COSHOCTON – Fans from Muskingum and Coshocton Counties had been waiting for Saturday night for the better part of a week.
Coshocton High School’s Wigwam was set to play host to two of the Eastern District’s best teams as the 7-0 Redskins played host to 8-0 Dresden Tri-Valley.
A pair of second half runs proved the difference as the Scotties posted a 63-55 victory over the homestanding ‘Skins.
“This is the third straight unbeaten team we’ve played now,” Tri-Valley coach Tim Shumaker said. “We’ve won them all, but there are obviously things we need to work on and we need to keep making progress.”
Tri-Valley had a pair of starters pick up a pair of fouls in the first quarter as Adam Bice and Cam West were both sent to the bench early.
Despite seven points from Coshocton senior Rydell Chrisman the squads were deadlocked at 15-15 after the first stoppage.
Quarter number two saw Aaron Shumaker begin to impose his will on the game as the senior accounted for seven second quarter points as the visitors opened up a 28-26 edge at the intermission.
Bice, who had picked up his third foul late in the second quarter, scored the first six points of the third quarter to make it 34-26 before immediately picking up his fourth.
Bice’s fourth foul had followed a Coshocton timeout, which occurred on an Ian Chrisman three-point play which made it 34-29.
Coshocton cut the lead to 36-34 with 3:29 left in the period on an old-fashioned three by sophomore David Brown.
Soon there after a technical foul on Coshocton resulted in a pair of free throws by Tri-Valley junior Jordan Ayres and a hoop by the Ayres thereafter to make it 40-34.
The third stanza ended with the Dawgs holding a 42-39 edge.
“Playing a team like this can only help us,” Coshocton head coach Tom Hilgenberg said. “We hung in there and kept battling which was good to see.”
The fourth quarter opened with Aaron Shumaker taking over to leave no doubt who would win this battle.
Shumaker scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to stake the Scotties to a 50-39 lead with 5:15 left in the game.
“The biggest thing we talked about was playing better perimeter defense in the second half,” Tim Shumaker said. “Throughout the course of the season you will battle foul trouble or injuries and tonight we passed that test again.”
Coshocton showed its colors as well as the Redskins kept battling and trimmed Tri-Valley’s lead to six at 58-52 with 53 ticks left behind a 8-2 run.
Rydell Chrisman dropped a triple while Dom McCluskey added a steal and hoop and Brown capped the run with a trey of his own, but the Dawgs made enough freebies down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Aaron Shumaker led the winners with 26 points and 12 rebounds while Bice and Ayres each added 13 counters.
Brown paced the Coshocton scoring with 19 points while Rydell Chrisman added 15 and McCluskey 11.