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Ashland holds off Crater

ASHLAND — Ashland High point guard Malik Pippa watched most of Tuesday’s rivalry matchup with Crater from the Grizzlies’ bench after picking up his second foul only four minutes into the game.

The junior playmaker was available when the Grizzlies needed him most, however, and his clutch play down the stretch helped Ashland pull off a 43-37 Midwestern League boys basketball victory at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Moments after two Crater free throws cut Ashland’s lead to two points with about a minute to go, Pippa broke Crater’s full-court press and found Jeremiah Hasskamp for a wide-open layup. Crater then turned the ball over at the other end and Ashland iced the game at the free-throw line to pick up its most meaningful win of the season.

“We had executed the press break all night and I just wanted to make sure everybody took a deep breath and was ready to run the press break the way we had been running it,” Ashland head coach Sam Osofsky said of his timeout talk to the Grizzlies right before Pippa’s key drive-and-dish. “They were able to execute perfectly.”

Pippa had 11 points and four steals, Mel Elshalom seven points and six rebounds and Stenley Graham seven points, four steals and three rebounds for the Grizzlies (5-7, 1-1 MWL).

Tanner Mallams scored 12 points on four 3-pointers and Keifer Edwards added 10 points as Crater fell to 3-10 overall and 0-2 in MWL play.

The Comets, who fell into an early hole with a 10-5 deficit in the first quarter, also got eight points from Robbie Henderson.

CRATER (37): White 2, Vranes 3, Ke. Edwards 10, Henderson 8, Mallams 12, Ko. Edwards 2, Howell 0, Kramer 0. Totals: 8 15-19 37.

ASHLAND (43): Hasskamp 8, Graham 7, Shibley 6, Atteberry 2, Ellis 2, Pippa 11, Elshalom 7, Jones 0, Hansen, Fuller 0. Totals: 14 10-18 43.

Crater;5;12;8;12;—;37

Ashland;10;12;9;12;—;43

3-point goals — Crater 6 (Mallams 4, Ke. Edwards 1, Vranes 1), Ashland 3 (Hasskamp 2, Pippa 1).

JV result — Ashland won.

Ashland High senior Mel Elshalom (22) shoots over Crater High defenders during their Midwestern League game at Mountain Avenue Gym in Ashland Tuesday. PHOTO BY LARRY STAUTH JR.