Blue Lions fall to McClain in Sectional, 59-25


By Chris Hoppes - choppes@aimmediamidwest.com



Washington junior Mitch Lotz drives the baseline against McClain senior Dakota Pollock in a Division II Sectional tournament game at Southeastern High School Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.

Washington junior Mitch Lotz drives the baseline against McClain senior Dakota Pollock in a Division II Sectional tournament game at Southeastern High School Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

CHILLICOTHE — The Washington Blue Lions made the trip down US 35 and then US 50 to Southeastern High School to take on the McClain Tigers in a Division II Sectional basketball game Monday night.

The Tigers won the game, 59-25 to improve to 8-15 on the season.

McClain will return to Southeastern High School in two days time to take on the No. 2 seed Jackson Ironmen in a Sectional semifinal game.

Sophomore Karson Runk led the Blue Lions with eight points.

Freshman Tanner Lemaster scored seven points. He led Washington with six rebounds and he also had one blocked shot.

Freshman Calum Brown scored six points for the Blue Lions.

A pair of sophomores led the Tigers in scoring. Preston Saunders scored 17 points and Bryson Badgley had 16 points. Both players hit three three-point field goals.

Junior Lyle White had eight points for McClain and junior Camden Closson scored six.

Runk scored the first basket of the game just over one minute into the contest.

McClain outscored Washington 14-2 the remainder of the quarter to take a 14-4 lead.

The Blue Lions had their optimum scoring output with 13 in the second quarter.

The Tigers, however, countered with 20 points.

McClain led Washington 34-17 at the half.

The Blue Lions were outscored by McClain 16-3 in the third quarter to extend their lead to 50-20.

For the game, Washington made 10 of 33 shot attempts for 30 percent.

McClain made 21 of 41 field goal attempts for 51 percent.

The Tigers connected for six three-point shots to one for the Blue Lions.

Washington finishes the 2019-20 season with a record of 0-23.

“If they’re shooting like that, it’s going to be tough for us to beat anyone,” Washington head coach Ryan Day said. “I thought we had some really good looks at the hoop in the first half, but we just couldn’t knock them down. Then it snowballed.

“(McClain) is playing better at the end of the season and coach (Joe B.) Stewart’s done a really good job with them,” Day said.

“At times this year, especially early, we didn’t always compete,” Day said. “Although the scores don’t show it, I feel like toward the end of the season we were more consistent in our competitiveness and our willingness to be coached.

“These guys have been through a lot this year,” Day said. “Their perseverance and their grit should be commended because it’s tough to walk out on the court every night knowing that people are probably going to be saying things and not giving them a whole lot of hope. Yet they still come out and try and I appreciate that.

“We told them that in the locker room after the game,” Day said. “We’ve seen little pieces of progress and, my goodness, we’re playing sophomores and freshmen at this level, it’s tough to compete unless they are transcendent talents, which, we’re not there yet.

“It’s going to take a lot of work for us to make the next big step and I’m hoping they are willing to do it,” Day said. “We talked earlier about crowding their shooters. We didn’t do that very well. Some of the shots they hit were good shots and we were there. But other times, we were sagging off too far.

“Offensively, I really do think if we have a little better shooting percentage, then the game doesn’t seem to be getting out of hand,” Day said. “In the first half, I felt like our offense was doing exactly what we wanted to do. It’s a skill sport and right now our skill level isn’t where it will be and so we just have to kind of roll with it.

“Karson played his best game of the season,” Day said. “And I told him that. As his confidence grows, I think he’ll be an effective guard in high school. He saw some things tonight and took advantage of them. He made some good passes, he had some good finishes at the rim.”

Washington says thank you and good-bye to three seniors: Drew Moats, Stone DuBois and Trevin Brown.

“Drew was a leader in how hard he plays,” Day said. “He gives us a little bit of defensive grit, which we need. He’s a guy that the other guys enjoy being around.

“Stone unfortunately, had a season-ending injury a couple of weeks ago,” Day said. “He and Trevin Brown gave us some depth and some good minutes at times this season.”

SCORE BY QUARTERS

W 4 13 3 5 — 25

Mc 14 20 16 9 — 59

WASHINGTON — Brayden May 0-0-0; Karson Runk 4-0-8; Brice Cartwright 0-1-1; Drew Moats 0-0-0; Mitch Lotz 0-2-2; Calum Brown 3-0-6; Titus Lotz 0-0-0; Tanner Lemaster 2 (1)-0-7; Kyland Howard 0-0-0; Noah Hicks 0-1-1. TOTALS — 9 (1)-4-25. Free throw shooting: 4 of 8 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal: Lemaster. Field goal shooting: 10 of 33 for 30 percent Turnovers: 5.

McCLAIN — Preston Saunders 4 (3)-0-17; Bryson Badgley 3 (3)-1-16; Lyle White 2-4-8; Matt Bliss 2-0-4; Camden Closson 1-4-6; Isaac Carroll 0-0-0; Braeden Bergstrom 0-0-0; Carson Spangler 0-0-0; Noah Reeves 0-0-0; Braden Wright 2-1-5; Wesley Potts 0-0-0; Seth Wise 0-0-0; Dakota Pollock 1-0-2. TOTALS — 15 (6)-10-59. Free throw shooting: 10 of 15 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: Saunders, 3; Badgley, 3. Field goal shooting: 21 of 41 for 51 percent. Turnovers: 5.

Washington junior Mitch Lotz drives the baseline against McClain senior Dakota Pollock in a Division II Sectional tournament game at Southeastern High School Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/02/web1_Mitch-Lotz-vs-McClain-in-Sectional-2-17-2020.jpgWashington junior Mitch Lotz drives the baseline against McClain senior Dakota Pollock in a Division II Sectional tournament game at Southeastern High School Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

By Chris Hoppes

choppes@aimmediamidwest.com