Buchanan stretches lead in 4th quarter

Published 7:20 am Wednesday, March 3, 2004

By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
COVERT -- The Buchanan varsity basketball team defeated the Covert Bulldogs 60-50 Tuesday night in non-conference action.
Covert scored first when Ken Braziel hit one of two free throws at 7:53 in the first quarter.
DuJuan Bennett scored on a power move inside to put Buchanan up 2-1. Brian Shannon hit a jump shot to put Buchanan up 4-1 before Covert's Leonardre Watkins scored inside at 5:35 in the first quarter.
Tony Robinson hit one of two free throws and then scored a rebound basket before his slam dunk on an alley oop pass from Gordon Bryant at 4:14. The dunk gave Buchanan a 9-3 lead midway throw the first period.
The Bucks, however, didn't score again in the first quarter. They ended up shooting only 4-of-13 in the first quarter and fell behind by five, 14-9.
Talking about the dunk, Buchanan coach Reid McBeth said, "I think it helped. Covert is a not an easy place to play. I thought we were sluggish in the first three quarters."
The second quarter started with Bennett hitting two free throws followed by Shannon hitting another jump shot to cut the lead to 14-13 early in the second period.
Covert's Daniel Atteberry scored twice on layups and Braziel hit two free throws to put Covert back up, 20-13.
The second quarter was played to a 16-16 tie. Each team had runs of five or six points. Bryant hit a shot to cut the lead to five, when Braziel hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of the half to put Covert up by eight. Shannon then hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut Covert's lead to 30-25 at halftime.
The third quarter started with Covert extending the lead to seven before Shannon, Bryant and Bennett put on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one point. With 2:05 to go in third period, Bennett was called for his fourth foul, then called for a technical foul. Covert hit three free throws to go up 41-35.
Buchanan's Karl Schmidt hit two shots from eight feet out to make it 41-39. Covert's Antonio Johnson hit at tough jump shot inside to make the score 43-39.
With less than a minute to play in the third quarter, Shannon scored on a steal and layup. Then Robinson scored on a rebound basket to tie the score 43-43 after three periods.
The fourth quarter saw the Bucks pick up their defensive pressure and outscore the Bulldogs 17-7. Zach Bonham scored eight points in the fourth quarter. Robinson hit a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter as the Bucks pulled away.
Buchanan was led by Robinson who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Shannon added 13 points while playing great defense. Bonham scored 10 points and had five rebounds, four of them coming in the final period.
Buchanan had a rebounding advantage of 24-17 after each team grabbed nine rebounds in the first half.
Buchanan played again without senior forward Quinton Buish who was injured in the Bridgman game.
Buchanan's defense forced 23 turnovers while the Bucks turned the ball over only 16 times in a fast-paced game.
Covert coach Joe Eberhart said, "I think we just ran out of gas. We didn't have the energy to play in the final quarter. This was a good tune up for us before the tournament. We learned a lot about ourselves. Buchanan has a good team, and this was a good game for us to play."
The junior varsity game was won by Buchanan, 49-48. Eric Cole led the way with 15 points, and Taylor Johnson added 14 points for the Bucks.