By Brad Morris
Circleville turned to its post tandem of 6-4 junior Slater Search and 6-5 freshman Ed Kirk to pull away from host Amanda-Clearcreek on Tuesday and secure a 54-34 Mid-State League Buckeye Division game.
The Tigers outscored the Aces 30-14 in the second half, with Search and Slater combining for 18 of those points, after leading 24-20 at halftime.
“Slater was dominate on the glass and Ed led us in scoring and did an outstanding job,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said.
The Tigers were playing without four of their varsity players in the game, leading Carpenter to turn to some of his younger players, like Kirk, to help lead the way to victory.
“We continue to face adversity and I’m extremely proud of how our guys have come together and pushed through tonight,” he said.
Kirk finished the night with a career-high 18 points and also pulled down eight rebounds. Search posted a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Briley Cramer contributed 13 points and Joe Wray chipped in seven points and six assists.
Cramer scored seven points in the opening stanza to help the Tigers out to an early 9-7 edge.
“Briley continued to be our main guy on both sides of the ball,” Carpenter said.
Kirk led the way with six points in the second quarter and Wray chipped in five to send the Tigers into the break with a 24-20 lead.
“Freshman Joe Wray handled the point very well and created a number of scoring opportunities for his teammates,” Carpenter said.
Miguel Lobo helped keep the Aces within striking distance with eight points during the first half.
The Tigers started to make their move in the third quarter, outscoring the Aces 16-9 to build a 40-29 advantage entering the final period of play.
Five players scored in the quarter, led by Search contributing six points and Slater adding four.
Circleville put the finishing touches on its first league win of the season with a 14-5 fourth quarter, powered by Kirk tossing in six points and five players again scoring for the Tigers in the period.
Lobo led the Aces with nine points, Tucker Shamblin tallied eight and Brody Elder added five.
“Tucker is one of the top scorers in the league so far this season and sophomore Drew Thornsley stepped up and did an outstanding job guarding him,” Carpenter said.
The Tigers (3-2, 1-1) continue league play on Thursday when they host Bloom-Carroll (1-0, 1-0), while the Aces (2-6, 0-4) entertain the defending MSL-Buckeye champion Bulldogs on Saturday.
CIRCLEVILLE — Briley Cramer 6-0-13, Joe Wray 3-0-7, Drew Thornsley 1-0-2, Ian Warden 1-2-4, Slater Search 5-0-10, Ed Kirk 8-2-18 Three-point goals — Briley Cramer and Joe Wray. Total — 24 4-7 54.
AMANDA-CLEARCREEK — Miguel Lobo 2-4-9, Tucker Shamblin 3-2-8, Brady Holbrook 1-0-2, Levi Owens 1-0-2, Brody Elder 2-0-5, Tanner Rose 2-0-4, Peter Smith 2-0-4. Three-point goals — Miguel Lobo and Brody Elder. Total — 13 6-9 34.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Circleville 9 15 16 14 54
Am.-Clearcreek 7 13 9 5 34