Next stop, East Lansing: Buchanan advances to Class C semifinals

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, March 24, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
KALAMAZOO -- A dominant first half allowed the Buchanan basketball team to stay ahead of Albion for a 60-47 win in the Class C quarterfinal Tuesday night at Western Michigan University.
The Bucks (15-11) now play Thursday at 2:50 p.m. against Saginaw Buena Vista (19-5) in the second Class C semifinal game at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Charlevoix (21-5) and Kent City (24-2) will play in the first Class C semifinal game at 1 p.m.
The Bucks jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Albion (22-4) trimmed the lead back down to three points on a pair of baskets by Thomas Jurazek.
Buchanan, however, finished the quarter on a 15-3 run to take a 23-8 lead heading into the second quarter.
Albion committed eight turnovers in the first quarter and four in the first two minutes.
Shannon, who stands 5-foot-7, drew a matchup with Albion point guard Michael Culliver who is listed at 6-feet and presented a big physical presence for the Wildcats.
After the Bucks built the 15-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the game was evenly played, with Albion outscoring Buchanan 39-37 the rest of the way.
The Wildcats committed 14 turnovers in the first half and 26 in the game.
Not known for its 3-point shooting, Buchanan made four shots from behind the arc. Shannon and Gordon Bryant each made two, with all but one coming in the first half.
Albion cut the lead to 11 points with a 3-pointer by Eddie Reynolds with 2:34 left in the game.
Buchanan missed the front ends of three straight one-and-one opportunities to give the Wildcats a glimmer of hope.
The Bucks, however, made six of their last eight free throw attempts to keep Albion at bay.
Tony Robinson scored 16 points for Buchanan and Bryant added 14.
Reynolds led the Wildcats with 18 points.
As the last seconds ticked off the clock, there was not eruption from the Buchanan bench. The celebration was minimal, leaving the impression that the Bucks have bigger goals in mind.