Bucks enjoy challenge
Published 8:38 am Wednesday, March 17, 2004
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Any team with a player averaging 27 points per game is dangerous.
Hartford fits that bill, led by senior guard Jamin Olds who is the leading scorer in southwest Michigan.
The Buchanan varsity basketball team is set to face the Indians in tonight's Class C Regional Tournament semifinal game at Bangor High School at 7 p.m.
Hartford comes into the tournament with a record of 14-9 and the Bucks are 12-11, including nine forfeited games because of ineligibility issues.
Defensively, Buchanan is sure to stick with what has worked throughout the year--full-court pressure.
Offensively, Buchanan showed its depth in the Class C District championship game against Buchanan when three players reached double figures. Leading scorer Tony Robinson netted 17 points. Gordon Bryant added 13 points.
It was junior guard Brian Shannon, though, who made Buchanan tough to beat Saturday night. Averaging around six points per game, Shannon exploded for 24 points against the Bobcats.
Shannon also scored 17 points in Buchanan's semifinal victory over Bridgman.
Another player who may be a key factor for Buchanan in the Regional Tournament is senior center Zach Bonham. At 6-7, Bonham is the Bucks' tallest player and best low-post threat.
Against Brandywine, Bonham showed some explosiveness of his own as he took a pass late in the game and went straight up for a dunk.
The winner of tonight's game between Hartford and Buchanan advances to Friday's championship game against Kalamazoo Christian (18-5), a 57-43 winner over White Pigeon in Tuesday's first semifinal game at Bangor.
Buchanan beat White Pigeon 78-54 in the opening game of the season, but later had to forfeit the victory.
Kalamazoo Christian ended the Bucks' 2002-03 season with a 58-29 decision in the Class C Regional Tournament championship game.
Robinson was a major factor in Buchanan's success at last week's district tournament. He scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds against River Valley. He scored nine against Bridgman and 17 against Brandywine.
Gordon Bryant also helped tremendously with 14 points against River Valley, 20 against Bridgman and 13 against Brandywine.
The winner of the Class C Regional Tournament at Bangor moves on to play in the quarterfinal Tuesday at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.