CIRCLEVILLE – Clark McMahon was sizzling from the field early Saturday evening.
The rest of his Circleville High School teammates joined him in the third quarter.
McMahon set the tone with 21 points in the first half, and a 16-4 Circleville run in the third quarter opened the floodgate to a 78-53 non-league win over the visiting Washington Court House Blue Lions.
“We just came out with a lot of intensity and had fun,” McMahon said. “I was feeling good shooting, along with a couple of my other teammates, and everyone else seemed to jump in during the third quarter.”
Circleville (2-1) tallied 45 points in the second half and finished its home opener at the Mill Street Gymnasium by shooting 32 of 60 from the field (53 percent).
Drew Clanin chipped in 12 points for Circleville, while Kory Hartinger had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“Clark definitely had his ‘A’ game. He was going to the basket strong, drawing fouls and shooting well from outside,” Circleville coach Eddie Sims said. “Drew Clanin had his best game of his career and did a good job bringing the ball up against pressure from (Zerreyan Harris).”
McMahon shot seven of 13 from the field in the first half, helping the Tigers to a 33-28 halftime advantage over the Blue Lions (2-2).
Circleville wrestled control of the contest away from a Washington team playing its fourth game in eight days on a 16-4 run in the third period.
McMahon canned a jumper and an old-fashion three-point play, Drew McGlone hit a pair of buckets and Clanin added a three-ball to put the Tigers ahead 51-34 with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter.
“I was comfortable going in with a five-point lead at halftime,” Sims said. “I knew they had to be tired from playing four games in eight days, and if we made one push in the third quarter, I felt like we could win this game.
“Our kids were able to make a couple of pushes against a good basketball team. All 11 made the score book and everyone got involved and fed off of Clark’s energy.”
The Tigers also forced three turnovers during the run.
Washington bogged down from the field in the second half, shooting eight of 30 (27 percent). The Blue Lions finished the evening converting 17 of 52 (33 percent) opportunities.
“Circleville executed better than us. They had more energy and shot the ball better,” Washington coach Gary Shaffer said. “Playing four games in eight days at the beginning of the season took its toll on our players, but Circleville deserved to win this game.”
Alex Wilson led Washington with 18 points and eight rebounds. Travis Shaw chipped in 13 points.
The Tigers open Mid-State League competition Tuesday at home against Bloom-Carroll. Washington returns home Saturday to resume South Central Ohio League action against archrival Miami Trace.
“It feels good to have a winning record,” McMahon said. “We didn’t start out like we wanted to last season and we want to keep it going this week.”