ATHENS — The Whiteoak Wildcats traveled to the Convocation Center on the campus of Ohio University in Athens on Sunday to take on the Waterford Wildcats in Division IV Southeast boys District Semifinal game but, were unable to thwart Waterford as they lost 56-43.
Whiteoak were led in scoring by Hunter Ruckle who finished with 13 points including one three pointer and two for two from the charity stripe.
Zach Rand was next for Whiteoak with 11 points including one three pointer and a four of six performance from the free throw line.
Deavin Cumberland and Bradley Ashbaugh each had five for Whiteoak while Traeten Hailton recorded four and Atlee Carr totaled three points to round out the scoring the the Highland County boys.
Waterford was led in scoring by Russell Young who tallied a game high 20 points and hit both of hos shots at the free throw line.
Nick Fouss was next for Waterford with 12 points and he hit two three pointers in the game. Zane Heiss and Wes Jenkins had nine and eight points respectively for Waterford on the night.
Rounding of the scoring for Waterford was Peyton Stephens with five points and Holden Dailey with two.
Waterford struck first in the opening quarter of play and took a 2-0 lead with 7:18 to go in the first quarter but, Whiteoak answered with a five to nothing run over the next two minutes that saw Ruckle hot a layup and Ashbaugh hit a deep three pointer to give the Wildcats in orange a 5-2 lead with six minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Waterford answered with a 15-3 run that spanned the remainder of the quarter and secured a 17-8 lead after the first quarter of play.
Whiteoak trailed by as much as 12 points in the second quarter when the scoreboard read 27-15 with 3:34 to play in the first half.
From there Whiteoak oustscored Waterford 6-2 as Ashbuagh, Cumberland and Ruckle each had two points during the run and cut the lead to 29-21 at the halftime buzzer.
A relatively quiet third quarter saw Waterford outscore Whiteoak 11-9 and take a 40-29 lead into the fourth quarter of play.
Whiteoak continued to play hard in the fourth quarter and were able to put up 14 points in the frame as Rand, Ruckle and Hamilton each had four points while Cumberland added two of his own.
Whiteoak was able to trim the lead to 11 points on three occasions and a three pointer by Rand with under two minutes to play cut the Waterford lead to 10 points at 53-43.
Waterford hit three of four free throws in the final 1:18 to secure the victory and a return trip to the Convocation Center to take on Coal Grove on Thursday, March 7, with a schedule tip of 8:15 p.m.
Score by quarters
Whiteoak: Ashbaugh 1(1)-5; Cumberland 1-3/6-5; Hamilton 1-2/2-4; Ruckel 4(1)-2/2-13; Carr (1)-0/2-3; Rand 2(1)-4/6-11
Waterford: Dailey 2/2-2; Young 9-2/2-20; Fouss 3(2)-12; Jenkins 1(2)8; Heiss 3(1)-9; Stephens 2-1/2-5
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.