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Alexander Spartans fall prey to Circleville onslaught, ending tournament hopes

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The Alexander Spartans (1-22) traveled to Circleville hoping to upset the Circleville Tigers (11-11) on the road but fell 75-35.

The first quarter began with Alexander quickly scoring the first points of the contest with a layup. Circleville quickly responded by scoring a layup to tie it up and proceeded to dominate for the rest of the first. The Tigers would open a 17 to 0 run, thanks to quick points by Briley Cramer and easy threes from Preston Hulse and Riley Jenkins. The Spartans would not find the basket again until there were three minutes left in the quarter and would head into the second down 22-8.

In the second quarter, Circleville would continue to pour it on, dominating the paint and opening the quarter with a 7-2 run. Alexander showed brief signs of life and finished off the quarter strong, thanks to Mason Morris firing off two quick threes. Despite this, the Spartans were still unable to get within striking distance, heading into the half with a 36-18 Tigers lead.

Opening the third quarter, Circleville stole back the momentum, holding Alexander to only 5 points in the quarter and scoring 22 of their own. The Tigers were able to win the turnover and rebounding battle, exploiting offensive rebounds and finding easy shots in the paint, and the Spartans were simply unable to respond.

The story did not change in the fourth, as while Alexander began to pull their starters, Circleville kept their foot on the gas. The Tigers played quickly and managed to continue generating turnovers, pouring on the score, and winning the contest 75-35.

The name of the game for Circleville was outrebounding the Spartans and limiting their turnovers, as the Tigers had only two turnovers in the matchup and won the rebounding battle 26 to 11. Briley Cramer shined for Circleville in this contest, scoring 37 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

While the Spartans tournament hopes have come to an end, Coach Jeff Skinner said the future of this team is bright and he looks forward to a revamped team next season. “We are going to be a totally new look,” Skinner said, “We’ve got to go to the next level of a rebuild, and that is youth movement.”

With this loss, the Alexander Spartans cap off their season with a 1-22 record, looking forward to the future. The Circleville Tigers improve to 11-11 and look onward to a tournament matchup against the #4 New Lexington Panthers (18-3) on February 20.