Evan Justice was sizzling from the field over the final three quarters on Wednesday to help Circleville top Athens 58-50 in a non-league game.
The senior guard was limited to a basket in the opening quarter, but quickly heated up in the second stanza with three field goals and a free throw.
Justice connected on four more field goals, including a three, coming out of the break to finish the third quarter with 11 points. He then capped the game with six points in the fourth.
The Tigers were tied 11-11 after the first quarter, but went on to lead 27-24 at intermission and 41-33 going into the fourth quarter.
“It was a great team effort defensively,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “Our guys followed the scouting report. Unsung heroes defensively were Trevor Coleman and Craig Fleck defending their top 2 players, holding them both to single digits.”
Fleck also was a force in helping the Tigers secure their first win of the season by knocking down seven of eight free throws in the final stanza to the period with nine of his 15 points.
Justice finished with a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds to go with four steals. Fleck had five rebounds to go with his 15 points and freshman Briley Cramer chipped in nine points and five rebounds.
“Evan took over offensively and did what everyone knows he’s capable of doing,” Carpenter said. “Our freshman Briley Cramer continues to get better each game, giving us nine points tonight.
“Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of my guys.”
Will Matters turned in 20 points and Jake Sayers added 11 for the Bulldogs.
The Tigers (1-2) resume Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Friday when they host Teays Valley.
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