Battling the 11th-ranked team in the state was a stiff enough challenge.
BETHEL ACRES – Battling the 11th-ranked team in the state was a stiff enough challenge.
The 17th-ranked Asher Indians had to do so without 6-foot, 5-inch star Patch Hamilton, who was sidelined with the flu, on Thursday afternoon.
As a result, the Roff Tigers received balanced scoring and won the rebounding battle in claiming a 52-33 victory over Asher in a Class A area elimination game at Bethel High School’s B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.
The Indians certainly missed the services of Hamilton. Asher saw only one of its players reach double figures as Mike McDonald led the way with 16 points.
“First of all, we’ve never beaten Roff with Patch this season,” said Asher head coach Scott Hamilton. “Coach Larry Johnston (of Roff) is one of the finest coaches in Oklahoma.”
Johnston felt for Asher.
“I know it was hard on them emotionally without Patch. He is so good and I thought Mike played really well for them,” Johnston said.
Three Tigers led the way for the winners as starters Trayson Miller and Brady Benedict, along with reserve Kaden Reust tallied 11 points each, followed by starters Aiden Bagwell and Wil Joplin with eight and seven points respectively.
Reust cranked out three 3-point baskets, Benedict had two and Miller notched one as Roff totaled six for the game. The Tigers shot 44.6% from the floor overall.
Meanwhile, Asher hit at just a 38.2% clip.
McDonald was 6-of-13 with a game-high four treys for the Indians.
“Mike is a tremendous competitor,” Scott Hamilton said. “Our assistant baseball coach (Tim Johnson) says Mike is a gamer.”
The next high scorers for Asher were Juston Melton and Trevor Martin with four apiece. Jake Dobbs and Tahlan Hamilton each drained one trey.
Roff had a 27-19 rebounding advantage as Asher managed just two offensive boards.
The first half was a battle as the Indians trailed just 22-21 as McDonald scored 10 second-quarter points in going 4-of-4 from the field with two 3-pointers.
However, the Tigers closed the half with five points off an old-fashioned 3-point play from Miller and a Bagwell reverse layup to give Roff a six-point cushion at the break, 27-21.
McDonald popped in a trey to start the third quarter with 7:02 to go, but that’s when Asher started to wilt as the Tigers went on an 11-5 run through the remainder of the quarter to go up 38-29, heading into the final period.
Roff went on to score the first seven points of the fourth to pull away.
Scott Hamilton praised the efforts of his four seniors – Trevor Martin, Dobbs, Melton and Patch Hamilton.
The Tigers improved to 22-7 while Asher ended its season at 18-11.