeastern (0-1) will host Adena Friday for the Scioto Valley Conference opener. The Panthers will visit Westfall Saturday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 15 13 17 18 — 63
SE 12 16 12 15 — 55
WASHINGTON — Max Knisley 8 (1)-7-26; Jarett Patton 1 (2)-0-8; Kory Proby 4-4-12; C.J. Taylor 3-0-6; Kenny Upthegrove 0-0-0; Griffin Shaw 0-1-1; Cameron Eckles 5-0-10; Brian Wilson 0-0-0. TOTALS — 21 (3)-12-63. Free throw shooting: 12 of 14 for 86 percent. Three-point field goals: Patton, 2; Knisley. Field goal shooting: 24 of 57 for 42 percent.
SOUTHEASTERN — Justin Dye 6 (1)-0-15; Isaiah Dresbach 0 (1)-0-3; Austin Pettit 1 (1)-0-5; Austin Kohn 7-2-16; Hunter Miles 0-0-0; Ethan Smith 1-0-2; Aaron Benson 3-0-6; Tyler Carroll 1 (2)-0-8. — 19 (5)-2-55. Free throw shooting: 2 of 4 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Carroll, 2; Petitt, Dresbach, Dye. Field goal shooting: 24 of 47 for 51 percent.
Blue Lions win j-v opener
In the j-v game, new Washington j-v coach Brett Prince won his first game at Washington in the season-opener against Southeastern, 34-33.
For the Blue Lions, Blaise Tayese led with 12 points.
Richard Burns Jr. and Dillon Steward each had eight points for Washington.
Zachary Bodary led all scorers for Southeastern with 15 points.
Rex Hartman scored 10 for the Panthers.
Washington won the game at the foul line, making 9 of 10 shots, while Southeastern shot 3 of 8 from the line.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 6 5 9 14 — 34
SE 12 7 7 7 — 33
WASHINGTON — Elijah Ruth 0-1-1; Evan Upthegrove 1-0-2; Jordan Behm 1-0-2; Austin Bailey 0-0-0; Gage Martin 0-0-0; Dillon Steward 2 (1)-1-8; Nicholas Barrett 0-0-0; Matthews Marrs 0-0-0; Jalen Pettiford 0-1-1; Richard Burns Jr. 3-2-8; Kenny Arboleda 0-0-0; Jordan Morris 0-0-0; Blaise Tayese 5-2-12. TOTALS —12 (1)-9-34. Free throw shooting: 9 of 10 for 90 percent. Three-point field goal: Steward.
SOUTHEASTERN — Zachary Bodary 7-1-15; Dalton Chaffin 1-0-2; Clinton Minnery 0-0-0; Greg Rager 1-0-2; Dylan Smith 0-0-0; Rex Hartman 2 (2)-0-10; Seth Sulpher 0-0-0; Trey Brown 0-0-0; Cody Welch 1-2-4; Pratt Highley 0-0-0; Dawson Steele 0-0-0; Travis Arledge 0-0-0. TOTALS — 12 (2)-3-33. Free throw shooting: 3 of 8 for 38 percent. Three-point field goals: Hartman, 2.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1