YORK TWP. — A week of practice without a game can make many teams complacent.
It makes Buckeye’s boys basketball team hungrier.
On the heels of a heartbreaking loss to Norwayne, the Bucks channeled their energy Friday night into a 59-38 drubbing of Clearview in the Patriot Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
“I think the loss was almost a blessing in disguise,” said senior power forward Jeff Miller, who finished with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. “We realized that we just couldn’t go out and win. It’s about the small things, because if those go wrong, then you have a big problem.”
The new focus was good news for the Bucks (1-1, 1-0) and very, very bad for the Clippers (1-1, 0-1), who were caught off-guard by Buckeye’s execution on both ends of the floor in the opening minutes.
The frontcourt of Miller, small forward Garrett Beck and center Chris Vogt made it look easy around the rim in helping the Bucks build a 20-point advantage early in the second quarter.
That, combined with a match-up 2-3 zone, made any shot of a Clearview comeback virtually impossible.
“It was nice to have a full week to prepare,” Buckeye coach Matt Saunders said. “It’s our first year running that match-up and last week we had a lot of holes. They committed this week to make sure those holes weren’t there.”
It started with Miller, Beck (game-high 20 points, 10 rebounds) and Vogt (13 points) doing all the little things inside, as they got to the boards off Clippers missed shots and were rewarded at the other end.
“I think one of the big things for us is that we have to make sure that we’re aggressive offensively,” Saunders said. “We have such an advantage size-wise that we can wear teams down. They all did a great job.”
Clippers fans found their team with just two points 12 minutes in and struggling to find any rhythm against the Bucks’ zone.
Clearview shot 14-for-49 from the floor and 5-for-23 from 3-point range. The Clippers trailed 30-10 at halftime and 44-22 after three.
“It wasn’t shell-shock, but we just ran into a buzz saw,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “From the opening tip, we couldn’t get any shots to fall. I thought Buckeye just out-executed us. They out-hustled us and they just were the better ballclub tonight.”
The Clippers got a team-high 15 points from Gerrell Williams, whose added five boards, two blocks and a tomahawk jam in the second half.
Most of Clearview’s highlights, however, came with the game already decided, as Buckeye’s six-man rotation ran with maximum efficiency behind point guard Cory Inman (game-high 7 assists).
But it began with the “Big Three” inside, which made the cohesiveness that much better.
“All of our guys, especially the seniors, are gym rats,” Saunders said. “All they play is basketball, and they’re in the gym year-round.
“They’ve played together forever, and our chemistry is really good with all three of our inside guys. That (play) is what we expect out of them and I’m glad they’re delivering early.”
|Williams and teammate Jason Young did a game of rock-paper-scissors to see who would jump to open the game. Williams, a state-qualifying high jumper, was the winner and won the tip as well.
Behind an 18-point night from sophomore Nick Wills, Buckeye’s junior varsity defeated Clearview 47-41.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buckeye 59, Clearview 38
CLEARVIEW 2 8 12 16 — 38
BUCKEYE 16 14 14 15 — 59
Clearview — Gerrell Williams 7-1-15, Eric Burkey 1-0-3, Jason Young 2-0-4, Daimon Knowles 0-0-0, Iben Huff 0-0-0, Lance Billings 1-2-5, Caleb Branscum 0-0-0, Maliek Ivey 2-0-6, Sharrod Brown 1-0-3, Juan Torres 0-0-0, Antonio Bennett 0-2-2. TOTALS: 14-5-38.
Buckeye — Garrett Beck 7-3-20, Jeff Miller 6-2-14, Chris Vogt 4-5-13, Tyler Hagmeier 2-0-4, Cory Inman 1-4-6, Nate Polidori 1-0-2, Hayden Roskey 0-0-0, Mason Stanton 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21-14-59.
3-point goals — Ivey 2, Burkey, Brown, Billings, Beck 3. Rebounds — Clearview 18 (Williams 5), Buckeye 36 (Miller 15). Assists — Clearview 9 (Knowles 3), Buckeye 11 (Inman 7). Records — Clearview (1-1, 0-1), Buckeye (1-1, 1-0). Junior varsity — Buckeye 47, Clearview 41.