Grizzlies shocked by loss


There's really not much else to describe No. 9 Ashland's Class 5A second-round playoff loss to Sherwood on Friday night.

Ashland rallied from a four-point deficit with 24 seconds remaining, but junior Garrett Tygerson missed a pair of potential game-winning free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining, and the Grizzlies fell, 44-43.

"Garrett's a good free-throw shooter," Ashland coach Larry Kellems said. "He's our guy. I wouldn't flinch to put him back at the line again."

Tygerson's misses from the line spoiled an otherwise strong game from the 6-foot-5 forward. He had seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

His jumper with under a minute to play cut Ashland's deficit to 42-40, and senior guard Dillon Thigpen's 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining put the Grizzlies within one.

Sherwood's senior wing Ian Donovan missed a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining and the Grizzlies set up a final play, getting Tygerson an open look at a layin. But he was fouled as the ball rimmed off.

"It should not have come down to those last two points," said Thigpen, who added 11 points. "He (Tygerson) had a great game. That's who I would have had at the line."

Both of Tygerson's free throws were long, and the last carom was tipped in the air as the horn sounded.

"He's hurting," Kellems said of Tygerson. "He feels like he let the team down. I thought for sure he'd at least get one to put us into overtime. But, hey, that's basketball."

Senior 6-9 center Matt Lipski led all scorers with 19 points, but he did most his damage in the first half, scoring just two points in the fourth quarter.

"They did a great job of pressuring our guards out front, which made it tough to get the ball to Matt," Kellems said.

Ashland managed an 11-7 lead after the first quarter behind nine points from Lipski and held its biggest lead at 15-7 in the second quarter after another Lipski basket.

Sherwood, the No. — seed from the Intermountain Conference, battled back with an 8-0 run, six points from 6-3 senior guard Travis Lutes. The Bowmen led 20-19 at the break and Lutes, who had 18 in the game, had 11 in the second quarter.

The teams entered the dramatic fourth quarter knotted at 28 and Ashland opened up the early lead with a 3-pointer from Thigpen, an inside basket by Lipski and two free throws from Tygerson with 4:12 to play, which made it 35-31 with 4:12 to play.

Sherwood responded with points on eight of its final nine possessions, including junior wing Colin Wester's off-balance shot in the key with 2:12 to play, which gave Sherwood the lead for good.

After a Wester free throw and a free throw from Donovan, Sherwood led 42-38 with 49.6 to play. Following Tygerson's jumper, Lutes snuck behind the Grizzlies' defense for a layin off a deep inbounds pass to push the lead to 44-40 with 24 seconds remaining.

Sherwood advances to its first state tournament since qualifying for the Class 3A tournament two years ago.

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