Two down, one to go

Published 5:49 pm Thursday, March 3, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
BRIDGMAN - If there was one thing Eau Claire wasn't prepared for in Wednesday night's district semifinal game against Buchanan, it was the Bucks' three-point shooting.
As a result, the Beavers ended up on the wrong end of a 73-38 Class C District Basketball Tournament semfinal setback.
The Beavers played a sagging man-to-man defense throughout the entire night to force the Bucks to shoot outside, which Eau Claire coach Ken Schmaltz said was where Buchanan had most of its problems last time the two teams met.
Eau Claire also tried a spread offense to try and run time off the clock and attempt to make the game as low scoring as possible. But the Beavers needed a better plan against a fast-paced team like Buchanan.
Gordon Bryant started the game nailing a three-pointer right after tip off.
Brian Shannon didn't even let Eau Claire run its offense before stealing the ball and adding two points to the Bucks' score.
The Beavers didn't get their first basket until the 4:13 mark from Nick Von Koenig, who made a bucket and was fouled to make the three point play.
Shannon quickly gave the Bucks a three-pointer and another steal for an easy basket to put Buchanan up 12-3.
Mason Moore got his first two points for Eau Claire, but Tony Robinson and Bryant both answered with three-pointers to give the Bucks a 10 point lead.
Jimmy Washington scored the last basket for Buchanan to give it a 20-10 lead entering the second quarter.
Buchanan only allowed the Beavers to score four points in the second quarter - all scored by sophomore Patrick Patterson, but the Bucks only scored 11 points of their own from Robinson, Bryant, who hit another three and Jordan Lee.
Buchanan had a 31-14 lead entering the half.
The second half went almost the same as the first, with Buchanan bombing three-pointers and Eau Claire hardly scoring.
Shannon, Bryant and PJ Pollack all hit threes in the third and contributed other baskets, along with Washington, to give the Bucks the 48-20 lead going into the fourth.
Patterson made a three and hit 2-of-2 on the free throw line and Hazen Harner went 1-for-2 on the line for Eau Claire's only points of the quarter.
Pollack and Kyle Tracey both hit threes in the final quarter of play and Lee racked up nine points. Marquis Hall, Jared Rusher and Jeff Kyles all scored their first baskets for Buchanan in the fourth that helped lead the Bucks to the win.
Eau Claire scored 16 points in the quarter, the most it had scored in any quarter, getting buckets from Harner, Patterson, Jason Ott and John Huddleston.
The loss ends Eau Claire's season and advances Buchanan to the championship game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Bridgman-River Valley game tonight.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bridgman High School.
Bryant led the Bucks with 16 points. Shannon had 14 and Lee had 13.
Patterson lead Eau Claire with 18 and Ott had nine.
The Beaver's will be back full-force next year as they are losing no one off the squad. The team is made up of two juniors, seven sophomores and one freshman.
Tony Robinson 3 0-0 7, Jimmy Washington 1 2-2 4, Gordon Bryant 6 0-0 16, Brian Shannon 5 2-2 14, D'Vaughn Frazier 0 0-2 0, Jeff Kyles 2 0-0 4, Jared Rusher 1 0-0 2, P.J. Pollock 3 0-0 8, Jordan Lee 5 3-5 13, Kyle Tracey 1 0-0 3, Jason Kuntz 0 0-0 0, Marquis Hall 1 0-0 2, Eric Cole 0 0-0 0, Taylor Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 7-11 73.
Patrick Patterson 7 2-2 18, Mason Moore 1 0-0 2, Nick Von Koenig 2 1-1 5, Jason Ott 3 2-3 9, Hazen Harner 1 1-2 3, Derrick Grady 0 0-0 0, Tommy Lineberry 0 0-0 0, John Huddleston 0 1-2 1, Chad Medlin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 7-10 38
Buchanan 20 31 48 73
Eau Claire 10 14 20 38
Three-point baskets: Buchanan 10-20 (Bryant 4-8, Robinson 1-1, Shannon 2-2, Pollock 2-4, Lee 0-2, Tracey 1-2, Cole 0-1), Eau Claire 3-13 (Patterson 2-7, Ott 1-3, Harner 0-3).
Total fouls: Buchanan 10, Eau Claire 7. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: None.
Varsity records: Buchanan 20-2, Eau Claire 8-13.