by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
The tide turned in favor of Washington Court House during the third quarter Wednesday night as the Blue Lions took down host Circleville 51-43 on the second night of the inaugural Roundtown Holiday Classic.
Circleville had a 33-29 lead midway through the third but, behind nine points from Reico Colter, Washington scored 15 of the next 18 to take control with a 44-36 advantage early in the fourth.
“In that stretch, all we did was take care of the basketball, moved it on offense, got easy shots and then we got rebounds on defense,” Blue Lions coach Shannon Bartruff said. “That’s all it boiled down to was being solid on both ends of the floor.”
Because of injuries and illness, Bartruff said it was the first time he’d had his full complement of players available in about a month. Couple that with the holiday break and he said his team looked like they’d been off.
“We haven’t played for 10 days and I felt like we were dusty,” he said. “Offensively, we came out and they started in zone and we just fell in love with the three, which is what a team wants you to do.
“We took some terrible shots down the stretch that we just didn’t need. It’s poor decision making at times. We’ve done that in a few games and we’ve just got to continue to grow and get better from that.”
The game played fairly even in the first half with Circleville leading 13-11 after one period and 25-22 at halftime.
After only committing five turnovers in the first half, the Blue Lions — especially Colter — changed that for Circleville as the Tigers turned it over six times in the third and five more in the fourth quarter.
“We had a run to start the second half where they got out ahead of us a little bit and got some turnovers and we missed some shots, it’s just hard to get back into it,” Circleville assistant coach Josh Rodich said. “With their size and their quickness it was tough to overcome.”
Tanner Lemaster, a 6-6 junior, led WCH with 17 points and pulled down five rebounds. Colter finished with 15 points and six rebounds. John Wall led the Blue Lions with seven rebounds as they had a 35-23 edge over the Tigers.
Circleville had four players reach double figures with Ian Warden scoring 11 points and Trevor Coleman, Parker Kidwell and Craig Fleck each scoring 10.
Fleck grabbed nine rebounds, Warden had seven and Kidwell had six.
“I like our energy and our effort, our kids fought really hard, despite being maybe a step slower and a little bit undersized,” Rodich said. “Court House is really well coached and has great schemes. They’re one of the top teams in our district. Hopefully we can build off this for Tuesday night — we’ve got Miami Trace and they’ve got another big kid (6-8 junior Andrew Guthrie).”
Circleville (3-8) opens the new year at Miami Trace Tuesday and then head to Teays Valley Next Friday.
The Blue Lions take on Jonathan Alder at 6 p.m. Thursday in Waverly.
Washington Court House 51, Circleville 43
Washington Court House — Reico Colter 5-3-15, John Wall 0-2-2, Raleigh Haithcock 2-0-6, Micah Brown 1-2-4, Tanner Lemaster 7-2-17, Isaiah Haithcock 3-0-7. Three-point goals — Colter (2), R Haithcock (2), Lemaster, I Haithcock. Total — 18-52 9-10 51.
Circleville — Trevor Coleman 4-0-10, Winston Jones 1-0-2, Parker Kidwell 3-2-10, Ian Warden 5-1-11, Craig Fleck 3-4-10. Three-point goals — Coleman (2), Kidwell (2). Total — 16-38 7-9 43.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Washington CH 11 11 18 11 51
Circleville 13 12 11 7 43