By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
BIGGERSVILLE – Shaun Watson’s jersey number is 20, but it could have been mistaken for a “1” on Friday night.
That’s how close Biggersville’s guard was defending Blue Mountain’s scoring machine, Ismael Ruedas, who wears No. 1, in this Division 1-1A high school basketball rematch.
Ruedas was held to 11 points, at least 15 under his average, as the host Lions escaped with a 63-61 victory.
“I was ready to play some defense,” Watson said. “I could tell (Ruedas) was frustrated. He was talking to me.”
The win gave Biggersville (14-6, 5-0) a regular-season sweep in the series. The Lions topped the Cougars 87-83 last month at Blue Mountain.
“Shaun Watson busted his tail all night guarding Rudy Basketball … that’s what I call him,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said. “He’s relentless, hard-working and scrappy. It was something for him to guard him like that.”
Blue Mountain’s other top scorer, guard Jacob Girley, had 16 points, but he spent most of his time on the bench in foul trouble. He scored seven of his points in the final 2 minutes to keep the Cougars within striking distance.
Girley, a sophomore, sank a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left to cut Biggersville’s lead to 61-59.
“We were right there,” Blue Mountain coach David Mason said. “It was a struggle on offense at times, but you have to credit their defense.”
Mason knew Ruedas, who was sidelined during the week with a flu-like ailment, was frustrated.
“I should have given him more of a rest,” Mason said.
simmons held in check
Biggersville’s big gun, guard Daniel Simmons, was held to a team-high 17 points, but his two free throws on a one-plus-one sealed the win. He was guarded by the Cougars’ Dontae Knox.
“It wasn’t your typical night for Simmons, but credit Blue Mountain,” Little said.
Jaylen Gaines added 14 points for the Lions, including a crucial field goal in the final minute that gave his team a 4-point lead.
Watson and Marquis Watson, who has been sidelined with an injury, added 10 points apiece for Biggersville.
Tyler Young scored 13 for Blue Mountain (15-3, 4-2).
Mason and Little hope they meet for a third time in the division tournament championship game.
“We’re climbing that mountain,” Mason said. “We’re trying to get over the top. Tonight’s game had that North half atmosphere.”
Added Little, “I hope we get to play again.”
(G) Biggersville 65, Blue Mountain 35: Tyler Shelley scored 30 points and Jada Tubbs 25 to lead the Lady Lions.