Buchanan’s Jalen Brown let go a shot against Edwardsburg’s Kyle Slack (right) during Monday night’s Class B District contest at St. Joseph. The Eddies edged the Bucks 72-69 at the buzzer. (Daily Star Photo/TOM NYHUIS)

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Bucks beaten at buzzer by Eddies

Published 11:53pm Monday, March 5, 2012

ST. JOSEPH —It took the final shot in the final seconds to decide who would advance in the opening game of Monday’s Class B district boys basketball game at St. Joseph High School.

Buchanan and Edwardsburg went down to the wire in a thriller that saw Edwardsburg’s Josh Kozinski end the Buchanan Bucks’ season with a 35-foot buzzer beater that lifted the Eddies to a 72-69 victory.

“It wasn’t the prettiest until it went in,” Edwardsburg coach Dan Gunn said after the win. “Then it was absolutely beautiful that was a dandy. It was a good win for the Eddies and the school and the basketball program and I hope this gets a lot of people excited about playing this game.”

With five seconds to play in the game Buchanan’s Jalen Brown tied the game at 69 and it looked as though there would be overtime action.

“Jalen made a good move on (Kyle) Slack with five seconds left and I knew we had to get the ball up the floor and get a shot off,” Kozinski said of the final play of the game. “It was going into overtime no matter what so might as well throw up a desperation.”

In those final five seconds, Buchanan’s dream of moving on were dashed by Kozinski’s sixth 3-pointer of the game and third of the quarter on the desperation shot. The shot that kids dream of making to win a big game for his team.

As the Eddies’ fan stormed the court to celebrate the Buck players and coaches stood on the floor in disbelief and the fans in the stands stood in shock as their season wraps up with a 17-4 record.

It was Edwardsburg’s third attempt this season to try to figure out how to get past the Bucks. Last Thursday, they fell short in the team final meeting of the Lakeland Conference season. Kozinski was limited to just 11 points. Monday, it looked as though the Bucks had kept the Kozinski quiet once again holding him to just nine points in through three quarters of play. The difference for the Eddies this time was they were able to get offense out of Patrick Harvey, who scored 15 and Kyle Slack, who added 13.

The two teams went in at the half knotted at 37.

Savon Brown was leading the Bucks offensive attack in the first half scoring 14 of his game-high 22 points in the opening half. Justin Henderson knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half for nine of his 17 points.

The Eddies were successful in stopping 6-foot-8 Jalen Brown inside, limiting him to just 12 points for the night.

“The kids executed down the stretch and Jalen tied it up,” Buchanan coach Reid McBeth said following the heartbreaking loss. “A great player makes great plays and that is what happened. You can’t give him the opportunity to knock down a half-court shot and they are playing Wednesday and were not. Our kids are going to walk out of here with our heads held high. We accomplished a lot of great things this year and they are going to be proud as they walk out that door. Nobody wanted to walk away from that game a loser, and our kids are winners. It was a tough finish.”

Edwardsburg will now face Lakeshore Wednesday in the semifinal game of the Class B district at 6 p.m.

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