Blue Lions keep pace in FAC, beat McClain


GREENFIELD — The Washington Blue Lions were looking to stay on the heels of the Miami Trace Panthers in the chase for the Frontier Athletic Conference championship when they visited historic McClain High School to take on the Tigers last Friday.

Back on Dec. 15, Washington hosted McClain and won that game, 68-36.

On Friday, Washington started strong and went on to post a 55-34 victory.

Washington raised its record to 6-1 in the FAC, 11-2 overall.

McClain fell to 0-8, 4-13.

The Tigers were led by the senior duo of Seth Weller and Andrew Potts, each with 12 points.

Washington opened a 9-0 run, with a trey by Garrett Rickman, then a steal and layup by Rickman, followed by another bucket from Gabe Tayese, then a basket from Isaiah Haithcock.

Weller scored for McClain and after an answer from Rickman, the Tigers proceeded to score six successive points to pull the home team back to within three at 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.

McClain struck first in the second quarter, Potts again converting a layup. That drew the Tigers to within one, 13-12.

Miller and Wall hit back-to-back threes on consecutive trips down the floor. Miller and Tayese scored for the Blue Lions and Weller made the final basket of the half with the Blue Lions leading 28-16.

In the third quarter the Blue Lions continued playing well defensively and led 40-22 going into the final eight minutes.

“I felt like we dominated the entire game,” Washington coach Shannon Bartruff said. “They made a little bit of a run… The Weller kid is tough, he’s been playing really well. We did a pretty good job on (Weller and Andrew Potts).

McClain coach Michael Noszka is seeing improvement in his team.

“The kids are getting better,” Noszka said. “From an effort standpoint, not just tonight on the court, but preparation, practice time. (Washington) scored 68 points against us (in the first meeting). Tonight we had 10 turnovers, by our count. We’ve got to make shots. We didn’t shoot the ball very well. We had some guys turning down some open ones. Sometimes you have to step in and take the challenge and knock some shots down. We’ll get back after that.

“Overall, we did more things well. We still need to do some better things. Guys like Andrew and Owen (Sykes) and Jayden (Allison) were in there battling to keep their bigs off the boards. Some of our guards need to do a better job of getting in there and getting some defensive rebounds. We’ll go from here. It’s getting late in the season, but we’ll keep fighting.”


W 13 15 12 15 — 55

Mc 10 6 6 12 — 34

WASHINGTON — Garrett Rickman 8 (2)-0-22; John Wall 1 (1)-2-7; Will Miller 2 (1)-0-7; Noah Haithcock 0-0-0; Gabe Tayese 5-1-11; Isaiah Haithcock 4-0-8. TOTALS — 20 (4)-3-55. Free throw shooting: 3 of 6 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Rickman, 2; Wall, Miller. Field goal shooting: 24 of 50 for 48 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 22 for 18 percent. Turnovers: 8. Rebounds: 31 (10 offensive). Blocked shots: 7. Assists: 11. Steals: 9.

McCLAIN — Michael Noszka Jr. 1-4-6; Riley Cummins 1-0-2; Jordan Bell 0-2-2; Seth Weller 6-0-12; Owen Sykes 0-0-0; Jayden Allison 0-0-0; Andrew Potts 6-0-12. TOTALS — 14-6-34. Free throw shooting: 6 of 7 for 86 percent. Three-point field goals: none. Field goal shooting: 14 of 40 for 35 percent. Turnovers: 9.

Jayvee game

The Blue Lions edged the Tigers in the jayvee game, 35-33.

McClain’s Clayton Gibson was the game’s leading scorer with 13 points. He made one three-point field goal. Trey Evans had nine points, Brynnen Babbs scored eight points, Leiland Bond had two and Julien Evans had one.

Freshman game

In the freshman game, Washington topped McClain, 31-21.

For the Tigers, Noah Switzer, Logan Knisley and Elijah Storer each scored six points. Charlie Gibson made one three and finished with three points.

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