Hornets sting jump-shooting Grizzlies

Ashland lived by the 3, then died by the 3 against a team that didn't really need any Friday.

Capitalizing on a massive size advantage, Henley dominated in the paint through the first three quarters before going off from outside in the fourth for a 72-54 boys basketball victory over Ashland at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Three days after hitting 10 3-pointers in a win over Mazama the Grizzlies nailed 11 against the Hornets on Friday, but struggled to penetrate Henley's formidable interior defense and eventually paid the price. Ashland (1-4) cut a nine-point halftime deficit to three midway through the third quarter, but watched the Hornets (5-0) finish the quarter with a flourish to take a 10-point lead into the fourth. Henley then blitzed Ashland 20-5 over the next four minutes, draining four long jumpers along the way — including two 3s — to bury the Grizzlies 70-45.

Jesse Hilyard and Josh Overstreet scored 13 points apiece to lead five Hornets in double figures, with Overstreet also dishing out five assists.

Ashland had far less balance, but managed to stay competitive for most of the game thanks to the outside shooting of sophomore guard Steen Fredrickson and junior guard Gabe Stanley. Fredrickson hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter on his way to 18 points, while Stanley hit three 3s on his way to a game-high 20. Senior point guard Quaid Walters added three 3-pointers and was the only other Grizzly in double figures with 10. No other Ashland player scored more than three points, as the Grizzlies struggled to generate open shots inside 15 feet.

"We do have some shooters," Ashland head coach Larry Kellems said. "When we got the streak shooters going there for a minute "…we got the ball to the hot hand. We're showing some signs of maturity, we just have a ways to go.

"I'm yelling at them, 'Run the offense, run the offense.' A lot of times we're just throwing up shots, the first guy that's open we just let him shoot. We need to run our offense more, break the defense down."

Outmanned in the paint, the Grizzlies' offense resorted to a series of long jump shots, with first Walters then Fredrickson keeping Ashland close with trey after trey. It worked for a while. Fredrickson's bomb a minute into the third kicked off a 13-5 burst by the Grizzlies that featured three Fredrickson 3s and cut Henley's lead to 38-35.

But the shots eventually stopped falling.

Fredrickson banked in a 3 at the buzzer to cap a 14-point third quarter, but the Grizzlies cooled off considerably after that. Henley, meanwhile, took advantage of Ashland's sagging defense, as Overstreet nailed a 3-pointer to make it 55-40 only 30 seconds into the fourth, then hit another three minutes later to up the lead to 64-45. The Hornets, who are expected to challenge North Valley for the Skyline League title, poured it on inside as well, with the 6-foot-5 Colby Mueller muscling home three inside buckets to help Henley pull away.

"Because of our youth and our inexperience, it's hard to coach them on what to do when (Henley) starts (hitting outside shots)," Kellems said. "We need to front, we need to drop, we need to do a lot of different things. They just don't have the experience and we're trying to talk them through it during the game, but when they get tired mentally we start to break down and that's what happened in the third and fourth quarter."

HENLEY (72) — Greif 12, Seater 10, Overstreet 13, Hilyard 13, Peterson 1, Mitchell 11, Mueller 8, Crain 4. Totals: 29 9-14 72.

ASHLAND (54) — Kaegi 3, Walters 10, Fredrickson 18, Layton 3, Stanley 20, Feinberg 0, Kandaris 0. Totals: 18 7-11 54.

Henley 6 25 19 22 — 72

Ashland 6 16 18 14 — 54

3-point goals — Henley 5 (Overstreet 3, Hilyard 1, Mitchell 1), Ashland 11 (Fredrickson 4, Walters 3, Stanley 3, Layton 1).

JV result — Ashland won.

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