Tigers hold off Blue Lions in tourney tilt

Tigers move on to Friday’s district championship game

By Chris Hoppes - [email protected]

Washington’s John Wall brings the ball up the floor as McClain’s Kendyll Toney applies defensive pressure.

Washington’s John Wall brings the ball up the floor as McClain’s Kendyll Toney applies defensive pressure.

Chris Hoppes | AIM Media Midwest

The third meeting of the season between the Washington Blue Lions and McClain Tigers varsity boys basketball teams will be remembered for a long time.

A district tournament semi-final game played Saturday at Southeastern High School before a packed crowd, it was nothing short of a barn burner.

McClain, with 10 seniors on the team and seven of them seeing action in the game, was able to hold off Washington (with just one senior), 73-70.

McClain beat the Blue Lions when the teams played at Greenfield on Jan. 14, 61-53.

In the first meeting of the longtime rivals at Washington High School on Dec. 7, the Tigers won, 52-49.

One player for each team especially stood out with tremendous efforts Saturday night.

For the Blue Lions, senior Reico Colter poured in 39 points and led his team with four assists and four steals.

For the Tigers, it was Bryson Badgley, who notched a double-double of 34 points and 11 rebounds.

McClain won the rebounding battle, 31-19, including 15 offensive rebounds to five for Washington.

Another area in which McClain excels is getting to the free throw line. On Saturday, McClain made 19 of 34 shots from the foul line to 7 of 12 for the Blue Lions.

McClain’s Kendyll Toney scored 18 points and Braden Wright scored 10. Toney was 8 of 11 from the foul line and Wright went 8 of 14 from the stripe.

The Blue Lions took a 5-2 lead with scores from Lemaster and Colter. The game was tied, 7-7 and Mischal and Colter scored late in the period. McClain led 13-9, but the first of two four-point plays by Colter (a three-point bucket and a free throw) tied the game, 13-13, at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers exerted themselves and seemed double-quick on the offensive glass. Toney made a free throw, missed the next and McClain got the rebound and put back. After a Washington miss, McClain missed its first shot, then grabbed the rebound for another put back to make it 18-13.

Badgley hit back-to-back threes to take a nine-point lead, 24-15, with 5:30 to play in the half.

A bit later in the quarter, McClain went to the line and missed two throws. Again, however, they grabbed the offensive board and scored.

With the Tigers leading by 10 (29-19), Colter had his second four-point play of the half to make it a six-point game.

After a Blue Lion turnover, McClain scored the final basket of the half to take a 35-26 lead into the locker room.

After employing a 2-3 zone and later a man-to-man defense, the Blue Lions changed things up to start the second half. It quickly paid dividends as the pressure forced turnovers that Washington turned into a 9-0 run with scoring from Lemaster, Wall and Raleigh Haithcock. Just like that, the game was tied, 35-35, just one minute into the third quarter.

Badgley scored the next two buckets for McClain. Unofficially, Badgley, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career during the game, made 5 of 10 shots from three-point range and 8 of 12 from two-point range for a combined 13 of 22 shooting for 59 percent.

The game stayed in the four- to six-point range in favor of McClain for the next few possessions. By the end of the third quarter it as 51-41, with the Tigers in the lead.

Washington had a 7-2 run to begin the fourth quarter. With another three from Badgley, McClain enjoyed an 8-point lead.

Wall hit another three and Colter scored again to pull the Blue Lions to within two points, 58-56, with about four and a half minutes remaining in the game. McClain led 63-58 with three minutes to go.

Lemaster scored to make it 63-61.

After a technical foul was called on Washington, Wright made four free throws and scored on the ensuing possession to push the McClain lead to 69-61. In spite of that setback for Washington, Wall had an offensive rebound and scored for the Blue Lions. As the time wound down to a precious few seconds, the back and forth battle continued.

Colter scored with 26.7 seconds left to make it 72-68.

McClain made one of two free throws with 6.8 seconds left.

Colter was fouled and made two of three from the line to make it 73-70 with 3.3 seconds left.

McClain missed two final free throw attempts.

Washington tried a long, desperation three-point shot that would have tied the game. However, the ball hit netting that was bundled high up in the rafters, ending a dramatic, action-filled game.

“Give McClain credit,” Washington coach Shannon Bartruff said. “There are times when they don’t shoot the ball well, but about 50 percent of their offense is just getting offensive rebounds. They shot it well tonight and got a lot of offensive rebounds. That was the difference in the game.

McClain coach Joe B. Stewart saluted Bryson Badgley for achieving 1,000 career points.

“The young man missed 16 games,” Stewart said. “He missed 11 last year and five this year. To his credit, he said he could care less about the 1,000 points, he just said, ‘let’s keep winning basketball games.’ He obviously came through with a big (game) here.”

Stewart mentioned coaching legend John Wooden and competitive greatness.

“Being at your best when your best is needed,” Stewart said. “We needed it out of him. We needed it out of everybody we put on the floor and thankfully we got it tonight. (Badgley) got six (points) after missed free throws,” Stewart said. “He went to the offensive board and was the first guy to the ball and finished it off. He had a great big game in a great big situation against a great big opponent with a great big Greenfield crowd. There have been a lot of legendary folks who have put on jerseys for Greenfield McClain and No. 11 (Badgley) is one of them.

“(The game) was what we thought it would be. Our crowd was obviously a big help to us. There’s none that touches our student body. The kids in the hall who give me an ‘atta boy’ on a regular basis, it’s just a great atmosphere in our building. We’re just darn proud to be a part of this.”

Washington ends the season with a record of 13-8.

McClain (now 16-3) advances to play Sheridan for a district championship Friday at 9 p.m at Southeastern High School.

Sheridan beat Gallia Academy in Saturday’s fourth game, 58-48.


W 13 13 15 29 — 70

Mc 13 22 16 22 — 73

WASHINGTON — Reico Colter 12 (3)-6-39; John Wall 2 (2)-0-10; Brayden May 0-0-0; Raleigh Haithcock 1 (1)-0-5; Micah Brown 0-0-0; Coleden May 0-0-0; Tanner Lemaster 5 (1)-1-14; Isaiah Haithcock 1-0-2. TOTALS — 21 (7)-7-70. Free throw shooting: 7 of 12 for 58 percent. Three-point field goals: Colter, 3; Wall, 2; R. Haithcock, Lemaster. Field goal shooting: 28 of 47 for 60 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 23 for 30 percent. Rebounds: 19 (5 offensive). Assists: 8. Steals: 8. Blocked shots: 1. Turnovers: 6.

McCLAIN — Preston Saunders 2-0-4; Bryson Badgley 8 (5)-3-34; Evann Mischal 1 (1)-0-5; Seth Wise 0-0-0; Braden Wright 1-8-10; Kendyll Toney 5-8-18; Wesley Potts 1-0-1. TOTALS — 18 (6)-19-73. Free throw shooting: 19 of 34 for 56 percent. Field goal shooting: 24 of 48 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 17 for 35 percent. Rebounds: 31 (15 offensive). Assists: 1. Steals: 4. Blocked shots: 1. Turnovers: 11.

Chris Hoppes is the sports editor for the Record-Herald in Washington C.H.

Washington’s John Wall brings the ball up the floor as McClain’s Kendyll Toney applies defensive pressure.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/02/web1_McClain-pic.jpgWashington’s John Wall brings the ball up the floor as McClain’s Kendyll Toney applies defensive pressure. Chris Hoppes | AIM Media Midwest
Tigers move on to Friday’s district championship game

By Chris Hoppes

[email protected]