The Washington Blue Lions had a struggle in their previous game at Chillicothe on Friday and were looking to move on from that game when they welcomed the Mustangs of Lynchburg-Clay High School for a non-conference game Tuesday night.
The Blue Lions had to be careful not to look past the Mustangs to Friday’s game, a key conference match-up with the Jackson Ironmen.
Washington (10-4 overall) got back on the winning track Tuesday, posting a 52-41 victory over the Mustangs.
Junior Garitt Leisure hit three of his team’s five three-point field goals en route to a team-high 16 points.
Senior Omar Porter scored 13 points (including hitting one three) and senior Blaise Tayese scored 10 points.
Senior Evan Upthegrove had seven and senior Richie Burns scored six points for the Blue Lions.
L-C junior Ray Conner was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points.
Freshman Noah Miller had 10 points for the Mustangs, junior David Giordano scored six and freshman Andrew Cumberland had four points.
Washington held a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
By the time the break rolled around, Washington was in front, 35-28.
The scoring fell off for both squads in the third quarter with Washington garnering four points, but the Mustangs countering with just five.
Washington outscored Lynchburg-Clay 13-8 in the fourth quarter for the 52-41 final.
“I thought we were kind of looking to Jackson a little bit today,” Washington head coach Connor Scott said. “That’s our next game. It’s a huge game; it’s a grey-out here.
“We started off slow on the defensive end,” Scott said. “We gave up 28 points in the first half (compared to 20 at Chillicothe Friday). That’s the point we made. I think when we want to defend, we can be elite. When we don’t, we’re not.
“Garitt Leisure hit three threes in the first half,” Scott said. “He really carried us. Garitt was fantastic in the first half. He took great shots; got his feet set, did a great job and the shots were going in.” All of Leisure’s 16 points came in the first half.
“I thought this game was the complete opposite of the Chillicothe game,” Scott said. “Against Chillicothe, we defended great, but couldn’t make shots. Tonight, we were making everything, but we couldn’t defend. If we put those together, we’re very good.
“Evan did a great job leading us,” Scott said. “I think Blaise had 11 or 12 rebounds (which gave him a double-double). Richie probably affected 15 shots at the rim. He did such a good job of contesting the shot without fouling.
“It was a team effort,” Scott said. “Miguel O’Flaherty came in and probably had four steals. Omar made some big shots tonight. It was a full team effort. I was proud of us for winning ugly tonight.”
Jackson defeated River Valley Tuesday night, 63-46 to improve to 11-5 overall.
The McClain Tigers lost to Dayton Carroll Tuesday, 66-55. The Tigers are now 11-5 overall.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 15 20 4 13 — 52
L-C 14 14 5 8 — 41
WASHINGTON — Eli Lynch 0-0-0; Evan Upthegrove 1 (1)-2-7; Miguel O’Flaherty 5-0-10; Blaise Tayese 5-0-10; Garitt Leisure 3 (3)-1-16; Omar Porter 5 (1)-0-13; Drew Moats 0-0-0; Richie Burns 3-0-6. TOTALS — 16 (5)-5-52. Free throw shooting: 5 of 9 for 55 percent. Three-point field goals: Leisure, 3; Upthegrove, Porter.
LYNCHBURG-CLAY — Andrew Cumberland 2-0-4; Noah Miller 3 (1)-1-10; Blake Marcelino 0-0-0; Tyler Stevens 0-0-0; Ray Conner 7 (1)-4-21; David Giordano 0 (1)-3-6; P.J. Fiscus 0-0-0. TOTALS — 12 (3)-8-41. Free throw shooting: 8 of 16 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Miller, Conner, Giordano.