Circleville was unable to pull away from host Hamilton Township on Saturday afternoon, but the Tigers were able to put together enough spurts on their way to a 58-53 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win.
“We went on the road and battled a hungry Hamilton Township team,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “It was a physical game, but we were able to make plays down the stretch to secure the win.
Briley Cramer led all scorers with 20 points, with eight coming in the fourth quarter, for the Tigers. Joe Wray scored 14 points and Nolan West drained a quartet of three-pointers for 12 points.
“Nolan gave us a big spark coming off the bench with hitting those threes,” Carpenter said.
Circleville’s Slater Search had a solid all-around state line that included six points, 13 points, four blocks and four assists.
“Slater gave us another solid game and contributed in a number of different ways,” Carpenter commented.
The Tigers (7-5, 3-3) used a trifecta from the right-wing courtesy of West and a pair of drives from Wray and Cramer to take a 45-37 lead during the third quarter.
Carpenter credited his defense for limiting the Rangers (2-9, 1-6) to only six points in the third quarter.
“Our second half defense, led by Matt Bradley and Drew Thornsley, really sparked us,” he said.
Hamilton Township battled back to tie the game at 45-45 and again 47-47 before Cramer put the Tigers ahead to stay with a jumper from just above the free throw line followed by a drive from the left wing.
Jo McBride nailed a three to trim the CHS lead to 51-50 with 2:52 remaining.
The Tigers countered with one last spurt that featured Wray draining five of six free throws sandwiched around another drive to the basket courtesy of Cramer to push the CHS advantage to 58-50 with 24.4 seconds remaining.
“Briley had another great offensive output with 20 points, and Joe hit all four of his free throws with under a minute left that allowed us to stretch the lead,” Carpenter said.
The Circleville advantage allowed it to withstand a putback from AJ Cain-Jackson and another triple off the shooting hand of Jo McBride in the closing seconds.
Jo McBride tallied eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, John Woods had 13 and Anthony McBride chipped in 12 to pace the Rangers.
The Tigers host Paint Valley on Wednesday for a non-league game.
Hamilton Township 55
CIRCLEVILLE — Preston Hulse 1-0-2, Nolan West 4-0-12, Briley Cramer 9-2-20, Joe Wray 4-5-14, Slater Search 3-0-6, Ed Kirk 2-0-4. Three-point goals — West (4) and Wray. Total — 23 7-12 58.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Anthony McBride 5-0-12, John Woods 6-0-13, Jo McBride 6-1-16, Trent Renz 2-2-7, AJ Cain-Jackson 3-0-7. Three-point goals — J. McBride (3), A. McBride (2), Woods, Renz and Cain-Jackson. Total — 22 3-9 55.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Circleville 13 19 13 13 58
Hamilton Twp. 14 18 6 17 55