Ashland pushed seventh-ranked Eagle Point to the brink but couldn't quite seal the deal Tuesday night in Class 5A Southern Oregon Hybrid boys basketball.
The host Grizzlies rallied to take a four-point advantage with three minutes to play, but a pair of 3-pointers by Eagle Point senior Jorge Quintero turned the momentum and helped spur the Eagles to a 53-51 victory at Mountain Avenue Gym.
"I thought that we played an outstanding game on the defensive side," said Ashland head coach Jeff Schlecht. "We just had some turnovers and some missed shots toward the end and they made some good shots and that was the difference."
The matchup was the first of only two scheduled conference games between the Eagles (14-2) and Grizzlies and had the makings for a runaway win by the visitors since Eagle Point had won 12 of its last 13 games but Ashland certainly proved up for the challenge.
Collin Malcolm notched 15 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks to pace the Grizzlies (6-9, 0-1 5A SOH), while Jackson Feinberg added 13 points and Mitchell Harfst had seven points and three blocks.
For Eagle Point, senior point guard Cesar Chavez tallied 18 points and Quintero finished with 15 points, while Kramer Edwards added six points and six rebounds. Peyton Dole also pulled in six boards.
Quintero's 3-point shots in the fourth quarter proved crucial for the Eagles, who led 41-37 heading into the fourth quarter but struggled early in the final frame.
"He made those two 3s that were really key there and that kind of gave them the edge and then we just started fouling them to get back into it," said Schlecht.
Ashland got the ball back with 8.5 seconds remaining and went the length of the court before a designed play broke down and an improvised 4-footer just ahead of the buzzer missed its mark.
"We had some great opportunities at the end and we just couldn't finish," said Schlecht. "I am really proud of the progress that my boys showed tonight. They played really hard."
"As disappointed as we are as a team to almost beat Eagle Point," added the coach, "we will just re-dedicate ourselves tomorrow in practice and start pushing ourselves again because we have another tough one on Friday at North Valley."
EAGLE POINT (53) — Quintero 15, Morris 5, Jones 0, Barber 2, Chavez 18, Edwards 6, Baker 1, Dole 4, Holmes 2. Totals: 21 6-9 53.
ASHLAND (51) — Hasskamp 2, Jones 3, Atteberry 0, Layton 0, Harfst 7, Feinberg 13, Byers 5, Malcolm 15, Shibley-Styer 6. Totals: 18 9-13 51.
Eagle Point 14 11 16 12 — 53
Ashland 13 12 12 14 — 51
3-point goals — Eagle Point 5 (Quintero 3, Morris 1, Chavez 1), Ashland 8 (Jones 1, Feinberg 3, Byers 1, Malcolm 2, Shibley-Styer 1). Fouled out — Morris. Technical fouls — Morris.
JV score — Ashland 68, Eagle Point 63.