Buchanan tops Bridgman in Division 3 opener

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

WATERVLIET — It is not how you start, but how you finish that matters.

The Buchanan girls basketball team did not get off to the type of start it wanted to against Bridgman in the opening game of the Division 3 District Tournament at Watervliet Monday night.

In the end, the Bucks prevailed 48-32 to advance to the semifinals, where they will face arch rival Brandywine Wednesday night. The winner gets a spot in the district championship game against either Cassopolis or host Watervliet Friday night.

Buchanan (16-4) got off to a slow start against the pesky Bees (14-5), leading 13-10 after one quarter. The offense for both teams did not really improve in the second quarter, but the Bucks extended their lead to 22-14 by halftime.

Buchanan played a much better second half, which saw its eight-point halftime advantage grow to as many as 17 points in the final 16 minutes of play.

LaBria Austin led Buchanan with 17 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Alyssa Carson finished with 12 points 11 rebounds and four blocks. The Bucks also got four points and three steals from Hannah Herman and three points, six rebounds and three assists from Alexa Burns.

Tatyanna Hill led the Bees with 15 points.

Buchanan and Brandywine will be meeting for the third time this season. The Bucks and Bobcats split their BCS Athletic Conference Red Division matches with both teams winning on their home courts. The No. 9-ranked Bobcats won 53-47, while Buchanan won 42-36 to gain a share of the division championship.

In the second semifinal Wednesday night, Cassopolis (12-8) will face host Watvliet (18-2) with tipoff scheduled for approximately 7 p.m.