By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times Herald
Washington put together three quality quarters against Forest Park Saturday. However, the game has four.
Forest Park defeated Washington, 48-43, to even its record at 2-2. The Rangers had suffered a difficult loss at Class A No. 1 Loogootee the night before, 34-33.
It appeared Forest Park was going to go 0-2 for the weekend after the Hatchets worked their way to a 39-32 lead after the opening three quarters.
And that lead was only seven because the Rangers got the final two points of the period.
"You can¹t play 23 minutes and expect to win a 32-minute ballgame, "Washington coach Gene Miiller said. "That's what we tried to do.² Washington (1-3) recovered from an early 10-4 in the first period to take a
12-10 advantage, and Washington held onto the lead at the half 22-21.
Washington then opened the seven-point lead after three periods. The Hatchets were coming off their first win of the season with a 57-24 home decision against Edgewood the previous evening.
But the Hatchets went cold in the final quarter, scoring four points on free throws from Cullen Arnold before he made a basket four seconds remaining and the decision decided.
Washington went 9:48 without a basket from Tyler Stoll¹s score with 1:27 left in the third for the 39-30 lead before Arnold¹s final score.
"I thought we played pretty well with some good basketball," Miiller said.
"But then in the final nine minutes we simply fell apart." Forest Park turned up defensive pressure in the final quarter. The game's tempo was increased, and while neither team was especially efficient with the basketball, the change hurt the guests more than the hosts.
Drew Messmer, who finished with 16 points for Forest Park, put the Rangers ahead for good at 42--41 with two free throws with 5:19 to play.
The teams then traded eight consecutive turnovers before Ranger Lance Buechler made two free throws with 1:50 left.
That was followed by two more turnovers before Forest Park ended the game with four points before the layin by Arnold.
The Hatchets had used Arnold in the opening three quarters for 16 of his game-high 20 points. Stoll had eight points and Jarrod Purdue seven in a balanced attack, using both inside and outside resources.
"We got the ball into him (Arnold) and he was able to score," Miiller said.
"I think the big thing in the fourth quarter ‹ we had seven turnovers in the quarter. We didn't have many shots. We had nine turnovers to that point.
It's hard to win with seven turnovers in a quarter. The Rangers applied more pressure than they had used earlier, although the hosts had pressed at times in the opening half.
"We quit handling the basketball, we quit playing defense," Miiller said.
"We went back to missing layups again. You can¹t do that on the road against good people. For 23 minutes, I thought we played really well. We scored four points in the last nine minutes of play. You¹re not going to win ballgames doing that." Stoll, Andy and Colten Garland all picked up their fourth fouls in the final quarter as Washington was whistled for 20 fouls to nine for the Rangers.
Buechler also was tabbed with his fourth in the final quarter for Forest Park.
The Rangers enjoyed a 15-21 to 2-3 advantage from the foul line, but the Hatchets did little to influence a change with an offense that either looked for jumpers or passes to Arnold near the basket.
Washington had 20 field goals to 15 for the Rangers, but of those 20, 19 came in the opening three quarters.
Washington won the junior varsity game, 60-57.
WASHINGTON 12 10 17 4 ‹ 43
FOREST PARK 10 11 11 16 ‹ 48
Washington (43) - Purdue 3 0-0 3 7, C. Garland 1 0-1 4 2, A. Garland 1 0-0 4 2, Brashear 2 0-0 2 4, Stoll 4 0-0 4 8, Bedwell 0 0-0 2 00, Arnold 9 2-2 1 20. Totals 20 2-3 20 43.
Forest Park (48) - Weyer 4 1-2 1 10, Messmer 5 6-8 1 16, Englert 0 0-0 0 0, Begle 1 0-0 0 2, Wilmes 2 1-2 0 6, Braunecker 1 2-3 0 4, Buechler 0 5-6 4 5, Tempel 1 0-0 1 3, Schlachter 1 0-0 2 2, Egloff 0 0-0 0 0. Totals 15 15-21 9 48.