FORT BRANCH —
Washington's 57-53 boys basketball victory against Gibson Southern Saturday wasn't all that complicated.
The Hatchets struck from outside, and then inside on the way to their fourth win in 12 games.
The outside came in the form of a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half that opened a 34-23 lead at the end of the first two periods.
The Hatchets made eight from behind the arc in the opening 16 minutes led by four from Colten Garland and three from Jarrod Purdue.
"Colten just continues to get better with each game," Washington coach Gene Miiller said. "He's a freshman. Sometimes you can forget that he went from eighth grade to varsity basketball. I think he's starting to play with more confidence.
"Purdue also had a nice game," Miiller said. "We got 33 points from our backcourt." Gibson Southern led the at the first stop, 13-12. Washington got all of its points on 3-pointers, two each from Garland and Purdue.
The Hatchets then broke the game open in the second quarter with a 22-10 run behind two more threes from Garland, one from Purdue and one from Andy Garland.
Washington's first two-point basket came in the second quarter as Cody Milligan rebounded a missed shot at the 6:30 mark.
Coleton ended the half with 14 of his team-high 19 points and Purdue added nine of his 14.
The Titans (2-10) had seven players in the scoring column at the half, but no one scored more than the five from Andrew Ziliak. But Ziliak was just getting warmed for the second half.
The senior center helped bring the Titans back into the game with three 3-pointers of his own.
Gibson Southern was able to cut the 11-point Washington lead at the half to 41-38 with 3:29 left in third quarter after Ziliak drained his third 3-pointer of the quarter. But a fourth attempt was off the rim, and that¹s when the Hatchets struck from inside.
Washington center Cullen Arnold had misfired in the opening quarter on three near pointblank shots, but that would not be the case in the third.
Arnold planted himself at the three-second line, and his teammates found him often enough for a 10-point outburst to boost the lead back to 49-43 with eight minutes left to play.
"Cullen started looking at the basket in the third quarter," Miiller said.
"In the first half, he wasn't very aggressive. We told him at halftime that he needed to be more aggressive and he came away with those 10 points in the quarter. He has to be a post presence.² Both teams found the basket a hard object to discover in the early going of the fourth.
Brandon Stabuck got the quarter's first points for the Titans and that goal was followed by a basket from Purdue with 6:15 remaining to level the lead back at six, 51-45.
Neither team scored for the next two minutes and twenty seconds, but that was broken by Purdue¹s final 3-pointer to give Washington a 54-45 lead with
3:55 to play.
Mason Lankford hit one of two free throws and added a 3-pointer of his own to cut the gap to 55-52 with 51 seconds to play. Colten Garland then hit a basket with 33 seconds left for a 57-52 lead. The Titans missed four quick offensive attempts wrapped around a couple of offensive rebounds before Purdue was fouled as he rebounded the fourth attempt.
Purdue missed the opening shot of a bonus attempt, and the Titans then watched a Ziliak 3-pointer hit the rim and out of bounds to Washington.
Washington couldn't get the ball inbounds, and Ziliak was fouled after an offensive rebound with two seconds remaining.
He hit one of two, and the final attempt eluded the rebounders and bounced across the sideline as time expired. The long range show by Washington netted 10 3-pointers on 15 attempts.
Coleton Garland had five and Purdue four. Washington shot 50 percent from the field.
Gibson Southern made eight of its own with Ziliak leading the way with three.
"Some days you¹re just on," Miiller said. "This weekend we were 17-27 (7-12 against Jasper), and that's a good weekend. They (Gibson Southern) were doubling down on Arnold and he was kicking it out. We got some good looks."
WASHINGTON 12 22 15 8 57
GIBSON SOUTHERN 13 10 20 10 53
Washington (57) Jarrod Purdue 5 0-1 1 14, Colten Garland 2 5 0-0 3 19, Andy Garland 2 1-02 3 6, Tyler Stoll 2 0-0 4 4, Jake Brashear 0 0-0 0 0, Cody Milligan 2 0-0 0 4, Cullen Arnold 5 0-0 3 10. Totals 23 1-3 14 57.
Gibson Southern (43) Damian Silva 1 0-0 1 3, Alex Smith 3 0-0 2 7, Brandon Stabuck 2 0-0 3 5, Mason Lankford 3 1-2 3 8, Jordan Scheller 1 1-2 2 3, Andrew Ziliak 6 5-8 2 20, Spencer Schmitt 3 0-0 1 7. Totals 19 7-12 14 53.
3-point goals: Washington 10 (C. Garland 5, Purdue 4, A. Garland 1), Gibson Southern 8 (Ziliak 3, Silva, Smith, Stabuck, Lankford, Schmitt).