Grizzlies' comeback attempt against Lava Bears falls short

BEND — Ashland spent much of the second half battling back from a deficit and in the end couldn't overtake Bend in a Class 5A state play-in boys basketball game Friday.

The Lava Bears (14-8) made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal a 51-48 victory over Ashland (10-15) and bring the Grizzlies' season to a close.

Bend was ninth in the final power rankings and Ashland 16th.

Ashland trailed by 14 points in the third quarter and by eight entering the fourth.

The Grizzlies turned the ball over 15 times.

"We would hang with them and hang with them and it was a three-point game, then we'd turn the ball over two or three times," said Ashland coach Larry Kellems. "They'd jump ahead and we'd battle back. They're very quick and fast and pressure you up on defense."

Ashland pulled within 44-43 with 1:38 to go and appeared to have forced the Lava Bears into a turnover. Instead, the Grizzlies gave it right back, and the two teams traded baskets, leaving it a one-point game.

With the lead, Bend held the ball and forced Ashland to foul. The host then made its foul shots, including 4 of 4 by Hayden Crook. Crook paced the Lava Bears with 12 points.

Jacob Finch scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Ashland, and Billy Hansen scored 15, with four 3-pointers, and added 10 boards. James Skinner contributed six assists.

ASHLAND (48) — Finch 20, Hansen 15, Flynn 3, Good 0, Schlecht 5, Skinner 5. Totals: 19 4-7 48.

BEND (51) — Crook 12, Scott 10, Beaumarohoris 3, Grim 8, Connell 9, Larson 9. Totals: 21 7-8 51.

Ashland 11 7 14 16 — 48

Bend 14 12 14 11 — 51

3-point goals — Ashland 6 (Hansen 4, Flynn 1, Schlecht 1), Bend 2 (Beaumarohoris 1, Larson 1). Fouled out — Skinner.

Prep Wrestling

Ashland High sophomore Mason Montgomery won two matches to advance to the 195-pound semifinals at the OSAA Class 5A state wrestling meet Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Ashland's only other state qualifier, sophomore 220-pounder Cody Eisenberg, lost a 9-7 overtime decision to third-ranked Riley Sipe, then was eliminated with a 3-1 decision in the consolation bracket.

Montgomery, ranked No. 4, pinned Daniel Wallberg of Benson in the first round of the 16-man bracket, then ousted Jeremy Funk of Sandy in a 10-4 quarterfinal decision.

Now, Montgomery will face his toughest test yet — top-ranked and undefeated Brian Wojahn of Wilson — in the semifinals today. The winner of that match will face either third-ranked Trevor Roberts of Mountain View or second-ranked Jackson Soto of West Albany in the title bout.

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