GREENFIELD — The McClain Tigers and Washington Blue Lions renewed one of the older rivalries in south-central Ohio Friday night in the McClain High School gym.
A large crowd turned out on an unseasonably mild mid-December evening for the game in what was a warm McClain gymnasium.
Washington used an especially strong second half to pull away from the Tigers to post a 58-42 SCOL victory.
Washington improves to 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the SCOL.
McClain dips to 1-3 overall, 1-3 in the SCOL.
Senior Max Knisley was the game’s leading scorer for Washington, leading a trio of Blue Lions in double figures with 22 points.
Senior Cameron Eckles scored 15 and junior Jarett Patton had 10 points.
For the Tigers, senior Randall Mischal led the way with 18 points.
Junior Jacob Starkey reached double digits in scoring with 10 points.
“Give Shannon (Washington Blue Lion head coach Bartruff) credit,” McClain head coach Jesse Mitchell said. “They are well-coached; maybe the most well-coached team we’ve played so far.
“They spread us out and used their guards,” Mitchell said. “Kind of like one of the old McClain teams; five guards, spread you out.
“We probably won’t see a better point guard than the Knisley kid,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t recognize him. He was a lot shorter in junior high. He’s a ball-player; give all the credit to him. They’ve got someone who can control the tempo, never gets flustered and makes the right decisions. He’s athletic; never let’s his team get rattled.
“I thought my kids fought,” Mitchell said. “I thought the effort was good. It’s hard to fight when things aren’t going well, and I thought they did that for the most part.
“Washington Court House, besides Wilmington, might be the best team in the league,” Mitchell said. “And, for two-and-a-half quarters, we were in there.”
“In the first half, they controlled the pace,” Bartruff said. “They controlled the tempo. They had us in a half-court game and they did a nice job with that.
“We shot the ball great in the first half,” Bartruff said. “We didn’t rebound the ball very well in the first half.
“In the third quarter, we got some stops and that allowed us to run, to get out and get some easy baskets,” Bartruff said. “And we were able to build our lead up.”
With the game tied, 6-6, Washington went on a 7-0 run midway through the first quarter to take a 13-6 lead.
The Tigers scored the next five points unanswered to trail 13-11 after eight minutes of action.
Washington maintained a lead until with just under one minute remaining until halftime, Mischal scored to give McClain its second lead of the game, 23-22.
Mischal had another rebound and stick-back bucket to give the Tigers a 25-22 lead.
Knisley scored the final basket of the half as the Tigers took a 25-24 lead into the locker room.
Washington put together a solid second half, outscoring McClain 19-9 in the third quarter to take a 43-34 lead.
The Blue Lions outscored the Tigers 15-8 in the fourth quarter for the final, 58-42.
Taking a look at the unofficial shooting totals, Washington made 23 of 42 attempts from the field for 55 percent.
McClain made 18 of 54 field goal attempts for 33 percent.
Both teams had 11 turnovers.
Washington made four three-point field goals to one for McClain
Washington was 8 of 9 from the charity stripe for 89 percent.
McClain made 5 of 9 from the line for 56 percent.
Washington is back in action this evening, taking on the Waverly Tigers in a game to be played at Portsmouth High School at 6 p.m.
The Tigers have a freshman, reserve and varsity triple-header at home today against Jackson, beginning at 4:45 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 13 11 19 15 — 58
Mc 11 14 9 8 — 42
WASHINGTON — Max Knisley 6 (2)-4-22; Jarett Patton 3 (1)-1-10; Kory Proby 1-0-2; C.J. Taylor 1-0-2; Kenny Upthegrove 0-0-0; Griffin Shaw 1 (1)-2-7; Cameron Eckles 7-1-15; Brian Wilson 0-0-0. TOTALS — 19 (4)-8-58. Free throw shooting: 8 of 9 for 89 percent. Three-point field goals: Knisley, 2; Patton, Shaw. Combined field goal shooting: 23 of 42 for 55 percent. Turnovers: 11.
McCLAIN — Owen O’Connor 1-2-4; Brock Dean 0-0-0; Jacob Starkey 5-0-10; Matt Barton 0 (1)-0-3; Randall Mischal 8-2-18; Cody Hardesty 2-0-4; Alex Hollar 1-1-3; Travis Hall 0-0-0. TOTALS — 17 (1)-5-42. Free throw shooting: 5 of 9 for 56 percent. Three-point field goal: Barton. Combined field goal shooting: 18 of 54 for 33 percent. Turnover: 11.
Blue Lion j-v beats McClain
In the j-v game Friday, Washington defeated McClain, 39-34.
Washington is now 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the SCOL.
McClain falls to 3-1 overall, 3-1 in the SCOL.
Washington was led by Blaise Tayese, the game’s leading scorer with 13 points.
Dillon Steward scored 9, Evan Upthegrove and Richard Burns Jr. both scored 5; Nicholas Barrett and Austin Bailey both had 3 points and Kenny Arboleda scored 1 point.
For the Tigers, Dakota Duncan led with 11 points.
A trio of players, Bryson Rickman, Landree Gray and Dakota Irvin, each scored 5 points.
Brock Dean had 4, and Justin Osborne and Camden Yates each had 2 points.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1