Circleville scored the opening 10 points of the second half on Saturday on its way to a 56-47 win over visiting Waverly in a Division II Southeast District sectional quarterfinal.
“Any win in the tournament is a good win,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “It was a back-and-forth game but in the third quarter, we did a great job defensively that led to some transition points to go up 15.
“Waverly did a nice job fighting back, but we were able to make free throws down the stretch to pull away. We were 20 of 25 from the free throw line, overall.”
Nursing a 22-21 lead coming out of the break, the Tigers scored on five of their first six trips down the floor.
Briley Cramer scored on back-to-back layups to get the run underway. Slater Search then drained a pair of free throws and Parker Kidwell followed with a transition layup.
Cramer then split a pair of free throws to give Circleville a 31-21 lead.
Caden Nibert tried to stem the CHS run by swishing a three from the top of the key, but Circleville continued on the offensive. Matt Bradley came away with a steal and layup and then a second Bradley steal led to Preston Hulse knocking down a pair of free throws.
Hulse then scored in transition off a feed from Cramer to push the CHS lead to 37-24.
After a layup by Waverly, Search and Cramer fed one another for a pair of layups to give Circleville a 41-26 lead headed to the final period of play.
Circleville shot 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) during the run while packing in a 2-3 zone defense to largely cut off Waverly’s penetration to the basket and hold its guests to 2 of 17 (11.8 percent) shooting.
Waverly (2-20) trimmed its deficit to 47-43 with 1:22 remaining but was unable to come any closer.
Cramer drained five of six free throws and Nolan West and Search drained a pair apiece.
Cramer led all scorers with 27 points on 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) shooting from the field and 11 of 14 (78.6 percent) at the free throw line. The junior slasher also contributed nine rebounds and four assists. Search posted a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds.
The Tigers (11-12) travel to third-seeded Miami Trace (18-4) on Wednesday for a sectional semifinal. Miami Trace won the regular-season meeting 66-48 last month.