ELYRIA — In two meetings during the regular season, Buckeye’s girls basketball team was stunned by Brookside.
With a berth in the Elyria Division II Sectional finals at stake Wednesday, the 10th-seeded Bucks got their revenge with a 40-29 victory.
Buckeye (10-13), which led 11-2 after the first quarter, advances to play No. 3 Holy Name on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., while the 11th-seeded Cardinals end the season 8-15.
“It meant a lot to us, especially after coming off two losses to them,” Bucks senior Jessica Banas said. “It was about pride. We really wanted to come out and show them what we’re made of.
“We had two not-so-spectacular games against them, so it was really great to come out and show them what we were really made of and that we deserved to be here.”
Jordan Davis’ 3-pointer while being fouled helped set the tone. The Bucks scored seven unanswered points, highlighted by senior Hannah Hartley’s back-to-back steal-and-scores.
A mid-range jumper by Hartley (13 points, 7 rebounds) with 6:22 remaining in the half made it 14-2, which proved to be too much for Brookside to climb out of.
Buckeye ended the first half as hot as it started it. A 3-pointer by Julia Sekerak with 3:46 remaining kick-started a 7-0 run that was capped by free throws by Banas (9 points, 8 rebounds) and a putback just before time expired.
“One of the things we stressed was to set the tone early and take an early lead,” Banas said. “We wanted to jump out to a fast lead and then just ride it out the rest of the way.”
With Buckeye’s lead swelling to 17 late in the third quarter, the Cardinals had one more run left in them after a buzzer-beating jumper by Erika Elias (team-high 10 points).
That shot led to a 10-2 run which cut Buckeye’s lead to 33-24. However, the Bucks put a stop to it with 4-for-7 performance from the free throw line.
“Sekerak in our box-and-1 played very well,” coach Randy Haury said. “Banas really had a nice game inside, and I thought Hartley really set the tone with some steals and made some nice breakaway layups.
“As a whole, I thought we handled the ball very well tonight. We wanted to get a win in Game 1. Now, we’ll focus on Game 2 and see if we can keep this going.”
Contact Dan Gilles at firstname.lastname@example.org.