WELLINGTON — On a night when Buckeye’s girls basketball team was looking for a hero Wednesday, the shortest girl on the floor stepped up with her biggest game of the season.
The Bucks were searching for anything after three quarters where offense was more rumor than reality, but that’s when guard Maggie Calame emerged.
With the game tied headed to the fourth quarter, the 5-foot-3 Calame scored all seven of her points in the final frame to lift Buckeye to a 36-23 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division win over Wellington.
“We needed to win,” Calame said. “I was in the zone. Definitely, my head was in the game. I wanted it real bad, so I went out there strong.”
Strong is an understatement, as Calame gave the Bucks (2-6, 2-3) their first lead with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter. She came down on the next possession and assisted Kayla Glancy (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) on a 3-pointer and then hit a trey of her own after a Dukes basket.
Just like that, a game in the balance became a six-point deficit for Wellington (0-8, 0-5).
“I thought Maggie came up big with that three,” Buckeye coach Randy Haury said. “I just tell them to keep shooting the ball. She had a couple steals in that fourth quarter, too. She was running the show out there. Maggie did an outstanding job.”
The fact the Bucks extended their winning streak to two is a testament to never giving up. Buckeye didn’t exactly shoot the lights out in the first half, opening the first quarter with a 0-for-8 performance and limping into halftime just 3-for-25 from the field.
Down 14-8 at intermission, Buckeye was looking for something to turn the tide. Its leading scorer Sara Dash was hobbled after having wisdom teeth pulled this week and had just two points at the break.
While Dash finished with a game-high 12, defense was what pushed the Bucks through. Wellington scored just one point in the third quarter and went 0-for-14 from the field. It went through a 9:02 stretch without a basket and finished the evening 10-for-49 from the floor.
“We held Black River 12 minutes without scoring in last week’s win,” Haury said. “These girls are buying into defense. We might be offensively challenged a bit, but we buy into defense and it works well for us.”
With a game Saturday against division leader Firelands and non-conference tilts with Smithville and Revere to follow, the Bucks will need that defense if they want to continue the winning streak.
“The girls are starting to believe,” Haury said. “I saw a big change after the Black River game and you can just tell the girls are starting to buy in. It’s starting to grow. You can see it.”
There was a moment of silence before the game for Drew Guyer, an eighth-grade student at McCormick Middle School who died suddenly on Tuesday.
• Wellington gained a split with a 32-21 win in the junior varsity contest. Logan Simmons, the daughter of former Black River softball coach Merle Simmons, had 16 points in the victory. Brianna Matras had nine in the loss for Buckeye.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.