Washington made the rematch with Ft. Zumwalt South substantially closer Friday.

The Bulldogs (18-2, 7-0) were still able to come away with the win on their home floor, besting the Blue Jays (9-11, 1-5) by a final score of 62-52.

“We gave a team that’s 18-2 a run for their money — the top team in our conference and state ranked,” Washingon Head Coach Grant Young said. Ft. Zumwalt South is currently ranked No. 7 in the state at Class 5. “...It was fun seeing the kids have some resilience and have a chance against a really good basketball team.”

Ft. Zumwalt South took a 19-15 lead at the end of the first.

Washington trailed by just one possession, 32-29, at halftime.

The Blue Jays came out in the second half and took a 42-40 advantage at the end of the third period.

Freshman Ryan Hoerstkamp had his best scoring performance of the season, leading Washington with 21 points.

Hoerstkamp scored 10 of his points in the third. 

“That kept us in the ball game,” Young said.

Hoerstkamp’s 10 and a three-pointer from Tommy Ruether accounted for all of Washington’s scoring in that quarter as the Blue Jays played without starting point guard Conlan Jarvis, who was sitting out after receiving a technical foul in the second period.

Washington still held a two-point lead until the final three minutes when Zumwalt South got a big momentum boost from JJ Schwepker on a three-pointer and finished on a 12-0 run.

Cason Suggs was the next-highest scorer for the Blue Jays with 11 points.

Jarvis added nine points for Washington. The Blue Jays got three points each from Zach Harms, Ruether and Zach Subke.

Ty Rinne rounded out the scoring with two points.

“If we play that style of basketball for our remaining five games, that can give us the kick we need at the end of the season,” Young said.

EJ Bellinger led all scorers with 27 points for Zumwalt South.

Schwepker also made it into the double digits for the Bulldogs with 18 points.

Other Zumwalt South scorers included Aubrey Carter with eight points.Jake Patton netted five and Connor Bekebrede and Darious Thomas scored two points each.