Bucks hold off late rally

Published 5:39 am Saturday, February 14, 2004

By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN -- The Buchanan basketball team finished their sixth game in two weeks with a 62-57 victory over River Valley in Lakeland Conference action Friday night.
The final score is not really a good reflection of the total game. Actually Buchanan had built a 21-point lead at halftime with leading scorer Gordon Bryant sitting on the bench for most of the half because he picked up his second foul early in the first period.
Starting the starters for the third period, Buchanan pushed the lead to 24 when Brian Shannon hit a 3-pointer. For most of the second half Buchanan never had all five starters in the game at the same time, and for a large portion of the fourth period there were no starters on the floor.
When asked if he ever considered bringing the starters back in, Buchanan coach Reid McBeth answered, "No, I told them they were going to win it or lose it."
The game started with Buchanan going on a 15-0 run. The Bucks got the ball inside to Zach Bonham who scored the first basket and twice more in the first quarter. Tony Robinson also scored three times in the first quarter, and Shannon and Quinton Buish each scored from the floor.
River Valley was held scoreless until the 2:31 mark of period one when Caleb Dryden hit a little jump shot. Keith Zabel hit a 3-pointer to end River Valley's first-quarter scoring at five points.
The second quarter started with Buchanan's DuJuan Bennett scoring inside and them hitting the free throw for a three-point play. Shannon scored twice in the second period, and Bonham got a nifty rebound basket at 1:03.
Buchanan had a big rebounding advantage in the first half, 20-6. The Bucks also had a big advantage in turnovers, 14-6.
Buchanan never was behind in the game, but River Valley cut the lead by one in the third period.
Buchanan was led by Bonham with 13 points and six rebounds. Robinson had 11 points and seven rebounds. Shannon scored 11 points and had two rebound and six steals. Bryant also had five rebounds to go with his six points.
The fourth quarter was basically all River Valley. Zabel hit two more 3-pointers, and Danny Baker and Eric Deaton scored inside. James White scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs cut the 20-point lead down to five.
The Bucks are now ranked seventh in state and their record is now 14-1 on the season and 9-1 in the conference.
River Valley falls to 8-7 on the season, and its conference record is 3-7.
Buchanan also won the junior varsity game, 46-37. Eric Cole led the Bucks with 13 points. Kyle Tracey scored 12, and Doug Summers hit for 10 points.
The Bucks travel to Edwardsburg Tuesday with the freshmen game starting at 4:30 p.m.
River Valley….57
Buchanan: Rodney Tembo 0 1-2 1, Brian Shannon 5 0-2 11, P.J. Pollock 0 0-0 0, Quinton Buish 2 0-0 4, Tony Robinson 5 0-0 11, DuJuan Bennett 2 4-5 8, Brandon Kyles 0 2-4 2, Jacob Brown 0 2-4 2, Gordon Bryant 2 2-4 6, Jared Rusher 1 0-0 2, Karl Schmidt 1 0-0 2, Raylin Hinds 0 0-4 0, Zach Bonham 5 3-3 13. Totals: 24 12-24 62
River Valley: Caleb Dryden 3 3-5 9, Steve Terry 2 0-0 4, Jake Kauffman 1 0-0 2, Jeremy Bates 1 0-0 2, James White 4 0-0 10, Kevin Zabel 0 0-0 0, Jason Schaffer 4 1-3 9, Keith Zabel 3 0-0 9, Danny Baker 4 0-2 8, Eric Deaton 2 0-0 4. Totals: 24 4-10 57
Buchanan 20 17 12 13--62
River Valley 5 11 13 28--57
3-point shooting: Buchanan 2 (Shannon, Robinson), River Valley 5 (Keith Zabel 3, White 2). Team fouls (fouled out): Buchanan 18 (none), River Valley 19 (Dryden, Baker). Team records: Buchanan 14-1 (9-1 Lakeland), River Valley 8-7 (3-7)