LINCOLN CITY – It wasn’t a win, but Saturday’s 70-69 loss at Heritage Hills definitely was one of the Washington Hatchets’ better performances of the season.
Washington (2-8) dominated Class 3A No. 14 Heritage Hills (8-1) for three quarters before seeing the Patriots stage a fourth rally for the win.
The Hatchets led throughout the contest, including 21-11 after one quarter, 36-27 at halftime, and 54-44 heading into the final eight minutes of action. Colton Garland led the way on Washington’s best offensive night of the season, scoring 21 points on the strength of six 3-pointers and a 3-4 showing from the line. Garland was joined in double figures by 11 points from Carson Smith and 10 from Jacob Overton, with both Smith and Overton tallying a 3-pointer in the game.
All nine Hatchets who played reached the scoring column. Matthew Sparks added eight points, followed by seven from Tyler Stoll and six from Jake Bedwell. Matthew Stephens, Austin Ghirardelli, and Andy Garland scored two points apiece, though Garland missed most of the game after hitting the floor hard early in the contest.
Aside from some late game mistakes, Washington coach Gene Miiller was happy with his team’s performance.
“We played enough to win, we just didn’t finish. We made some critical mistakes defensively and offensively, and we made a couple of mistakes, and it just got away from us,” said Miiller. “That’s a good basketball team. But I saw a lot of positive things.
“I thought Colton Garland had a heckuva ballgame, not only scoring but running the offense, getting the ball to the right guys with five assists,” said Miiller. “I thought a lot of our kids played well coming on the road, we’re out there playing with a bunch of freshman and sophomores. I was really pleased with the effort they gave. I thought we played with some intelligence and aggressiveness throughout the ballgame.”
Washington kept the Patriots’ leading scorer, Devon Merder (19 ppg coming into the game) under wraps for three quarters. But Merder got in gear in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his game high 27 points in the final period. Merder gave Heritage Hills its first lead of the game at 68-67 on a bucket with :41 left in the game.
Stoll responded by sinking a pair of free throws seconds later to give WHS the lead back at 69-68 seconds later, but Gavin Schaefer responded with two points at the other end to give the lead back to the Patriots with :20 to play.
Washington was unable to answer on its final possession as the Patriots escaped with the win.
Spencer Minto added 19 points for Heritage Hills, followed by 12 from Schaefer.
Heritage Hills also claimed the reserve contest 45-37
The Hatchets travel to Jasper on Friday.
WHS 21- 15- 18- 15- 69
HH 11- 16- 17- 26- 70
Smith 3 4-4 11, C. Garland 6 3-4 21, A. Garland 1 0-0 2, Stoll 1 5-6 7, Overton 4 1-2 10, Bedwell 3 0-0 6, Stephens 1 0-0 2, Ghirardelli 1 0-0 2, Sparks 3 2-2 8.
Totals: 23 15-18 69.
Heritage Hills (70)
Merder 8 8-9 27, Schaefer 4 3-4 12, Minto 9 1-3 19, Ward 1 2-2 4, Scherry 2 3-4 7, Zoglman 0 1-2 1.
Totals: 24 18-24 70.
3-point goals: W; C. Garland 6, Smith, Overton. H; Merder 3, Schaefer.
Junior Varsity: Heritage Hills, 45-37.