Strong start leads Buchanan to non-conference win
By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
EAU CLAIRE -- Buchanan's varsity basketball team improved to 12-1 Tuesday by beating Eau Claire 58-34 in non-conference action.
Neither coach was happy with their teams' play, but Buchanan started with bang.
On the Bucks' first possession Gordon Bryant hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the game. On their next possession Jacob Brown posted up inside and scored on a neat inside move. Quinton Buish then made 1-of-2 free throws to make it 6-0 at 5:25. Then both teams went cold.
The next points scored were by Bryant on a layup after an Eau Claire turnover at 2:05. Then Tony Robinson put down the first of two slam dunks on the alley oop pass from Bryant to put Buchanan up 10-0. With 25 seconds to go in the first period, Zach Bonham got a rebound basket to make it 12-0.
Eau Claire missed its first 11 shots of the night and missed nine shots in the paint in the first period. The Beavers' lone two points came almost at the buzzer when Patrick Patterson scored on a layup.
The second period saw Buchanan go scoreless until 3:41 when Robinson hit a 12-foot jump shot. Fortunately for the Bucks, Eau Claire only scored four points in that period of time. Eventually, Buchanan won the second period 6-5 to go into halftime with an 18-7 lead.
The second half started with Robinson putting down his second dunk, and it looked like Buchanan was going to have a big third quarter. They Bucks started with a 7-2 run, but missed free throws by Buchanan and easy baskets by Eau Claire on Buchanan's press allowed the Bucks to extend their lead by only three points in the third period.
Robinson led all scorers with 16 points, including 10 in the third period. He also grabbed six rebounds and had three steals.
Shannon had four assists on the night, and was responsible for two five-second calls on defense. Buchanan got 26 points from its bench. Bonham came off the bench to score 11 points with nine coming in the fourth quarter.
Buchanan only had two offensive rebounds in the first half and was being outrebounded, but in the second half the Bucks picked up the rebounding to finish the night with a 40-34 advantage. Buish led with seven rebounds.
Buchanan also forced Eau Claire into 13 turnovers in the first period.
Buchanan is now 12-1 on the season and 7-1 in conference. The Bucks are currently ranked seventh in the state in Class C. Eau Claire moves 6-8 on the season and is 2-3 in their conference.
The junior varsity game was won by Buchanan, 50-26. Doug Summers led the way with 17 points and Eric Cole added 11 for the Bucks.
The Buchanan freshmen also won by the same score as the varsity, 58-34. Brad Burns led they way with 24 points for the Bucks. True Sullier added nine and L.J. Hughes hit for eight.
The Bucks return to Lakeland Conference action tonight with a makeup game with Cassopolis. The freshmen game will start at 4 p.m.
Buchanan: Rodney Tembo 0 0-0 0, Brian Shannon 1 0-2 2, P. J. Pollock 2 0-0 5, Quinton Buish 1 3-5 5, Tony Robinson 8 0-0 16, DuJuan Bennett 2 1-4 5, Jacob Brown 1 0-0 2, Gordon Bryant 3 0-2 7, Jared Rusher 0 0-0 0, Karl Schmidt 1 0-0 2, Raylin Hinds 1 0-0 2, Zach Bonham 4 3-3 11. Totals: 24 8-21 58
Eau Claire: Wayne Davis 0 0-0 0, Ryan Schlipp 0 0-0 0, Jacob Reinhardt 0 0-0 0, Dennis Hill 6 2-3 14, Patrick Patterson 2 0-0 4, Chris Moore 1 1-3 3, Anton Phillips 2 0-0 4, Brice Wolff 1 0-0 2, Andre Brown 0 0-0 0, Nick Von Koening 0 0-0 0, Carl Brown 3 0-0 6. Totals: 15 4-8 34
Buchanan 12 6 20 20--58
Eau Claire 2 5 17 10--34
3-point shooting: Buchanan 2 (Bryant, Pollock), Eau Claire none. Team fouls (fouled out): Buchanan 14 (none), Eau Claire 17 (none). Team Records: Buchanan 12-1 (7-1 Lakeland), Eau Claire 6-8 (2-3 Red Arrow)