Circleville limited host Liberty Union to just four first-half field goals on Saturday on its way to a 54-47 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win.
“We did a nice job with being physical and rotating most of the first half, but in all honesty, we were lucky too,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “I felt like they got some pretty good looks but were missing shots.”
Entering the second quarter tied at 7-7, the Tigers took control of the matinee tilt with a 19-5 run in the period.
Five players contributed to the scoring in the period, paced by Joe Wray knocking down two triples, and Briley Cramer and Slater Search scoring two baskets apiece to take a 26-12 advantage.
“We did a nice job of rebounding and running in transition to build that lead going into halftime,” Carpenter said.
Liberty Union (3-3, 2-2) heated up from the field after halftime to easily surpass its first-half offensive production with 20 points but was only able to cut into its deficit by a point.
Search scored eight points and Cramer added six in the third quarter to help keep the Lions at bay.
Liberty Union cut its deficit into the single digits during the fourth quarter but were unable to dig out of its sizable halftime hole.
“Our guys continue to fight through adversity with a nice road win at Liberty Union,” Carpenter said. “It felt like every time we would make a run, Liberty Union did a good job of fighting back. Credit to our guys for weathering the storm and finishing the game down the stretch.”
Search led all scorers with 18 points and made it a double-double performance with 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Cramer contributed 16 points and five steals and Wray accounted for 10 points and dished out six assists.
Jaden Smith scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and London Piceirillo scored all 11 of his points in the final two periods to pace the Lions.
The Tigers (4-3, 2-2) continue league play on Thursday when they host Teays Valley.
Liberty Union 47
CIRCLEVILLE — Preston Hulse 1-0-3, Briley Cramer 6-4-16, Joe Wray 3-2-10, Ian Warden 1-0-2, Slater Search 9-0-18, Ed Kirk 1-3-5. Three-point goals — Joe Wray (2) and Preston Hulse. Total — 21 9-12 54.
LIBERTY UNION — Slade McCloskey 2-0-4, Noah Shook 1-2-5, Teddy Jackson 1-0-3, London Piceirillo 4-1-11, Cooper Manson 1-2-4, Jaden Smith 6-2-14, Luke Williams 2-0-6. Three-point goals — Piceirillo (2), Williams (2) Jackson, Shook Total — 17 7-10 47.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Circleville 7 19 19 9 54
Liberty Union 7 5 20 15 47