Teays Valley hit eight of 10 free throws in overtime to survive 62-53 against host Circleville Friday night.
“We’ve got senior leadership with Clayton (Knox), Adam (Benschoter), Reily (Weiss) and all those guys — our seniors finally just played. I thought their experience helped us there,” TV coach Brian Barnett said. “We’ve been a pretty good free throw shooting team all year and once we figure we’d get to the line, we’d be ok. Kids stepped up and made big shots and that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
Up two at halftime, the Vikings finished off the third period outscoring Circleville 11-3 to lead by nine. A 7-3 advantage through the first part of the fourth quarter gave the Vikings a 46-33 lead.
Then the Tigers started fighting back as Craig Fleck followed a pair of free throws with a three-pointer.
Evan Justice sank a three-pointer and followed that 40 seconds later with two free throws to close to 46-43 with two minutes left.
“We went back to the game plan. The game plan was we wanted to grind everything,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “Teays Valley is very good in transition, they are the ‘guru of go’ team. I felt like we did a nice job of controlling the tempo, being disciplined, forcing them into tough shots and then going down, grinding the offense and getting a good look. In the third quarter we went away from that. We started being undisciplined, we started rushing shots when they put a little bit of pressure on us and that led to bad looks into transition layups for them.”
Adam Benschoter tried to stop the Tiger comeback by sinking a three for TV, but Circleville answered with a bucket from Ethan Moore and then Justice sank his fifth three-pointer of the night with 32 seconds left making the score 49-48 TV.
The Tigers forced a turnover on the inbounds play after the basket and then Justice was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play. He hit the first of the two free throws to tie the game.
A few seconds later, TV was at the line but failed to convert on a one-and-one opportunity. The Tigers rebounded and worked for the right shot, but an attempt in traffic didn’t fall sending the game to overtime.
“I thought we got some good shots, I thought we got some good looks but we just didn’t make anything,” Barnett said of the fourth quarter. “Then they came down and Justice got hot (with 12 fourth-quarter points), they got the ball to the basket and their penetration hurt us. Offensively I thought we were stagnant and stood around a little bit but credit that to them, they played way harder than they did the first part of the year.
“They’re playing hard and they’re playing better and we were very lucky to get out of here with a win tonight.”
“We talked in the huddle to go back to the game plan,” Carpenter said of starting the fourth quarter. “Let’s get one stop — we have an entire quarter to grind it out and get the right look and we did. It’s a lot easier to make a shot when it’s a good look. We were patient and Evan caught fire there in the fourth.”
Camden Primmer opened the scoring in the OT with two points for TV then Jake Bell converted a three-point play to give the Tigers their first lead since the second quarter.
Garrett Meddock put the Vikings back on top when he sank a deep three-pointer with 2:52 left.
TV forced a Circleville turnover on the next possession and then all the scoring came from the line. Clayton Knox hit three of four attempts for TV. Riley Gibson followed with one of two for Circleville.
The final points all went to TV as Meddock hit one of two, Benschoter sank two and Knox capped the night with two more.
“In overtime, we went back to what we did in the third,” Carpenter said. “We forced up some shots that we didn’t need to take and then we weren’t able to stop their transition. They made their free throws and did what they were supposed to do.”
Meddock ended the night as TV’s top scorer with a career-high 19 points while Benschoter came off the bench after missing four games to pump in 15 on a night when seven Vikings scored and eight grabbed rebounds.
“I’m not sure offensively who’s going to be hot, who’s not. But I know I’ve got players on that bench that I can put in any time and they’re going to contribute,” Barnett said. “Players number six, seven, eight, nine and 10 — I’ve got confidence in them. They came in and they made plays when they had to.
“It’s not always who scores the most points, it’s can we get it done as a team. Team-wise I thought we did a pretty good job, especially in the second half to get things rolling and then in the overtime.”
Justice finished as the game’s leading score with 20 points for Circleville (18 in the second half), while Fleck had 11 and Moore had 10.
“I don’t like to lose but I couldn’t be prouder of the grit they showed tonight,” Carpenter said. “We were 2-16 coming into this game and it would be pretty easy for us not to have the desire to work this hard in practice and games. When we got down 13, we could have layed over. But we didn’t – we kept fighting.
“Kids came in off the bench and gave us great minutes and I’m extremely proud of our effort tonight.”
TV finished with a 35-28 rebounding edge with Weiss, Knox, Eli Burgett and Primmer each grabbing five. Justice grabbed seven for Circleville and Brandon Parr had five.
The Vikings (7-9, 5-5) are at Canal Winchester tonight while the Tigers (2-17, 0-10) are back at it Tuesday at Bloom-Carroll.
- Teays Valley was a 62-26 winner in the JV game.
Ivan smith led the Vikings with 15 points, Peyton Weiler had nine, Cameron Dyas-Rogers and Bret Wilson each had seven, Liam Sachs had six, Kevin Scott had five, Landon Guisinger had four, Brayden Primmer had three and Jack Kennedy, Trey Blakeman and Reese Sauerbrun each had two.
Ian Wardenn has nine for Circleville, Andreas Loving and Kaleb Nungester each had eight and Avery Ferrell added one.
Teays Valley 62, Circleville 53 OT
Teays Valley — Benschoter 5-2-15, Purdon 2-0-4, Meddock 6-4-19, Weiss 2-0-4, Knox 1-6-8, Burgett 2-0-4, Primmer 4-0-8. Three-point goals — Benschoter (3), Meddock (3). Total — 22-53 12-15 62.
Circleville — Moore 4-2-10, Gibson 2-2-7, Justice 5-5-20, Bell 2-1-5, Fleck 3-2-11. Three-point goals — Gibson, Justice (5), Fleck (3). Total — 16-45 12-17 53.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 OT F
Teays Valley 10 9 20 10 13 62
Circleville 9 8 13 19 4 53