LEES CREEK — Max Knisley poured in 24 points to lead a balanced Washington Senior attack as the visitors jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 67-47 victory over East Clinton on Tuesday night in South Central Ohio League basketball action at the EC gym.
Knisley paced three Blue Lions in double figures and WCH took advantage of cold East Clinton shooting after halftime to pull away. Washington Court House improved its record to 12-2 overall with the win.
“I felt like we played really well in spurts of the game, but I don’t know how consistent we really were,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “Offensively, I don’t think we executed very good in the half court, but our transition was really good, and a lot of that just stemmed from us getting stops, getting rebounds, getting out and running, which is what we want to do.”
To Bartruff’s point it was two WCH spurts, a 10-0 jolt to close the first half and a 9-0 burst to end the third that put the Blue Lions in control. After a Paul Luttrell trey and DJ Luttrell lay-in brought East Clinton back from 10 points down to tie it at 26, WCH scored the next 10 points as part of a 12-2 run to close the half and grab a 38-28 advantage.
Both teams started the second half cold and EC was able to climb to within 40-34 at the 2:30 mark of the third before WCH went on another run to put it on ice. Knicely hit on 3 of 4 shots in the quarter including a running 3 at the buzzer from beyond halfcourt to spark a 9-0 blitz that put the Blue Lions up 49-34 entering the fourth.
Knicely finished with 5 treys as part of his 24-point night. Griffin Shaw had a solid night for WCH with 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Cameron Eckles scored 10 points and Kory Proby had 8. The Washington starting five scored all but 11 of the Blue Lions points, outscoring the EC starters, 55-32. Court House shot over 50 percent for the game at 28-for-54 from the field.
“Max had a pretty solid game. We missed a few layups out in transition, but I felt like when our guys get out and run, our guards get their heads up and look for those guys,” Bartruff said.
On East Clinton’s side, scoring was hard to come by, especially in the second half. Only two Astros were able to scratch the scoring column in the final two quarters as Johnny Blair scored 7 of his 9 points after the break and Wyatt Floyd put in 8 of his team-high 14 after the break.
East Clinton hit on only 6-of-30 shots from the field in the second half, and made 17-of-55 in the game.
“We are making progress. We are working very hard in practice every day and it’s just not an overnight process to get done what we need to get done,” interim East Clinton coach Roger Earley said. “We are kind of like an 8-cylinder engine right now. Sometimes we hit on 8, sometimes we hit on 4.”
For the Astros, Cole Jenkins and Griffin Campbell scored 5 points apiece, while Brian Barnes scored 4.
The Astros will take the court again on Friday night in a road contest at Wilmington.
Washington Court House gets back to action on Friday with a home game against McClain.
Reach Blake Haley via email [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @BeeLakeH