ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Beaver Local Beavers dropped a 60-55 decision Wednesday evening to the Philo Electrics in Division II sectional final action on the campus of Ohio University Eastern.
The Beavers end the season with a 13-10 under first-year head coach Jeremy Christen.
Philo (14-9) will play Steubenville Saturday at 1 p.m. in the district semifinals.
Beaver Local's Jared Lyder topped all scorers with 33 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter He also snagged 15 rebounds. Hayden Grafton chipped in with nine points. Beaver Local was without the services of starter Josh Underwood who was sidelined due to illness.
Tyler Cassady led Philo with 23 points and six rebounds. Zak Sheridan backed him with 16 tallies.
Connecting on eight of 11 (73 percent) of their shots from the floor, the Electrics opened up a 16-10 lead after one quarter. The Beavers were hampered when Chase Hilliard picked up his second personal foul after just 2:25 of play.
The Beavers found themselves down 13, 21-11 midway through the second quarter. Lyder collected the game's next six points, coupled with good team defense, enabled the Beavers to trim the deficit to seven, 24-17.
Following a Philo timeout, Fletcher netted the final five points of the half, enabling the Electrics to lead 29-17 at halftime.
"We got down early due to a lack of focus," said Christen. "We thought we were prepared, but we made too many early mistakes. Once we got into the lockerroom at halftime, we were able to make a number of adjustments and get everyone settled down."
Early third-quarter hoops by Bryce McKenzie, Grafton and Lyder reduced the Beaver Local deficit once again to seven, 32-25. However, during this run, Hilliard was injured in a collision under the basket and would not return, further depleting the Beavers' resources.
"Chase took a knee to the back on a loose ball scramble just before halftime," said the Beaver Local coach. "He tried to stretch it out at halftime, but he just couldn't get loose. After the collision in the third quarter Chase could barely walk, let alone play."
A 9-0 run, fueled by Hutcheson's five, boosted Philo's lead to 41-25 with 2:36 remaining in the third quarter. An offensive putback by Conner Hall and three fouls shots by Lyder brought the Beavers to within 13, 45-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Battling ferociously in the final quarter, the Beavers repeatedly pulled to within seven, eventually pulling to within five on three occasion. Lyder willed his way to 16 in the final frame, with Grafton dropping in four and Chase Wilcox nailing a three-pointer from the right corner.
"He was a man possessed," said Christen, in describing Lyder's play. "He didn't want this to be his last game. He was doing what winners do; make plays and lead his team. Jared is definitely a winner."
The Beavers shot 52 percent (21 of 40) from the floor. Philo connected on 22 of 54 field tries (41 percent).
"It was a great season. For this being my inaugural season I couldn't ask for a better group of players," said Christen. "I probably learned more from them than they learned from me."
BEAVER LOCAL: 10-7-15-23-55
BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Chase Hilliard 1-0-3, Jared Lyder 12-9-33, Hayden Grafton 4-0-9, Ethan Campbell 1-0-3, Chandler Cornell 0-0-0, Bryce McKenzie 1-0-2, Conner Hall 1-0-2, Chase Wilcox 1-0-3, Josh Beck 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 21, 9-14: 55.
PHILO SCORING: Layke Fletcher 3-0-7, Logan Kirkbride 1-1-3, Hunter Smith 1-0-2, Zak Sheridan 6-4-16, Heath Osborn 0-0-0, Jordan Hutcheson 2-0-5, Tyler Cassady 8-6-23, Chase Humbel 1-2-4. TEAM TOTALS: 22, 13-17: 60.
Three-point goals: Beaver Local 4 (Hilliard, Grafton, Campbell, Wilcox), Philo 3 (Fletcher, Hutcheson, Cassady).