Buchanan buries Cass

Published 6:57 am Saturday, February 28, 2004

By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
Cassopolis -- The seven-ranked Buchanan varsity basketball team improved its conference record to 12-1 with a 75-52 victory over Cassopolis Friday night.
This sets up a winner-take-all conference match next Friday at Coloma.
The Bucks scored on the first possession when Zach Bonham scored inside. Later Bonham hit one of two free throws and scored on a rebound basket to lead all scorers for the first quarter.
After Bonham's opening basket, each team missed lots of easy scoring opportunities. Eric Brown hit a jump shot to tie the score at two. Simon Ballard then scored inside to put the Rangers up 4-2. The Rangers led for most of the first quarter. With less than a minute left to play in first quarter, Tony Robinson scored on a dunk to make the score 11-9. Garrit Hemme then scored his only points of the night on a short jumper to tie the score at 11.
When Buchanan coach Reid McBeth was asked about the first quarter, he answered, "We missed a lot of easy shots inside in the first quarter. We could easily have had a lead after the first quarter."
Buchanan started the second quarter with a 10-0 run. Robinson started the run with a break away layup. DuJuan Bennett and Jared Rusher each scored twice inside in the second quarter as the Bucks out scored the Rangers 26-11. Gordon Bryant hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the score 37-22 at halftime.
When Cassopolis coach Floyd Foston was asked about the second period he responded, "I don't think we did a good job in transition. We didn't get back on defense. Buchanan is very quick, and we gave them a lot of easy shots."
The third quarter started with Buchanan scoring the first four points to push the lead to 41-22. Robinson started the scoring with a layup, and Bennett hit two free throws. Usually the third quarter is Buchanan's big quarter. Friday night, however, the Rangers won the third period 16-14.
The fourth quarter started with Brian Shannon hitting a jump shot for Buchanan. Then Bennett scored inside again. Robinson scored two back-to-back baskets late in the final period and Buchanan had a 20-point lead, 69-49, with 2:31 to play.
The final two and half minutes saw Brown hit a 3-pointer for Cassopolis, and Shannon scored three more times by driving the lane and hitting a jump shot as both teams went deep into their benches.
Buchanan had a big advantage in rebounding, 41-25. Bennett and Robinson each had 10 rebounds, and Bonham finished with nine.
Buchanan had four scorers in double figures and another scorer with nine points. The Bucks were led by Bennett who scored 22 points for a double-double. Robinson scored 12 for the Bucks' second double-double.
The junior varsity game was won by Cassopolis, 50-49. Eric Cole led the way for the Bucks with 13 points. Kyle Tracey added 12 points.
The freshmen game was won by Cassopolis, 53-39. Damian Bryant led the Bucks with 11 points.