YORK TWP. — About the only thing Buckeye’s boys basketball team didn’t do well Friday in its Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division matchup with Black River was start fast.
The Bucks overcame sloppy early play easily and went on to rout the rival Pirates 78-30.
After struggling initially with missed layups and several unforced errors, Buckeye (4-1, 4-0) righted the ship and charged full steam ahead.
“I thought early we were just playing too fast,” Buckeye coach Matt Saunders said. “We were excited to play a rivalry game and that sort of thing — trying to set tone a little too hard instead of just playing our game.”
Leading just 16-7 after the first quarter, the Buckeye offense really started clicking and fed off the defensive pressure applied to the young and inexperienced Pirates (0-6, 0-4).
The Bucks outscored Black River 26-2 during the decisive second quarter. During the onslaught, the Bucks caught fire by forcing 14 turnovers and riding a red-hot John Tighe.
Tighe scored nine of his 14 points during the run and capped the half with a near-dunk that rattled into the air and still fell through the basket.
“That’s two straight games now where he’s really come up big for us,” Saunders said of Tighe, who had 12 points, four assists and four steals in a win over Fairview last week. “He’s a great athlete, and he did a little for us last year.
“He’s been gritting and wanting to come out. It was killing him to have to watch his seniors play. He’s taken advantage of it, and I’m really happy with it.”
That was the kind of night it was for Buckeye. Even when things didn’t go exactly as planned, they still went in its favor.
“We were facing a tremendously good opponent,” Black River coach Josh Calame said. “They are definitely one of the best teams in this area. We played hard at times. They just took us out of what we wanted to do.
“We’re still learning and when we come up against a team like this. We panic at times and speed things up. They are just too good, and they took us out of what we wanted to do.”
The Bucks shot a sizzling 53 percent (29-for-55) from the floor, including 64 percent (9-for-14) from 3-point land.
Garrett Beck had 17 points to lead the Bucks and staged a mini 3-point shooting contest with Pirates sophomore point guard Allan Benson (17 points).
Benson was the lone bright spot for the Pirates, who struggled mightily from the field by just 8-for-44 field goals (18 percent).
“He’s a great player,” Calame said of Benson. “We go as he goes, and when he comes out and hits shots, we look pretty good sometimes. He handles the ball, and he’s a great point guard. He’s still learning and he still makes mistakes at times, but he’s an all-around great player.”
When the game of back-and-forth between Benson and Beck ended — they alternated 3-pointers on four straight possessions — Saunders pulled the starters with a 60-18 lead and 3:30 to play in the third quarter.
Jeff Miller (8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Chris Vogt (11, 6) helped the Bucks to a staggering 41-16 edge on the boards.
“Jeff and Chris are really good rebounders,” said Saunders, whose team also received a career-high 13 points from Robert Miller. “We had a tough time finishing at times today, but when you control the boards like that, it makes it a lot easier. We’re blessed to have those two guys.”
|Buckeye won the junior varsity contest 64-31. Nick Wills led the Bucks with 17 points, while Liam Murray and Joey Bartinelli chipped in 11 each. Matthew Potter led the Pirates with 11.|
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buckeye 78, Black River 30
BLACK RIVER 7 2 14 7 — 30
BUCKEYE 16 26 27 9 — 78
Black River — Curtis Roupe 1-0-2, Logan Goff 1-2-4, Tyler Potter 2-1-6, Alex McIntyre 0-0-0, Allan Benson 4-6-17, Stephen Zumack 0-0-0, Dylan Lewis 0-1-1, Glen Crabtree 0-0-0, David Jeske 0-0-0, Tanner Hunter 0-0-0. TOTALS: 8-10-30.
Buckeye — Garrett Beck 6-2-17, Jeff Miller 4-0-8, Chris Vogt 5-1-11, John Tighe 5-2-14, Cory Inman 2-2-7, Tyler Hagmeier 1-1-3, Nate Polidori 0-2-2, Robert Miller 5-0-13, Hayden Roskey 0-0-0, Mason Stanton 1-0-2, Nick Wills 0-1-1. TOTALS: 29-11-78.
3-point goals — Benson 3, Potter, Beck 3, R. Miller 3, Tighe 2, Inman. Rebounds — Black River 16 (Roupe 7), Buckeye 41 (Miller 10), Assists — Black River 4 (McIntyre 2), Buckeye 13 (Polidori 5). Records — Buckeye (4-1, 4-0), Black River (0-6, 0-4). Junior varsity — Buckeye 64, Black River 31.