Bucks rip Shamrocks

Published 3:12 pm Saturday, February 5, 2005

By By ROB BABLER / Niles Daily Star
BERRIEN SPRINGS - It is sometimes said that a good defense is the best offense.
The Buchanan Bucks could have been considered anecdotal evidence for that statement Friday night at Berrien Springs, as they used their defense to beat the host Shamrocks 70-60 in Lakeland Conference action.
While the game was never really in doubt, Berrien Springs kept the game within reach until Buchanan scored 11 unanswered points midway through the third quarter to build a 24-point lead.
In a one-minute span, seven of those points came directly off the full-court press the Bucks utilize.
In that third stanza, Buchanan dictated the pace of the game with its press. The two teams combined for 49 points in the quarter, with the Bucks increasing a 35-21 halftime lead to 62-43 by outscoring the Shamrocks 27-20.
Berrien Springs coach Steve Spenner said it's hard to prepare or Buchanan when it turns up the pressure.
Spenner said the Bucks take their toll on a team over the course of a game. "Mentally, I think they just wear on you."
The first quarter started slowly, with both teams scoring a single basket in the first three minutes of the game. Then Buchanan started to slowly build its lead. Two baskets each by center Jimmy Washington and guard Brian Shannon, along with baskets by Tony Robinson and Gordon Bryant helped the Bucks to open up a 16-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
That kind of balance was on display against the Shamrocks all night. While Robinson led Buchanan with 19 points, all six of the Bucks who scored had at least nine points.
McBeth said he is pleased with how the bucks are forming as a team.
He said early in the year, perhaps a few players would take care of the scoring, but now, more players are starting to get involved.
If McBeth had one critique of his team, it was that it was perhaps a little too aggressive.
The Shamrocks made a strong comeback in the fourth quarter.
Consecutive three-pointers by forward Shelby Wood, who scored a game-high 23 points, helped to chip away Buchanan's lead to eight points with under a minute remaining in the game.
But what concerned McBeth was that his team contributed to the comeback with its time-management. The lead was still 15 points with four minutes left in the game, but rather than taking time off the clock - there is no shot clock in high school - the Bucks kept playing the same style of attacking basketball they had the whole night.
Still, he acknowledged that turning off that aggressiveness is easier to talk about rather than to actually do.