Grizzlies clutch late in nonconference win over Eureka

Ashland ran out to a big early lead then used clutch free throw shooting by Billy Hansen and company to fend off Eureka's comeback attempt in a 58-54 nonconference boys basketball win Wednesday at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Hansen hit 8 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 24 points and nine rebounds, and Jamie Flynn had 12 points and nine boards as the Grizzlies (6-3) picked up their third straight win and fifth in their last six games to head into Christmas break with some momentum.

Eureka of California managed to cut an early 14-point deficit down to three in third quarter and two in the fourth but couldn't get over the hump against an Ashland team that hit 21 of 31 free throws overall, including 13 of 17 in the final frame.

"We played really well in the first quarter," Ashland coach Larry Kellems said. "We came out and ran our game plan almost to perfection. But then they ran a (full-court) press."

Playing shorthanded — senior post Adam Freed-Good left earlier in the day to visit family — the Grizzlies ran out of steam and nearly blew the game in the second half after taking a 17-3 lead.

"We got tired in the second quarter, we made a lot of mental mistakes and our shooting just wasn't there," Kellems said.

The Grizzlies did hit a solid 14 of 27 shots from 2-point range, but struggled from beyond the arc, making just 3 of 12.

Also for the Grizzlies, junior point guard James Skinner had seven assists and junior post Jack Carroll 12 points.

The Loggers (2-8) were led by Marcus Finney's 12 points and Nate Madsen's 11.

Ashland is off until next Wednesday, when it faces defending Class 4A state champion Phoenix in the first round of the Summit Holiday Tournament in Bend.

EUREKA (54) — Hash 11, McKenzie 2, Roberto 4, Savage 6, Robinson 3, Finney 12, Singh 5, Hulbert 0, Rose 0, Madsen 11. Totals: 20 11-18 54.

ASHLAND (58) — Carroll 12, Finch 5, Hansen 24, Pelagio 2, Flynn 12, Lime 0, Schlecht 0, Skinner 3. Totals: 17 21-31 58.

Eureka 5 14 14 21 — 54

Ashland 17 11 9 21 — 58

3-point goals — Eureka 3 (Hash 1, Finney 1, Singh 1), Ashland 3 (Hansen 2, Skinner 1). Fouled out — Carroll, Hash, Savage, Robinson.

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