CHILLICOTHE – Cutting down on turnovers and a heavy dose of Alex Wilson was what Washington Court House used to defeat Circleville 57-51 Friday evening at Southeastern High School.
“We stopped turning the ball over down the stretch and executed our offense,” Washington coach Gary Shaffer said. “They really didn't have an answer for Alex
Wilson inside, and we should have got the ball into him more than we did.”
The Blue Lions (15-6) return to Ohio University's Convocation Center for the first time since 2004.
Washington is slated to take on the winner of today's game between Vinton County and Northwest Friday at 6:30 p.m.
“This is going to be a great experience for our kids,” Shaffer said. “We talked to them about how great it is to play at the Convo, and this is a good step for our
Wilson posted a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds for Washington. Kyle Slone had 11 points and Zerreyan Harris added seven points and five steals.
Joel Williams led Circleville with 13 points, Drew McGlone had 10 points and Kory Hartinger gathered nine points and seven rebounds.
Circleville (11-10) ended the third quarter on a 13-2 run, fueled by McGlone scoring three baskets inside and Williams canning a three-pointer. The run translated into a 39-36 Circleville lead going into the final period.
“We felt good when we had that run,” Circleville coach Eddie Sims said. “But we had a chance to expand the lead further, but we turned it over on a couple of possessions. We didn't handle their pressure well.”
“They (Circleville) had around six offensive rebounds during their run and we had to cut that out,” Shaffer said. “The kids stepped up the defense, cut out those second chances for them and Harris created some turnovers to get us going.”
Washington answered in the fourth quarter by forcing eight turnovers — four coming on steals by Harris — and outscoring Circleville 21-12.
“We didn't take care of the basketball,” Sims said. “When you have 21 turnovers, you don't deserve to win.
“We also went four of 10 from the free throw line and that didn't help either.”
Wilson had two old-fashioned three-point plays for the Blue Lions in the fourth quarter to lead Washington.
Harris put the Blue Lions ahead for good ay 47-46 with a steal and layup with 3:15 to go.
Washington put away the game by draining five free throws down the stretch.
Circleville loses six seniors to graduation in Hartinger, McGlone, Josh Downing, Drew Clanin, Justin Topping and Clark McMahon.
“I feel bad for them that we didn't get to the Convo,” Sims said. “Those six kids have been great ambassadors for our basketball program, and they are going to be
very successful in life.”