Quick start helps Buchanan roll past White Pigeon

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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NILES — Buchanan jumped out to a big first-half lead and cruised to a convincing 51-23 Division 3 district girls basketball quarterfinal win over White Pigeon Monday at Niles Brandywine.

Gabe Miller’s Lady Bucks (11-10) advance to face Niles Brandywine (20-1) in Wednesday’s second semifinal at 7 p.m. The opening game has Constantine (5-18) battling Cassopolis (19-3) at 5:30 p.m.

Constantine edged Bridgman 43-40 in the other game on Monday.

Just like it has for the last several games, Buchanan fought through adversity with two key players out of the lineup due to injury.

“With our injuries, White Pigeon had a size advantage on us. Defensively we concentrated on keeping their wings from getting their tall girl (Sadie McDaniel) the basketball,” said Buchanan coach Gabe Miller.

“We wanted to try and push the ball tonight and see whose lungs were better. I thought we had some kids really step up tonight like Caitlyn Horvath who had two threes for us right away. It was a good start for us and we rolled from there. The girls played hard and had fun. That’s what we’re trying to do at this point with all the injuries we’ve had. We’re hoping to show up Wednesday and give Brandywine a good game.”

Buchanan’s first three shots of the game Monday were from behind the three-point arc and the Lady Bucks made them to open up a 9-0 lead.

Sadie McDaniel hit a free throw and teammate Shelby McDaniel connected on White Pigeon’s first field-goal attempt of the game, lessening the Lady Chiefs’ deficit to six, 9-3.

Buchanan, however, scored the final six points of the stanza, including a triple by junior forward Akirrah Robinson for a 15-3 advantage entering the second quarter.

The Lady Bucks quickly extended its lead to 20-3 following Maddie Young’s putback and a triple by Hannah Herman.

Buchanan went on to outscore White Pigeon 9-4 in the quarter to build a 24-7 halftime advantage.

The Bucks got five points from senior guard LaBria Austin in the third quarter, including a triple, and four out of Herman and three points by Braelyn Dickson. Buchanan went on to outscore White Pigeon 14-7 in the period to build itself a commanding 38-14 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Buchanan outscored White Pigeon 13-9 in the final period. Herman and Caitlyn Horvath scored five points each in the period for the Bucks. Herman, Dickson and Horvath all drained three pointers in the stanza as well.

Two players scored in double figures for Buchanan. Herman led the Lady Bucks with 13 points, while Horvath added 11, Dickson eight and Young and Austin finished with six apiece.

Buchanan connected on 19 field-goal attempts and made 4-of-9 free-throw attempts.

White Pigeon (18-4) was paced in scoring by Leigha Schudell with 10, while Sadie McDaniel finished with six for the Lady Chiefs, who made eight field goals and 6-of-10 free-throw attempts.

White Pigeon outrebounded Buchanan 29-25. Young pulled down six rebounds for the Bucks.