On a very cold, snowy Tuesday night, the Springfield Shawnee Braves made the trip to Washington High School to take on the Blue Lions.
In the end, it came down to free throw shooting as the Braves beat the Blue Lions, 59-45.
Shawnee made 25 of 30 free throws in the game for 83 percent.
Washington made 5 of 8 from the line for 63 percent.
Seth Gray led the Braves with 31 points. He went 19 of 21 (90 percent) from the free throw line.
Nathan Bostick and David Barnett each chipped in nine points for the Braves.
Junior Griffin Shaw led the Blue Lions with 19 points.
Senior Cameron Eckles scored 12 points and senior Max Knisley had 10 points.
Springfield Shawnee is now 13-7 on the season.
Washington falls to 15-5 overall.
The Blue Lions have two SCOL games to play to conclude the regular season.
Washington has a make-up game at Wilmington Thursday at 6 p.m. and then will host the McClain Tigers for Senior Night Friday. The j-v game starts at 6 p.m.
The Braves began the game taking a 5-0 lead.
A trey by Knisley and a two-point basket by Eckles tied the score with 4:26 to play in the opening quarter.
Shawnee went on an 8-2 run to take a 13-7 lead.
Eckles scored late in the period to cut the deficit to four, 13-9.
The Braves had another run, this one 7-2 to take a 20-11 lead midway through the second quarter.
Washington fought back with scoring from Knisley (a three), then Shaw, then Knisley and then Shaw again for a 9-2 run of their own.
Shaw hit the final basket of the half to pull the Blue Lions to within two, 24-22.
After trailing the entire game, Shaw’s three-point shot with 5:18 to play in the third quarter gave Washington its first lead, 30-28.
It would be the only lead of the game for the Blue Lions.
The game was tied three times during the remainder of the third quarter.
After three, it was Shawnee 38, the Blue Lions 36.
The fourth quarter saw the Braves begin to extend their lead over the Blue Lions.
Shawnee took an eight-point lead with 5:30 to play.
The Blue Lions cut that down to four, 45-41, with just over four minutes remaining.
Washington would get no closer on this night.
The Braves made 13 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 7 of 8 from Gray, to pull away for the 59-45 victory.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “They’ve won 11 out of 13 games. They play in a tough conference (the Central Buckeye Conference, including teams such as Bellefontaine, Greenon, Kenton Ridge, Stebbins, Tecumseh and Urbana).
“They are very physical,” Bartruff said. “They have an outstanding player (Gray) that we did not guard all night. We had one kid we had to stop. That’s all we talked about.
“We’ve lost five games this year,” Bartruff said. “In four of those five games, the one kid we have to stop, we don’t stop. And that’s my fault. Obviously, I’m not getting these guys ready to go in big games.
“Against Vinton County, Bartoe had 30-something,” Bartruff said. “Against Wilmington, Cumberland had 30-something. Against Trace, Tyrae (Pettiford) had 30-something and then tonight, the one kid we have to stop has 31.
“We knew this was going to be a tough, physical game,” Bartruff said. “There’s no secret what teams are trying to do to us. They’re trying to get back in transition to take our run away and they’re trying to load up on Max. We have to be better in trusting our teammates.
“We had a lot of guys wide-open tonight,” Bartruff said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, for us. That’s makes the offense look even worse. One kid beat us, again, and that’s my fault. I’ve got to do a better job of getting these guys ready to go.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 9 13 14 9 — 45
SS 13 11 14 21 — 59
WASHINGTON — Max Knisley 2 (2)-0-10; Jarett Patton 0-2-2; Kory Proby 1-0-2; C.J. Taylor 0-0-0; Kenny Upthegrove 0-0-0; Griffin Shaw 6 (2)-1-19; Cameron Eckles 5-2-12; Brian Wilson 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (4)-5-45. Free throw shooting: 5 of 8 for 63 percent. Three-point field goals: Knisley, 2; Shaw, 2. Field goal shooting: 18 of 44 for 41 percent. Turnovers: 11.
SPRINGFIELD SHAWNEE — Aaron Schock 0-1-1; Seth Gray 6-19-31; Nathan Bostick 1 (1)-4-9; David Barnett 4-1-9; Wes Doyle 0-0-0; Trey Miller 1-0-2; Billy Lord 2 (1)-0-7. TOTALS — 14 (2)-25-59. Free throw shooting: 25 of 30 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Bostick, Lord. Field goal shooting: 16 of 33 for 48 percent. Turnovers: 6.
Blue Lions beat Braves in j-v game
The Washington Blue Lion j-v team improved to 14-4 overall with a 30-25 win over Springfield Shawnee.
Dillon Steward led the Blue Lions with nine points.
Kenny Arboleda had seven points, Blaise Tayese scored six, Jordan Behm had four and Nicholas Barrett and Richard Burns each added two points.
Zach Lubbers led Shawnee with 12 points. Cam VanVelzor was next with seven.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1