Vikings rally past Grizz

After vowing to use its last home contest against Mazama as motivation for the rest of the season, the Ashland High boys basketball team just got a little more unwanted motivation.

The Grizzlies experienced the bad kind of déjà vu on Tuesday night, losing to the same team at Mountain Avenue Gym for the second time in 18 days in the middle of a neck-and-neck league championship race.

The Vikings rebounded from a triple-overtime defeat at the hands of Klamath Union Friday to come back and stun Ashland, 41-38, thanks to a 10-0 run in the final minute.

Junior guard Daniel Mathis helped his team overcome an otherwise woeful shooting night by hitting on six of Mazama's 13 field goals, including four 3-pointers, to score 22 points and clinch the game in the clutch.

Mazama's win forced a tie with Ashland atop the Southern Sky Conference standings with each team at 5-2 and five games remaining; KU is a half-game back at 4-2.

While Mazama already holds the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies in the event of a tie at the end of the regular season, the teams have one more meeting in Klamath Falls.

"There wasn't much to say after that one," Ashland senior Reed Chasmar said. "Usually after losses, we try to take something we can learn out of it, but that's just disappointing."

Chasmar came through in the clutch for Ashland, converting an and-one with 1:30 left to give the Grizzlies a seemingly comfortable seven-point cushion after a 3-pointer put them up five a minute earlier. The Grizzlies didn't score again.

Mathis' three on the next Viking possession came with just over a minute left, and his steal, which quickly turned into a Daniel Evans' 3-pointer, came just seconds later.

Leading by a point, the Grizzlies briefly ran offense before Chasmar elected to shoot, and miss, giving Mazama the ball back with 25 seconds to go. Then, with 19 seconds to go, Mathis was fouled while dribbling the ball and connected on both ends of a one-and-one.

Ashland guard Adam Pavlich then missed a runner on the ensuing possession, and Mathis hit two more free throws to give the visitors a three-point edge with 2.6 seconds on the clock.

Following a timeout, Ian Kendall's desperation pass down court was tipped around and lost.

"We know we haven't played our best against them. Not at all," Kendall said. "There's nothing we can do but continue to work hard and get better, and then go beat them over (in Klamath Falls)."

After Mazama posts Charles Swann and Darius Jackson combined for 29 points during the team's last visit to Ashland, Jackson was shutout and Swann was held to seven this time around.

However, Ashland's sharp-shooting wings Mason Costantino and Billy Hansen were far from that on Tuesday, teaming up for seven points.

After being held to seven points in the first quarter, the Grizzlies took an 18-16 lead into halftime and went on an 11-2 run to open up the third quarter and their biggest lead of the game.

Seniors Jordan Resch and Pavlich paced Ashland with 13 and 11, respectively.

MAZAMA (41) - Mathis 22, Feeback 2, Evans 10, Swann 7, Jackson 0, Reinhard 0. Totals: 13 8-11 41.

ASHLAND (38) - Chasmar 7, Hansen 5, Costantino 2, Pavlich 11, Resch 13, Kendall 0, Foley 0. Totals: 14 7-11 38.

Mazama 8 8 5 20 — 41

Ashland 7 11 11 9 — 38

3-pointers: Mazama 7 (Mathis 4, Evans 2, Swann 1), Ashland 3 (Chasmar 1, Hansen 1, Resch 1). Fouled out: Jackson.

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