Washington stayed with Lafayette for three quarters before the boys basketball Lancers put it away.
The Blue Jays (10-16), seeded fifth, made an early exit from the Class 5 District 4 Tournament Saturday at Francis Howell against No. 4 Lafayette, 68-53.
Lafayette advances to Tuesday’s semifinals with Francis Howell’s top-seeded Vikings, who have lost just three games all season and enter the tournament on an 18-game winning streak.
This marks the third-straight one and done season for Washington, a team that was bit by the injury bug hard all season and lost senior point guard and team leader Conlan Jarvis for the season in the previous game on senior night. The Blue Jays were also without junior starting forward Alec Brinkmann.
“It’s great when you have kids that don’t back down and are fighters,” Head Coach Grant Young said, praising his team’s competitive spirit in a contest where they had to be considered the underdogs. “It’s fun to have kids that step up and do that after just a one-game layoff and come into districts like that.”
In Jarvis’ absence, junior Zach Subke stepped up to lead the Jays with 14 points from the point guard position.
“He had a great game today,” Young said. “He really led us without having Conlan Jarvis, who had a concussion from the other night with that scary incident on the floor with Zumwalt East. He came out here and really led the team and had a lot of great minutes.”
Subke put through four three-point shots in the contest, three in the first half to help keep Washington in the fight as Lafayette led 12-10 after one quarter and 29-27 at the half.
From the post position, senior Cason Suggs and freshman Ryan Hoerstkamp each contributed 12 points for the Blue Jays.
“He did everything inside and we found him,” Young said of Suggs, who concluded his basketball career with Washington in the contest. “He had great open post-ups, moved well and kept getting his own offensive rebounds or other people’s offensive boards to keep the ball alive. He ended on a great note in a good game. Even though it wasn’t a win, it was fun seeing a lot of things the kids did today.”
Seniors Zach Harms (six points), Tommy Ruether (four points), Ty Rinne (three points) and Aleksandr Buechter played their final game for the Blue Jays as well.
Junior Rett Corley rounded out the Washington scoresheet with two points.
The Lancers were able to end both the second and third quarters with the momentum off a pair of buzzer beater three-point shots.
Lafayette’s first last-second three turned a one-point deficit into a two-point lead at the half. Together, the two buzzer beaters made the difference going into the final period as Lafeyette led by just six, 47-41, after three quarters.
“They hit the shots they needed to move up and they hit the three threes in a row that kind of hurt us where we came down and had two turnovers in a row,” Young said. “I’m proud of these guys. They’ve had a great season and battled a lot of adversity with a lot of injuries, a lot of different personnel changes with different leadership and roles throughout the year. I could talk about each and every kid, but as a team they really came together and had a great team effort the last game.”
For Lafayette, Jack Schmitt led all scorers in the game with 21 points.
Chris Harstick (12 points) and Will Tulloch (11 points) joined Schmitt in reaching double figures.
Other Lancers to get on the scoreboard included Andre Roberts with nine points, Brenden Boyd with seven and Spencer Stewart with two points.