Zarycki sets the pace for Eddies again

EDWARDSBURG — The Edwardsburg girls basketball team got out to an early lead and never looked back, beating Buchanan 46-31, Tuesday night.

The Eddies (14-1) and the Bucks (7-5) were in a close battle for the first six minutes of the game before the Eddies went on an 8-0 run to finish off the quarter.

However, the Bucks fought hard to stay in the game and hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter.

They went into the half down 22-12.

“We couldn’t get into a rhythm tonight and they did a nice job of trying to slow the game down,” Eddies’ coach Jon Pobuda said. “If you want to have success against us, you got to be able to slow the game down a little bit. When we miss easy baskets, it kind of slows things down for us mentally. We got to the basket and we attacked a lot. It was a physical game.”

It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Eddies were able to pull away, going up 40-23. Per usual, the Eddies rode the hot play of junior guard Kaitlyn Zarycki, who had 10 of her 23 points in the third.

“They’re a very good team and we knew that coming in,” Bucks coach Gabe Miller said. “They were a good team last year. Kaitlyn Zarycki is probably the best player that we will play all year. There were just times where she was able to create her shot and make things happen for other players. As a team, I think they’re just a little more cohesive and they play well together, but I was proud of my girls tonight.”

The Bucks kept battling and won the fourth quarter, but it was too late to make a comeback.

“I thought we played well,” Miller said. “It was one of our more complete games, considering how much respect I have for this Edwardsburg team. I think they are going to make a deep run in the tournament. Your margin of error when you play somebody like this is slim. If a pass isn’t just right or a cut is not being defended well, you’re going to give up some points and we can’t afford to do that.”

The leading scorer for the Bucks was senior Jayla Biggs with 13 points. Junior Emma Carson had eight points.

Madison Robinson was the second leading scorer for Edwardsburg with seven points.

While neither head coach was entirely satisfied with their team’s performance, both see how hard-played games like this one can help their team find areas where they need to improve.

“Every game is important,” Pobuda said. “We want to get better here at the end of the season and we want to be going into the tournament playing well. We’ll take care of these little things. It will be good.”

Both teams are back in action Friday night. Edwardsburg will head to Dowagiac, while Buchanan will host Comstock.

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