ONTARIO -- Scott Hamilton's loud post-game discussion with his Lexington Minutemen wafted into the hallways at Ontario High School on Saturday night.
Lexington had just beaten the Warriors, 50-43, but Hamilton had seen his team allow a 48-30 lead nearly wither away in the final 1:59 of the fourth quarter.
When Hamilton emerged, he had a half smile on his face when asked about the post-game speech and the eight fourth-quarter turnovers that helped to trigger Ontario's rally -- and his locker room remarks.
"If that game had gone another two minutes, I'd be losing right now ... losing it," he said with a laugh.
"Real quietly, we we talking about the fact we just didn't take care of the ball. Give Ontario credit. They threw that press on late. Our goals for the season to handle pressure is not coming from Ontario. We got some pretty big fish that like to pressure the basketball and we have to make sure we are able to take care of it," Hamilton said.
The win handed a Lexington a 2-0 road weekend, including a tough victory at Ohio Cardinal Conference for Ashland on Friday night. The Minutemen are 6-3 as calendar year 2018 comes to an end. The back-to-back wins also help erase the taste from a 16-point loss to Akron Copley last Saturday.
Ontario slipped to 4-3 with the defeat.
"We talked about that before the game, about ending (2018) on a good note. We thought in the Copley game we played well for about three quarters and then the fourth got away from us," Hamilton said.
KEY STRETCH: Ontario missed a shot near the end of the first half that could have given the Warriors a halftime lead. Instead, Lexington converted on the other end and took a 24-19 lead into the break. The Minutemen then scored on their first five possessions to start the third period to build a 34-23 lead.
Lexington led by 12 after three quarters and expanded it to 44-28 with 3:39 remaining.
Ontario, which hit just two of 11 shots in the third quarter, suffered cold shooting most of the evening, including just five of 24 behind the arc.
"We didn't make shots," Ontario coach Joe Balogh said. "We use the three-point shot as a weapon. We just didn't shoot it very well (tonight). Some of that goes to Lexington's credit and some was we got open looks and didn't make it. Sometimes you have to live and die with that.
"I thought the effort of our kids was really, really good. We just didn't play smart at times," he said.
INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS: Lexington senior center Cade Stover again led the Minutemen, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot. Senior Josh Aiello added 14 points and nine rebounds.
Balogh, the most tenured coach in north central Ohio, said he won't be sorry to see Stover, a four-year starter, graduate in 2019 and head south to join the Ohio State football team.
"He's probably one of the best athletes to ever come out of this area with what he has accomplished in football and basketball. I won't be disappointed to see him go. He has had a helluva career and it will be interesting to see how he develops the next four years for the Buckeyes," Balogh said.
Shaquan Coburn and Kolten Kurtz each had 13 points for the Warriors. Griffin Shaver had eight. Senior Ethan Keller, in only his second year of high school basketball and first on the varsity, pulled down 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
"At the end of last season, we told Ethan if he wanted to be a varsity player, he would need to be in the weight room, be in the gym and do all the things we do in the summer. He did all of that. He lost about 40 pounds ... you can see he's athletic. He has taken advantage of the opportunities he's been given and that's good to see when you see a kid with that kind of energy. We are really proud of him and he's only going to get better," Balogh said. "We have a long way to go (this season)."
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Lexington shot 44 percent from the field (20-45) and 75 percent from the line (9-12). The Minutemen took eight triples, making one. The Minutemen had 37 rebounds and committed 15 turnovers.
Ontario shot 26 percent from the floor (11-42) and 76 percent from the line (16-21). Ontario had 24 rebounds and committed 10 turnovers.
UP NEXT: Lexington is at Madison next Saturday in an OCC game. Ontario hosts Clear Fork on Thursday in a key Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game.