ASHLAND – The sixth-ranked Ashland-Greenwood Bluejay boys basketball team endured a tough 59-53 setback at home to the second-ranked Yutan Chieftains in front a packed Ashland-Greenwood gymnasium on Jan. 21.
The game went back-and-forth throughout the first half and ended with the teams taking a 29-29 tie into the locker room.
The Chieftains were able to forge ahead, taking a six-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Jays closed to within one point in the final quarter, but the visitors wrapped up the win at the free throw line.
Sophomore Cale Jacobsen led the Bluejays with 26 points and six rebounds. Senior Gavin Bergsten added 12 points and junior Jarrod Nafzinger scored seven more.
“This was a well-played game by both teams. They were able to make a few more shots than us and we lost our poise a couple different times throughout the game. Our offense did a great job but I thought our defense needed to be better in order to give us a chance to win. We played good, but Yutan played great as it was a very exciting and competitive game with a great atmosphere,” said Ashland-Greenwood Coach Jacob Mohs.
The Bluejays were able to bounce back with a 64-33 conference home win over the Syracuse Rockets on Jan. 24.
Ten different players scored for the Bluejays and they were led by Nafzinger, who scored a season-high 13. Jacobsen added 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior Rece Kissinger and junior Aiden Lindley each scored eight points.
“We struggled on offense, luckily our defense got going and held them to a combined nine points in the second and third quarters which helped our offense get on track.
While we were efficient on offense statistically, we just had some rough stretches where we did not play as clean as we would have liked,” Mohs added.
The win moved the Jays’ record to 10-3 on the season.