WILLARD - Who knows what Buckeye Central's boys basketball team intends on giving up for Lent but it won't be basketball.
The Bucks got fat Tuesday, feasting on St. Paul to the tune of 46-21 in the Division IV district semifinal at Willard High School.
"We wanted to get off to a quick start," Buckeye Central coach Phil Loy said. "We can't always control what we do offensively, as far as shots going in, but I thought defensively, we played very solid."
PHOTO BY AARON KORTE
Buckeye Central’s Seth Ollis puts up a shot over St. Paul’s Steven Farmer (50),?Derek Furlong (middle) and Bob Harwood during Tuesday’s district semifinal in Willard.
Buckeye Central’s Austin Wurm fires up a 3-pointer over St. Paul’s Scottie Slaughterbeck during Tuesday’s district semifinal in Willard.
Austin Wurm left St. Paul in ashes, blinding the Flyers with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sam Robertson took care of business down on the block with 12 points.
The win moves Buckeye Central on to what promises to be a good Friday as Sandusky St. Mary will face the Bucks in the district final back at Willard High School at 7 p.m. The Panthers bested Plymouth, 64-52, in the late game Tuesday night.
"We still have to do all the little things we've been doing. Defensively I think we're OK but we have to make sure we keep our turnovers down. We have to make sure we out-rebound them. We have to make everything that they do tough. Every shot for them has to be tough," Loy said. "We have to make sure we always have gap help so there's no dribble penetration. We have to close out and contest all the perimeter shots. They're going to make shots but we just want to make sure everything is tough. On the offensive end, hopefully we shoot the ball better than we did tonight."
St. Paul hung with Buckeye Central for the first quarter, trailing 10-7.
A minute and a half into the second quarter, the margin was the same, 13-10, but an 11-3 run to close out the half left the Bucks (22-2) in control. The Bucks had just one turnover in the first half.
"Our last game we had way too many turnovers. But we tried to run a lot more and we weren't able to do that tonight," Loy said. "Tonight, we weren't able to run as much but I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball. One turnover in a half of a district game I think is great."
A 9-0 run to start the second half sealed the deal as the Flyers managed just eight points in the second half.
Bob Harwood had eight points and six rebounds for the Flyers (10-14).
"Our Achilles' heel all year has been being able to score. I think their kids did a really good job taking away the things we wanted to do," St. Paul coach Mike Smith said. "They're an explosive team. We talked about transition. We did a good job there. We guarded their shooters well. I thought we rebounded well in the first half. The problem is you can only beat your head so hard on the defensive end. If you can't put the ball in the basket, you start to see a 4-, 6-0 run and that gets to an 8- or a 10-(0 run). It's tough to (overcome) that."
It was not all roses for Buckeye Central. The Bucks went 4 for 11 from the line and 2 for 13 from deep.
"I told the kids we didn't shoot it very well but when you win by 25 points in a district semifinal game, I mean, we'll be happy with that and move on," Loy said.
Smith left the game impressed with the Bucks.
"Phil has a very nice team. They're very well coached. They play hard. They're really good defensively," Smith said. "We were bad offensively because they were so good. They're 22-2 for good reason. It should make for a good district final."