Just how close was this game?
Well, you’ve heard of games coming down to the final seconds?
This one came down to no seconds remaining.
The Blue Lions welcomed the Cavaliers from Chillicothe High School for a Frontier Athletic Conference game Thursday night.
Washington had a good start and played with the lead virtually the entire game.
The Blue Lions led by as many as 15 points.
However, Chillicothe poured on the offense in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 points.
The Cavs had just turned the ball over trailing by three points with 1.6 seconds remaining. That seemed to be it.
Somewhat improbably, the Cavs stole the in-bounds pass and put up a three-point shot as time expired. The shot was no good, but, there was a foul called.
A Chillicothe player stepped to the free throw line with no time left on the scoreboard clock.
He needed to make all three free throws to send the game into overtime.
He made the first throw and seemingly calmly made the second free throw.
However, the young man missed the game-tying final free throw, giving the Blue Lions their second win of the season, 56-55.
Washington was led by sophomore Tanner Lemaster, the game’s high scorer with 19 points.
Junior Karson Runk scored 14 points, senior Micai Claggett scored eight and sophomore Raleigh Haithcock had seven points.
Freshman John Wall scored four, senior Brice Cartwright and sophomore Traeton Johnson each scored two points.
For the Cavaliers, junior Mike Miller led with 16 points.
Sophomore Max Lee scored 15 and junior Jaiden Cain scored eight.
“It should not have come down to that,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “If we make a few more free throws, take care of the basketball a little bit more coming down the stretch, I think we win by double digits.
“Give Chillicothe credit, they played hard,” Bartruff said. “They made some shots and got us out of our zone and they got to the rim a couple of times. Raleigh made a big three there at the end, we took care of the basketball, for the most part and we made some free throws. I’m proud of them. They’re excited.”
The Blue Lions led, 10-4 at the end of the first quarter.
A 14-0 run by Washington, beginning in the first quarter and continuing into the second quarter, had the Blue Lions in front, 17-4.
The Cavs fought back and pulled to within five points at the half, 28-23.
In the third quarter, Washington had a lead of between seven and 14 points.
After three complete, the Blue Lions were in front, 43-32.
Slowly, steadily, the Cavs kept hitting field goals in the fourth quarter, cutting into Washington’s lead.
An 8-0 run for Chillicothe to begin the fourth quarter had the Cavs within three points.
Chillicothe tied the game, 45-45 with 5:13 remaining.
The Blue Lions did not relinquish the lead, however.
Claggett hit a free throw and Lemaster had an old-fashioned three-point play to give Washington a 49-45 lead.
Chillicothe scored and after a foul made a free throw to make it a 49-48 game with 3:55 to play.
Johnson scored and Chillicothe hit a free throw for a 51-49 tally.
The Cavs tied the game with a pair of free throws with 1:30 to go.
Raliegh Haithcock hit a three-point shot with 1:15 remaining.
After a basket from the Cavs made it a one-point game, Wall went to the line, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Johnny-on-the-spot, Claggett had a key rebound and seconds later, Wall was back at the line.
He made both free throws to give Washington a 56-53 lead.
Then occured the series of plays described above, with the Blue Lions escaping with a 56-55 victory.
Chillicothe (now 1-8 overall, 0-6 in the FAC) has four games remaining, all in the conference.
Washington (2-10 overall, 2-6 in the FAC) will play at Miami Trace Saturday with the freshman game starting at 4:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 10 18 15 13 — 56
C 4 19 9 23 — 55
WASHINGTON — John Wall 1-2-4; Brice Cartwright 1-0-2; Karson Runk 3 (2)-2-14; Micai Claggett 2 (1)-1-8; Titus Lotz 0-0-0; Raleigh Haithcock 2 (1)-0-7; Traeton Johnson 1-0-2; Tanner Lemaster 7-5-19; Isaiah Haithcock 0-0-0. TOTALS — 17 (4)-10-56. Free throw shooting: 10 of 13 for 77 percent. Three-point field goals: Runk, 2; Claggett, R. Haithcock. Field goal shooting: 21 of 56 for 38 percent. Turnovers: 18.
CHILLICOTHE — Mike Miller 3 (3)-1-16; Max Lee 4-8-15; Jaiden Cain 0 (2)-2-8; Mason Siberell 0 (1)-0-3; Carson Francis 3-0-6; Joel Barnes 1-5-7. TOTALS — 11 (6)-16-55. Free throw shooting: 16 of 23 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Miller, 3; Cain, 2, Siberell. Field goal shooting: 17 of 44 for 39 percent. Turnovers: 10.