BYESVILLE-- No matter how many defenders stood between the basket and Meadowbrook High's Ethan Shriver, he always managed to find his way to the rim.
Shriver scored 11 of the Colts' 13 fourth quarter points to lead Meadowbrook past Barnesville, 40-38, on Saturday night.
The junior forward outscored the Shamrocks (4-2) in the final quarter, completing the tear he'd been on since the opening tip by attacking three defenders to sink a layup with 15 seconds left for the two-point lead.
Both teams were tentative on offense to start the game, slowing the ball down and taking time to read defenses. Shriver scored all six points for the Colts (2-4) in the first to take a 6-4 lead after one quarter.
Meadowbrook was the first to break out of its slump, slowly building to a five-point lead with three minutes left in the first half.
Then Barnesville found its stroke as Colby MacMillan hit a "three" to cut the lead to two with 2:40 remaining.
Shriver stretched the Colts' lead to four before MacMillan charged back, nailing yet another "three" to trim the lead to one.
After a Meadowbrook turnover, Tyler Fitzpatrick found the basket down low to give Barnesville its first lead with just over a minute remaining.
The Shamrocks led 17-16 at the break and came out on fire, extending their lead to 21-17.
Barnesville was up by as many as four after a Dalton Smith three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining, but Shriver converted two free throws to cut the lead to 29-27 after three quarters.
The fourth belonged to Shriver, who continually attacked the basket as Barnesville's Stephen and Fitzpatrick sat on the bench with foul trouble.
"The played good, physical basketball," Barnesville coach Chris Pack said. "They pushed us all around the floor and got our big men in trouble. A couple of our toughest opponents play that style so we're going to have to get used to it."
Tied 36-36 with 1:26 remaining in the game, Shriver drove to the bucket, commanding three Shamrock defenders before dishing the ball out to Alex Robertson who attacked the other side of the basket for an easy layup to give the Colts the 38-36 advantage.
Up two with possession, the Colts looked to extend the lead before a determined MacMillan stole the ball and drove down court for a layup that tied the game with 58 seconds remaining before Shriver's eventual game-winner.
Shriver led Meadowbrook with a double-double that included 26 points and 11 rebounds. Jeramie Neff added seven points for the Colts while Robertson added four points and four rebounds. Logan Pepper finished with a team-high three assists.
MacMillan led the Shamrocks with 14 points, followed by Kody Skinner with eight and Smith with six. Stephen had a team-high nine rebounds, followed by Skinner with five rebounds and five assists. MacMillan led the team with four steals.
The Shamrocks struggled from the foul line, shooting just 4-of-15 from the charity stripe.
"We've been working a lot on our foul shooting," Pack said. "Four-of-15 just isn't going to win you games. There's just no way around it."
Barnesville was 15-of-49 from the field while Meadowbrook shot 15-of-38.
"We just need to work on confidence," Arnold said. "We're glad we won, but we need to work on building a rhythm and just gaining more experience."