Playing against a taller Oakville team, Washington put together a solid attack on both ends of the floor in a 62-38 boys basketball win Wednesday at Washington High School.
The Blue Jays (17-9) trailed 14-9 after the first quarter, but took control of the game in the second period and into the second half.
“Oakville has some size and some nice pieces to the puzzle. Their 6-10 kid (Austin Gillmann) can step out and shoot and has a nice touch around the rim,” said Washington Head Coach Chip Sodemann. “I was pleased with the defensive adjustments we made, which allowed us to take control of the game.”
Washington changed its defense after falling behind.
“We started in a box-and-one because we didn’t want the big guy to get too comfortable down on the post,” Sodemann said. “Some of their other guys made plays, so we got out of it. Once we made the change, we did a better job playing defense and rebounding. We made them take some tough shots.”
The Blue Jays outscored Oakville 21-8 in the second quarter to grab a 30-22 halftime advantage.
Ronnie Suggs, Jacob Mulkey and Brad Carpenter all nailed three-pointers to fuel the second-quarter run.
Luke Hasenjaeger had a layup at the buzzer to end the first half.
“Jacob stepped up off the bench and hit some shots. We know that Brad is good for doing that as well,” Sodemann said. “Luke (Schroepfer) and Ronnie shot the ball with confidence. We did a good job running the offense and shooting the ball.”
Ronnie Suggs led the Blue Jays with 23 points. Luke Schroepfer added 16 points.
Jacob Mulkey finished with eight points. Brad Carpenter had seven points.
Luke Hasenjaeger netted five points. Patrick Menke scored two points. Austin Subke had one point.
Jared Walde did not score, but did his usual solid work in the post and on the boards.
Also playing were Christian Hardesty, Cory Epperson and Cole Schroepfer.
Washington was 10-17 from the free-throw line.
The Blue Jays outscored Oakville 32-16 in the second half, leading 40-31 after three quarters.
“Luke (Schroepfer) and Ronnie both had a nice second half,” Sodemann said. “They let the game come to them and when it wasn’t there, they got their teammates involved.”
Gillmann scored 13 points for Oakville (11-11). Ervin Sarajlic added nine points.
“To close out games and be successful, we can’t turn the ball over, we can’t give up offensive rebounds and we have to make our free throws. We did all of those things,” Sodemann said. “We made things tough on them in the second half with our defense.”
Washington’s junior varsity team defeated Oakville to end the season with a 18-5 record.
It was the final junior varsity game for coach Josh Hall, who is stepping down.
“Josh has a lot going on and it was just a good time for him to move on. We told our kids (Wednesday) in the locker room, which was pretty emotional, especially for Josh,” Sodemann said. “We’re going to miss him a lot. We have a good mix on the bench. Josh and I kind of have the same demeanor. I appreciated him staying around when I got here. He had been a head coach before and I was a first-time head coach, but Josh was great about it. He’s a great guy who has been a valuable member of our basketball program.”
Washington is the top seed for next week’s Class 5 District 10 Tournament at Rolla High School.
The Blue Jays play in the semifinals Tuesday at 6 p.m. They will play Saturday’s winner between fourth-seeded Northwest and fifth-seeded Lebanon.
The championship game is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.