Bucks play well in loss to Kalamazoo Christian

Published 9:13 am Saturday, December 10, 2005

By By TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN - Friday night's varsity basketball game at Buchanan High School wasn't about fun. It was about putting a game plan together that was going to be effective against a Kalamazoo Christian team.
Kalamazoo Christian came out on top, 53-37, but the score doesn't tell the story of how the game was played. With less than three minutes to go, the Bucks trailed by only seven points, 40-33,
Buchanan had several opportunities to get closer but were unable to put the ball in the hole and the Comets but the game away at the free throw line hitting 9-of-10 in the final 1:36.
"This was a great test for us at the beginning of the year," Buchanan coach Reid McBeth said. "This was a great team to have on our schedule early. You have to do different things to make yourself successful."
Kalamazoo Christian open the game taking a 7-0 lead before the Bucks could get on the board. Eric Cole broke the ice on the cold Friday evening with the first two baskets for the Bucks - the first coming with 2:30 to play.
The Comets looked as though they were going to blow out the Bucks early as Kelvin DeVries nailed his first three points of his game high 14 with just over two minutes to play in the quarter. Senior Jeff Kyles scored five points in the final 45 seconds. The last of them coming on a three-point shot at the buzzer to end the first quarter with the Bucks down by one, 10-9.
Buchanan could only manage four points in the second quarter as the Bucks played a control offense against a 2-3 zone by the Comets working the ball around the perimeter looking for an open shot over the much taller defense. In the quarter the Comets outscore the Bucks 15-4 to take a 25-14 lead at the intermission.
In the second half the Bucks penetrated the Comets' zone and was able to get more shot attempts. Buchanan trailed 33-16 with just over four minutes to play in the third but a 12-4 run by the Bucks closed the gap down to 37-28 as they outscored the Comets 14-12, to enter the final eight minutes down by nine.
"We had a plan. We wanted to control the ball and try to take some good shots and not give up fast break points. I know they are big but they like to run," McBeth said. “We wanted to come after them in the fourth quarter. But what pleased me the most was that the kids responded and tried to do what we set out to do. Jeff Kyles, a senior, a great leader and he believes in what we did and you need kids that are going to believe in what you are trying to achieve.
The Bucks continued to attack and play solid defense. In the first half the Comets only had one turnover, but in the second half they ended up with 12. The Bucks had to big of a hole to climb out of and couldn't get the breaks they need to pull off the win.
Kyles led the Bucks with 12 points as Cole tallied 11 and Marquis Hall added seven. Christian put three player in double figures, DeVries with 14, Joshua Veenstra 12, and Ryan Zwier 11.
"I was real proud of the team, they knocked down the free throws at the end of the game and took care of the ball," Kalamazoo Christian coach Jerry Mastenbrook said of his team's play.
Buchanan now 1-1 will open Lakeland Conference play next Tuesday at Coloma with varsity game scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Junior Varsity
Kalamazoo tripped up the junior varsity team 69-20. Derek Angler scored eight for the Bucks. Corey Scheffers pumped in 16 for the Comets.
Freshmen: Kalamazoo Christian 85 Buchanan 10
Kalamazoo Christian 10 25 37 53
Buchanan 9 14 28 37
Kalamazoo Christian – Kyle Mastenbrook 2 2-2 8, Brad Walvort 2 0-0 5, Andy Palkowski 0 1-2 1, Kelvin DeVries 3 7-8 14, Ryan Zwier 4 3-4 11, Joshua Veenstra 3 5-7 12, Bryan DeKoekkoek 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 18-23 53.
Buchanan – Damian Bryant 1 0-0 2, Jeff Kyles 4 2-7 12, Avery Brown 1 0-0 3, Eric Cole 5 0-0 11, Taylor Johnson 1 0-0 2, Marquis Hall 3 1-3 7. Totals 15 3-10 37