Washington Evening Journal

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Offensive woes continue to haunt the Demons

By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Feb 13, 2013
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington senior Justin Hoffman, who scored a career-high 21 points in Tuesday's 49-41 loss to Williamsburg, goes up for a shot between the Raiders' Nick Spratt (20) and Matt Heitmann (55).

For the eighth time this season, Washington held its opponent to under 50 points in Tuesday’s non-conference game against Williamsburg.

But Washington, which has struggled mightily to score all season, fell to 3-5 in those games with a 49-41 loss to the visiting Raiders.

“We’ve lost five games where we’ve given up less than 50 points,” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said. “Most years you’d win all of those games, but we just haven’t shot it well enough.”

Washington shot 30 percent (13-for-43) from the field in Tuesday’s game. The Raiders actually shot the ball worse, going 12-for-46 from the floor, and Williamsburg was 4-for-21 in the second half.

“We had a little trouble finishing in the second half,” Williamsburg head coach Dave Schlabaugh said. “I thought we got great shots in the second half, but we didn’t do a very good job of finishing them.”

Williamsburg (13-8) missed enough shots to allow Washington back into the game, but the Raiders made enough free throws to keep the Demons at bay.

Washington used a 12-4 run to cut the Raiders’ lead to 40-31 with just over three minutes remaining, but Williamsburg went 7-for-8 from the foul line down the stretch to hang on for the win.

“That helped us, and that isn’t necessarily our strength at times,” Schlabaugh said of his team’s free-throw shooting.

The Raiders had made just 57 percent of their free throws in their first 20 games, but they went 22-for-29 from the charity stripe in Tuesday’s game.

“They made 22 free throws, and we made 11, so they out-scored us by double digits at the free-throw line,” Smeins said. “That’s the difference in the game.”

Senior Jordan McMenomy went 8-for-9 from the foul line and scored 12 points to lead a balanced scoring effort for the Raiders. Sophomore Zach Schlabaugh hit a pair of 3-pointers and added 10 points, and 6-foot-9 junior Matt Heitmann had nine points and 11 rebounds. McMenomy also had 10 rebounds for the Raiders, who out-rebounded Washington 36-26 in the game.

Williamsburg used a 12-0 run to start the second quarter to open up a 15-point lead, and the Raiders led 27-12 at halftime. Williamsburg led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but the Demons went on a 12-4 run, with senior Justin Hoffman sinking a pair of 3-pointers and a 15-foot jumper during the spurt.

“We made some adjustments in the second half, and it helped out,” Hoffman said. “We started exploiting the middle more, and that gave us some open shots. And we started kicking out for open threes.”

Hoffman finished with a career-high 21 points, but no other Demon cracked double figures. Junior Alex Coker scored seven points, while senior Kyle Roder and sophomore Daryn Sebelius both chipped in five.

“Hoffman had a great night shooting,” Smeins said. “We just have to get a couple of other guys going along with him offensively.”

The Demons have had trouble getting going offensively all season, and that’s why they’re 5-15 heading into Friday’s game at Grinnell. Washington averages 43.7 points per game, which ranks 61st out of 64 Class 3A teams.

“I thought defensively we played pretty well,” Smeins said. “When you hold teams in the 40s, you’ve got a great chance to win. But you’ve got to score a lot more than 41 points if you want to win.”

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