YORK TWP. — The Oberlin boys basketball team probably picked the wrong night to head to Buckeye’s gymnasium.
With the Bucks licking their wounds from a two-game losing streak and with two key starters out, they weren’t exactly in the giving mood Friday when the Phoenix hit the floor.
The only thing Buckeye gave was a good beating, which is exactly what Oberlin received in a 60-40 Patriot Athletic Conference cross-division game.
Buckeye (11-3, 8-1) was coming off losses to Lutheran West and Wadsworth and wasn’t sharing anything. Add the fact Chris Vogt and John Tighe sat out one-game suspensions for not meeting the team’s academic standards — both will be back Tuesday for a road game at Brooklyn — and they were a bit ornery.
“This game was real important for our confidence,” center Jeff Miller said. “You never want to lose games, but maybe the two games were a blessing in disguise to get us back together.
“With Vogt’s 6-foot-6 frame, he shares a lot of rebounds with me. I had to pick up his slack, and Tighe is probably the most athletic kid in the county. He picks up boards and scores. We knew me and (Garrett) Beck had to pick up some of the slack.”
That’s exactly what the two seniors did, as they singlehandedly outscored Oberlin (4-11, 4-6).
When Beck, who scored a game-high 24 points and had nine rebounds, wasn’t getting it done, Miller was.
The win really was all about Miller, who abused the Phoenix all night. The 6-3 senior scored 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter and pulled down 18 rebounds, with six of those coming on the offensive end.
Buckeye outrebounding Oberlin 44-21 wasn’t lost on either coach, but Phoenix coach Kurt Russell made it a point to single out Miller.
“We don’t shoot well, but we usually can get some second-chance points by crashing the boards,” Russell said. “Against him and a team like Buckeye, if you miss that first shot, you’re pretty much done with. We had trouble rebounding tonight.”
The Bucks actually made sure Oberlin had a tough time doing anything. They knew Charles Lewis (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) was going to get his points. What they wanted to make sure of was that no one else did, and that was evident in the fact Lewis was the only player other than Beck and Miller in double figures.
Where this game was really won was on defense, as Buckeye put the clamps down on the Phoenix, forcing a 4-of-20 shooting performance in the first half.
While the Bucks scored just eight points in the first quarter, they only gave up two. Buckeye’s defense was so good the Phoenix didn’t score a point until 35 seconds remained in the first quarter. That coupled with the fact Oberlin made just the four baskets in the first 16 minutes afforded Bucks coach Matt Saunders a 31-9 lead at the break
“We wanted to get off to a good start,” Saunders said. “Defensively, we got off to that start even though offensively we missed some bunnies. The key for us is consistency. That’s been our problem.
“If you have a bad quarter here or there, it can cost you, especially when they’re early. It was the first quarter against Lutheran West and the second quarter against Wadsworth. Both quarters in the first half here, we definitely played better and executed better.”
|Buckeye won the junior varsity game 58-40 behind Liam Murray’s 17 points.|
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buckeye 60, Oberlin 40
OBERLIN 2 7 10 21 — 40
BUCKEYE 8 23 20 9 — 60
Oberlin — Marvin Jackson 4-1-9, Dante LaRiccia 1-0-2, Jae’Lin Moore 0-1-1, Charles Lewis 6-1-14, Malcolm Allen 2-1-7, Henry Smith 1-0-2, Zion Hicks 1-0-2, David Payne 1-0-3, Donald Johnson 0-0-0. TOTALS: 16-4-40.
Buckeye — Garrett Beck 11-0-24, Tyler Hagmeier 1-0-2, Jeff Miller 9-2-20, Nate Polidori 3-0-6, Cory Inman 0-0-0, Robert Miller 2-0-6, Haydon Roskey 0-0-0, Mason Stanton 1-0-2, Nick Wills 0-0-0. TOTALS: 27-2-60.
3-point goals — Allen 2, Payne, Lewis, Beck 2, R. Miller 2. Rebounds — Oberlin 21 (Lewis 5), Buckeye 44 (J. Miller 18). Assists — Oberlin 12 (Lewis , Payne 3), Buckeye 21 (Inman 6). Records — Oberlin (4-11, 4-6), Buckeye (11-3, 8-1). Junior varsity — Buckeye 58, Oberlin 40.