Ashland boys beat Henley, advance to Rotary final; AHS girls also prevail

Billy Hansen and Ethan Schlecht combined for 18 points in the third quarter to help the Ashland boys basketball team pull away en route to a 58-46 win over Henley in the first round of the Ashland Rotary Hoops Classic on Friday at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Hansen finished with 23 points and Schlecht had 12 for the Grizzlies (4-3), who will face Summit (4-2), a 57-43 winner over Crescent Valley in the other semifinal game, in today's Rotary final.

"We're a little rusty, we didn't play super well," Ashland head coach Larry Kellems said. "We couldn't there for a while "… but we've got to learn what to do when that happens."

The Grizzlies did enough Friday, thanks in part to Hansen's sweet finishing touch. The senior guard nailed a 3-pointer — one of his four on the day — as he was being fouled with 31 seconds to go in the first half. He made the free throw to complete the four-point play and give the Grizzlies a double-digit halftime lead, 28-16.

Hansen was at it again as the final seconds ticked away in the third quarter, hitting a 3 from the corner to put Ashland ahead 48-30. The clutch basket completed a dramatic swing of momentum in Ashland's favor that began when the Hornets turned the ball over with 6.5 seconds to go.

After the ball went out of bounds Henley coach Chuck Shannon was assessed a technical foul for arguing a previous call. Hansen made both free throws, then was at the receiving end of a perfectly executed play that brought the Ashland fans to their feet heading into the fourth.

"We needed to get (Hansen) going, so we called three (plays) in a row for him," Kellems said of Ashland's third-quarter surge.

Hansen also sank a 3 with eight seconds to go in the first quarter, giving Ashland a 15-6 lead.

James Skinner added nine points and Jamie Flynn hit a key 3 with about five minutes to go to help keep the Hornets at bay.

For Henley (4-4), forward Colby Mueller scored 14 points, Alberto Aispuro added nine and James Hull eight.

Jacob Finch's turnaround ignited an 11-2 Grizzly run that turned a 7-6 lead into an 18-8 cushion. The Hornets rallied back to within 19-14 on a jumper by Hull, but Ashland responded with a 9-2 burst to take a 12-point lead into halftime.

Summit will be trying to win for the third time in its last four games today. The Storm will have a decisive height advantage — it has eight players listed at 6-foot-2 or taller, compared to Ashland's five.

"They're big and lanky, so they'll be a challenge for us," Kellems said, "and they play a lot of zone. We haven't seen a zone yet this year."

HENLEY (46) — Alves 3, Seater 4, Sherrill 4, Aispuro 9, Mitchell 4, Mueller 14, Hull 8. Totals: 21 2-7 46.

ASHLAND (58) — Finch 2, Hansen 23, Pelagio 3, Flynn 3, Freed-Good 2, Lime 0, Schlecht 12, Smeenk 0, Carroll 4, Hodge 0, Skinner 9. Totals: 20 9-14 58.

Henley 6 10 14 16 — 46

Ashland 15 13 20 10 — 58

3-point goals — Henley 2 (Alves 1, Aispuro 1), Ashland 9 (Hansen 4, Schlecht 2, Pelagio 1, Flynn 1, Skinner 1). Technical fouls — Henley coach Chuck Shannon.

Girls Basketball

Ashland outscored Henley 12-2 in the third quarter to rally from a three-point halftime deficit and avenged an earlier-season loss to Henley, 29-26, in the first round of the Ashland Rotary Hoops Classic.

The Grizzlies (4-3) will play Crescent Valley, which beat Summit, in the title game at 5 p.m. today.

Ashland point guard Taylor Zehren scored a team-high eight points and had five rebounds. Sarah Kasiah and Shelby Minor hauled in six rebounds apiece to lead the Grizzlies.

HENLEY (26) — Fahner 2, DeHoop 3, Scholer 2, Patterson 0, Parker 5, Morgan 6, Olden 0, Kochdnderfer 8. Totals: 10 6-13 26.

ASHLAND (29) — Shulenberger 5, Sad. Kasiah 3, Sar. Kasiah 5, Minor 2, Haynes 0, Williams 2, Zehren 8, Pavlich 4. Totals: 10 8-24 29.

Henley 6 7 2 11 — 26

Ashland 5 5 12 7 — 29

3 point goals — Ashland 1 (Sad. Kashiah 1).

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