Grizzlies take down Pels

Jordan Resch scored eight of his season-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as No. 7 Ashland fought off a late charge by Klamath Union to pick up a gritty 62-56 Southern Sky Conference win Friday at Mountain Avenue Gym.

The Grizzlies (9-5, 2-0 SSC) led by five points after three quarters and by eight with three minutes to go before the Pelicans (9-5, 0-1) charged back. The visitors cut the deficit to three points on three different occasions in the last 2 1/2; minutes before Ashland finally put the game away at the free throw line — Adam Pavlich made three free throws in the last 33 seconds, and also corralled a key offensive rebound after a miss.

"We're equal teams, so to get this win tonight is big," said Ashland head coach Larry Kellems, whose team has won four straight and six of its last seven.

Resch and Pavlich, who scored 13 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, were the only Grizzlies to score in double figures. It was another balanced effort, though, with seven Grizzlies scoring — Mason Costantino added nine points on three 3-pointers, and Reed Chasmar and Billy Hansen scored five apiece.

Resch, a 6-foot-2 post, routinely shredded KU's interior defense, mostly on rebound putbacks but also on post moves, including a nifty baby hook that gave Ashland a 47-39 lead with 5:10 to go in the game.

"We've got so many guys on our team that can score, so I don't really need to look for it myself," Resch said. "My shots are going to come. That's the great thing about our team. I think we've had four players already this season score over 20 points. We have a lot of weapons. We know some nights someone's going to be hot, and when it happens it happens."

And it's been happening a lot for Resch, who has led the Grizzlies in scoring in three straight games.

"We don't have a lot of set calls for (Resch), but he gets his points just playing hard," Kellems said.

The Pelicans, who lost for the first time since Dec. 14 to snap a seven-game winning streak, got 48 points out of their big three — Taylor Kochenderfer, Dylan Bartolomei and Deon McLaughlin — but only eight from the rest of the team. Kochenderfer led the way with 18 points, Bartolomei added 16, including nine in the fourth quarter, and McLaughlin 14.

Ashland used a 10-2 run at the start of the second quarter to turn a 12-8 deficit into an 18-14 lead. Four Grizzlies scored in the key four-minute stretch, which included a pair of 3-pointers by Costantino and Hansen.

The Grizzlies never trailed again, although the Pelicans stayed within striking distance throughout.

Kochenderfer's 3 capped a quick five-point spurt for KU and cut Ashland's lead to 54-51 with 2:25 to go. The league rivals traded baskets and free throws over the next two minutes, with McLaughlin converting a steal into a fastbreak layup to make it 59-56 with 34 seconds left.

The Pelicans could have cut deeper into the lead after Pavlich missed two free throws over the next six seconds, but Ashland grabbed the rebound after both misses to ice the game.

"The only other team that's ranked from the Southern Sky Conference is KU, so we knew this wasn't going to be an easy game," Resch said.

"We gave it all we've got and we fought through the hard points and we just played our game."

KLAMATH UNION (56) — Denson 8, Kochenderfer 18, Bartolomei 16, McLaughlin 14, Whisler 0, An. Stork 0. Totals: 22 7-10 56.

ASHLAND (62) — Foley 4, Chasmar 5, Kendall 2, Hansen 5, Costantino 9, Pavlich 13, Resch 24. Totals: 22 14-22 62.

Klamath Union 12 13 9 22 - 56

Ashland 8 22 9 23 - 62

3-point goals — Klamath Union 5 (Bartolomei 2, Denson 1, Kochenderfer 1, McLaughlin 1), Ashland 4 (Costantino 3, Hansen 1). Fouled out — none. Technical Fouls — none. JV — Klamath Union won.

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