The Washington Blue Lions varsity basketball team played just its second game of the season Tuesday, welcoming a team that also takes pride in its Lions, Fairfield.
Fairfield won the game, 50-43.
Fairfield was led by junior Reese Teeters and sophomore Tytis Cannon, each with nine points.
Juniors Koben Zink and Brayden Zimmerman both scored eight points.
Teeters and Zink each had two three-point buckets and Zimmerman and Cannon each connected for one three-point basket.
The Blue Lions were led by sophomore Tanner Lemaster with a game-high 14 points.
A key moment in the mind of Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff came in the fourth quarter.
“We came out of a timeout and we were going to switch defenses,” Bartruff said. “We had a couple of guys who weren’t on the same page and we gave up a four-point play. We missed some bunnies. We missed some easy shots. We gave up a couple of offensive rebounds off of missed free throws.
“Our kids’ effort, it was great tonight,” Bartruff added. “We had one little (time) there in the third quarter when we didn’t handle adversity very well. We got out of whack a little bit with our focus. That’s what we have to continue to work on. I’m proud of their effort and the way they battled.”
Cutting down on turnovers in the second half was a key to the win, according to Fairfield head coach Josh Howland.
“We had a lot of turnovers in the first half (15),” Howland said. “We cut it down to four in the second half. That was probably the difference in the game. Offensively, I thought we rebounded pretty well. We’re struggling to score a little bit, but, we’re getting better. We’re averaging holding teams to 49 points per game. We held them a little better than our average tonight.
“I think 23 for them (Lemaster) is a solid player,” Howland added. “That kid has a bright future. For our team, I thought our boys played well, defensively, against him. Tucker Watson, Connor Priest and Koben Zink came off the bench and did an excellent job. Tytis Cannon had a good game, which he usually does. I was very pleased.”
Fairfield took a 5-0 lead, only to see Washington fight back and take a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The visiting Lions took a 15-12 lead with 5:48 to play in the second quarter.
The lead changed hands three times as play continued until finally the half came with the score knotted 19-19.
The Blue Lions took a 21-19 lead to start the third quarter.
Fairfield responded with a three-point basket to go on top, 22-21.
With four points from Claggett, two from Lemaster and a three by Haithcock, Washington increased its lead to 31-24 midway through the third period.
Then Fairfield embarked on a 13-0 run to surpass Washington, 37-31, by the time the third quarter ended.
The Blue Lions were able to get as close as four points in the fourth quarter, but Fairfield made 6 of 8 free throws in the final frame to keep Washington at bay, posting a 50-43 victory.
Fairfield is 4-3 with a game at home against Whiteoak on Friday at 6 p.m.
The Blue Lions (0-2) are at home Friday to take on McClain with the freshman game starting at 5 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 10 9 12 12 — 43
F 5 14 18 13 — 50
WASHINGTON — Brice Cartwright 0-0-0; Karson Runk 2 (1)-0-7; Micai Claggett 4 (1)-1-12; Titus Lotz 1-0-2; Raleigh Haithcock 1 (2)-0-8; Mitch Lotz 0-0-0; Traeton Johnson 0-0-0; Tanner Lemaster 6-2-14. TOTALS — 14 (4)-3-43. Free throw shooting: 3 of 7 for 43 percent. Three-point field goals: Haithcock, 2; Runk, Claggett.
FAIRFIELD — Brayden Zimmerman 2 (1)-1-8; Koben Zink 1 (2)-0-8; Tytis Cannon 0 (1)-6-9; Jon Bentley 2-0-4; Reese Teeters 1 (2)-1-9; Caleb Payne 0-0-0; Tucker Watson 3-0-6; Connor Priest 3-0-6. TOTALS — 12 (6)-8-50. Free throw shooting: 8 of 13 for 62 percent. Three-point field goals: Zink, 2; Teeters, 2; Zimmerman, Cannon.