A large crowd attended the Washington Blue Lions varsity boys basketball game at home against Unioto (1-1) on Saturday. Unioto came into the contest with a win against Piketon and a loss to Miami Trace.
This game was intense from start to finish, to say the least. A total of three technical fouls were called throughout the competition.
At the end of the first quarter, the Blue Lions were ahead by a narrow margin of 14-12. Michael Bearden and Tanner Lemaster each scored six points in the opening quarter.
Washington oustscored Unioto 12-4 in the second quarter, giving them a 26-16 halftime lead.
The third quarter was another tightly-scored period, as the Blue Lions outscored the Shermans by just one point, 14-13. This gave them a 40-29 advantage heading into the final quarter.
In the final quarter, Unioto outscored Washington 20-14 and cut the lead to just three points with a minute remaining, but were unable to fully close the gap. Washington would hold on and prevail, 54-49.
Unofficially for Washington, Lemaster led the Blue Lions with 17 points, followed by John Wall with 10. Bearden and Brayden May finished with eight points, Garrett Rickman scored six points, Raleigh Haithcock scored three, and Isaiah Haithcock scored two.
The Blue Lions were 11-13 (85%) from the free-throw line as a team and committed 14 turnovers.
Statistically for Unioto, Ashton Crace led the Shermans with 15 points, hitting three three pointers along the way. He was followed by Newton Hoops with 11 points, also knocking down three three pointers. Next was Blake Fitch with seven, Jordan Perkins with six, KB Perkins with five, Blake Hoops with four, and Maddox Fox with one.
The Shermans were 13-18 (72%) from the free-throw line as a team and committed 15 turnovers.
Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff spoke after the non-conference victory.
“I thought we really played well for about 27 minutes of that game. I thought we really moved the ball well against their zone and got good open shots. Credit to Unioto, they kept fighting, knocked down some shots and got back in it. Our best basketball is ahead of us, we just have got to continue to get better.”
Bartruff praised a couple of players that he said have been playing well lately.
“Brayden May is a starter, he’s just not starting. He’s been coming off the bench and he’s a senior. I asked him today in the locker room, I said, ‘I don’t know what out of body experience you have had in the last week or two weeks, but whatever you’re doing, keep doing it’, because he’s been tremendous, I’m super proud of that kid. Garrett Rickman was a JV player last year. He is a junior this year and he is starting to come into his own. I think his best basketball is ahead of him as well.”
Washington (4-1/1-0) plays again on Tuesday, Dec. 6 on the road against Jackson with a 7:30 p.m. varsity tip.
Unioto (1-2/1-0) plays again on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Paint Valley.
In the junior varsity contest, Washington won 41-30.
Statistically for Washington, Gage Merritt led the Blue Lions with 12 points, followed by Noah Haithcock with ten, Jacob Lindsey with seven, Javin Baker with four, Jeston Everhart and Cooper Robertson with three, and Bryson Heath with two.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 14 12 14 14 — 54
U 12 4 13 20 — 49
WASHINGTON — Garrett Rickman 3-0-6; John Wall 4 (1)-1-10; Michael Bearden 4-0-8 Brayden May 3 (1)-1-8; Raleigh Haithcock 1 (1)-0-3; Gabe Tayese 0-0-0; Tanner Lemaster 5-7-17; Isaiah Haithcock 0-2-2. TOTALS — 20 (3)-11-54. Free throw shooting: 11 of 13 for 85 percent. Three-point field goals: Wall, May, R. Haithcock. Turnovers: 14
UNIOTO — KB Perkins 1-3-5; Maddox Fox 0-1-1; Newton Hoops 3 (3)-2-11; Blake Hoops 1-2-4; Blake Fitch 2-3-7; Caden Cutright 0-0-0; Ashton Crace 6 (3)-0-15; Nathan Morrow 0-0-0; Connor Dollison 0-0-0; Jordan Perkins 2-2-6. TOTALS — 15 (6)-13-49. Free throw shooting: 13 of 18 for 72 percent. Three-point field goals: Crace, 3; N. Hoops, 3. Turnovers: 15