Three quarters left Ellet and Massillon exactly where they were when they started Tuesday night's boys basketball game. All tied up on the scoreboard.
The Orangemen, though, treated the fourth quarter like they did the first, using rebounding and defense to help them pull away from the visiting Tigers for a 68-59 victory.
"We finally got it going," Ellet coach Mark Fisher said. "We had it going in the first quarter and we just hit a lull there in the second and third quarters where it didn't seem like anything was going right. We just stuck with what we do, and eventually it worked out for us."
Ellet (12-8) broke a 48-48 deadlock — created when Massillon's Grant Haynam beat the buzzer with a tying 3-point basket — after three quarters by scoring on its first three fourth-quarter possessions. That quick 7-0 burst, capped by Adonis Jordan's 3-point basket, made it a 55-48 Orangemen lead with 6:11 remaining.
Massillon (6-11) never got closer than three points the rest of the way. The Tigers made just three field goals in the final quarter, one of which came right before the final buzzer.
Ellet's defense helped to create seven fourth-quarter Massillon turnovers. That was part of a 26-turnover night for the Tigers.
"They put pressure on us," Massillon coach Josh Hose said. "I think we turned it over 26 times. We're just struggling. We're not scoring the ball very well, so that's 26 possessions we don't get a shot."
It was a similar script in the first quarter when Ellet opened a 21-11 lead. The Orangemen pushed that advantage to 25-11 with 5:29 remaining in the second quarter before Massillon found its way back into the game.
That spark was provided by Tre'Von Morgan, who was playing in his second game back from an injury. The 6-foot-7 senior scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in a 16-4 half-ending burst to help the Tigers pull within 29-27 at halftime.
"He sparked us big time," Hose said of Morgan. "He got some rebounds. He was physical inside."
Morgan scored another nine points in the third quarter, in which Massillon took three separate one-point leads in the first 1:39 of the second half. The last of those came on Jeremy Chovan's basket to make it 34-33 Tigers.
Ellet took the lead for good on its next possession when Jarmond Hogg knocked down a 3-point basket for a 36-34 lead with six minutes remaining in the third. That was one of two long-distance shots for Hogg, but he didn't need to score from the perimeter to make his presence felt.
Hogg scored 10 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter, in which the Orangemen pushed their lead to 43-36. But he saved some of his best work for last.
Hogg, a senior forward, scored the first two Ellet baskets in the fourth quarter to give it the lead for good. He finished with eight points in the final eight minutes.
"He's a really good player," Fisher said of Hogg. "Really strong. We're finding he has a knack of getting the ball up there inside. He's averaging 20 [points] a game for us. He's a pretty good player."