YORK TWP. — The S.W.A.T. team was out in full force, and it wore Buckeye girls basketball uniforms instead of bulletproof armor.
The Bucks’ defense was as impenetrable as Kevlar Wednesday, and it blocked everything in sight en route to a 41-25 win over Black River in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division action.
Led by rebounding machine Jessica Banas (4 points, 14 rebounds, 8 blocks) in the paint and Julia Sekerak (11, 8, 3) on the perimeter, Buckeye (4-8, 4-4) swatted an eye-popping 13 shots while holding the Pirates (2-9, 1-5) to 4-of-33 shooting over the final three quarters.
“We’ve been working on our man-to-man (defense), so that gave us a good opportunity to step up and apply what we’ve been practicing,” Banas said. “We played solid all-around defense. I’m proud of everyone.”
Behind four points, five boards and two swats from Banas in the second quarter, the Bucks slowly pulled away to a take a 21-14 halftime lead when they switched from a 2-3 zone to man. Sekerak hit one of her three 3-pointers during the stretch, while point guard Hannah Hartley (4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists) had a big steal that led to a layup.
Buckeye never really got its offense firing on all cylinders — it shot 15-of-52 (.288) from the floor — but had 10 assists, owned an impressive 43-26 rebounding advantage and made Black River timid offensively thanks to the barrage of swats.
Hartley and Katie Kelly also had blocks as Buckeye led 32-20 after three quarters. The lead never got below 10 the rest of the game.
“It feels great,” Sekerak said. “I love it when we’re all in the same rhythm as a team.
“I love when I get a block. It boosts me up even more.”
Black River kept things respectable for most of the first half behind hot shooting from Angie Kazek. The junior scored 15 of her team’s first 20 points, including six in the first quarter as the Pirates led 11-10 late in the period.
Kazek finished with 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting, but the rest of the team was 3-of-28 on a night when Black River committed 19 turnovers.
The biggest problem, however, was the Pirates were clearly affected by Banas physicality, and that’s what had coach Ken Deidrick irked the most.
“They made the shots and we didn’t,” he said. “They blocked a lot of shots. They sure did. Banas did a nice job inside. I thought we did a nice job on Banas for awhile, but their offensive opened up at the end.”
Maggie Calame had 12 points and Morgan Hama added nine points and 17 rebounds as Buckeye’s junior varsity won 48-7. Sierra Boudress had four points for Black River, which trailed 28-1 at halftime.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.