By Brad Morris
A strong opening quarter on both ends of the floor on Friday allowed Circleville to seize a lead it would never relinquish in a 67-52 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win over visiting Amanda-Clearcreek.
Briley Cramer helped ignite a 22-point first quarter for the Tigers with eight points and Slater Search was a force inside in leading the red-and-black with nine points during the run. The duo knocked down eight of the 10 field goals that the Tigers hit during the quarter.
“Our defense was pretty aggressive, and we were able to force Amanda into tough shots that we were able to rebound and get out in transition,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “Briley did a nice job of flying down hill and attacking the rim.
“Briley got us going and then when Amanda started to swarm him, he did a nice job of finding the open man, which allowed Slater to score some around the basket.”
The Tigers led 22-6 at the end of the first quarter, but the Aces made a run to trim their deficit down to eight points.
Brody Elder knocked down a pair of three-pointers and had seven points in the quarter for the Aces, and Tucker Shamblin and Maddox Cupp added four points apiece.
“Amanda did a nice job of coming out in the second quarter, playing some scrappy basketball and knocking down shots,” Carpenter said. “(Amanda-Clearcreek coach) Austin Smith has his kids playing hard and they had no quit. I knew coming into the game that Austin would have us well-scouted and know a lot of our sets since he was one of my assistants when I was over at Amanda.”
The Tigers closed the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 37-21 lead into halftime.
Search led the Tigers during the second quarter with five points, while Parker Kidwell and Cramer tossed in a pair of baskets apiece.
“We called a timeout when Amanda got back to within three possessions and our kids picked it back up and finished the quarter on a nice run,” Carpenter said.
Search posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and four steals to lead the Tigers. Cramer also contributed 20 points to go with five assists and four steals, Ian Warden scored eight points, and Kidwell added seven points and eight rebounds.
“Slater had a tough game against Fairfield Union where he couldn’t get his shot to fall, so he was pumped to come out and have a good game tonight,” Carpenter said. “We knew we had a height advantage with Slater (at 6-foot-4) and he did a good job of taking advantage of it.
“Briley got to the basket early and then showed off his mid-range game, which is very tough to stop, and we also had some other kids step up at different points during the game with some nice baskets.”
Ten of Amanda-Clearcreek’s 17 fields goals were from three-point range. Shamblin led all scorers with 24 points, Elder tallied 10 and Cupp added seven.
Both teams continue league play on Tuesday, as the Tigers (9-9, 5-5) host Liberty Union and the Aces (2-17, 0-11) travel to Bloom-Carroll.
Circleville 67, Amanda-Clearcreek 52
AMANDA-CLEARCREEK — Miguel Lobo 1-0-3, Tucker Shamblin 8-6-24, Brady Holbrook 2-0-6, Maddox Cupp 2-1-7, Brody Elder 3-1-10, Tanner Rose 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Shamblin (2), Holbrook (2), Cupp (2), Elder (3) and Lobo. Total — 17 8-17 52.
CIRCLEVILLE —Preston Hulse 2-0-5, Nolan West 2-1-5, Briley Cramer 9-2-20, Joe Wray 1-1-3, Parker Kidwell 3-1-7, Ian Warden 3-2-8, Slater Search 7-6-20. Three-point goals — Hulse. Total — 27 12-18 67.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Am.-Clearcreek 6 15 14 17 52
Circleville 22 15 15 15 67