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Boys' Basketball: Buckeye Local Boys Post 2nd Straight Victory

December 10, 2011
By RICK DeLUCA , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BELLAIRE - John Rozenek made some timely buckets down the stretch and Tyler Richardson made the right passes at the right time, as the run-and-gun Buckeye Local Panthers outraced Bellaire en route to an 86-79 victory Friday night.

Winners of just one game last season, Coach Jay Morris' Panthers notched their second straight with both coming on the road.

Buckeye earned an impressive victory at Oak Glen on Wednesday.

Coach J. R. Battista's Big Reds, winners in their opener last Saturday against St. John Central, fell to an even 1-1.

''That's what we wanted to do coming in, was play an up-tempo game,'' Morris said. ''I know a lot of teams will try to run with us, but we have a lot of speed. Even our big guys have a lot of quickness."

Action was fast and furious from the opening tip-off with Buckeye jumping out to an 8-2 lead with sophomore Brennan Czuchran converting two shots and Caleb Agnew and Kyle Michalo adding buckets.

Bellaire bounced back knotting the score at 8-8 with a pair from Shaheim Price and a two-pointer by Nick Patrone.

Despite the quick start by Buckeye and the early rebound by the hosts, it was an 11-2 run by the Panthers after falling behind for the only time in the game at 11-10 that catapulted them in front for good at 21-13. Buckeye closed with a 23-17 lead after one.

In the second, the two teams battled back and forth with the Panthers holding a narrow 31-29 lead midway through the session.

Buckeye's Greg Ring converted a three-point play and following a Kirk Ray foul conversion for the Big Reds, the Panthers got three more from Rozenek and a bucket off a rebound by Ring to open a 39-30 lead.

Again Bellaire came right back with Patrone and Derek Feller leading a 7-2 burst that pulled it to within 41-37 at the intermission.

A nip-and-tuck third that closed with a 61-55 Buckeye lead, was followed by a fourth that saw the Panthers open a 13-point margin that was cut to three in the final minute.

After Feller opened the fourth with a trey, Buckeye scored 10 straight on a bucket by Ring, a layup by Michalo, two at the line by Czushran and back-to-back buckets by Rozenek off Richardson assists to extend the gap to 71-58.

Bellaire rallied back with a Juwan Whetstone deuce and consecutive treys by Price that cut the margin to 71-66. Later, with Buckeye leading by 79-70, the Big Reds closed the gap to 80-77 with a 7-1 run.

With 24 seconds remaining Czuchran cashed two at the line and following a Price bucket, Richardson meshed two free throws and Czuchran scored off a rebound to seal the victory.

''Our kids play hard,'' Bellaire coach J.R. Battista said. ''There are no moral victories at Bellaire, just wins and losses. We lost to a team that played very well.

Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers with Rozenek leading the way with 24 points and Ring following a 23-point effort at Oak Glen with an 18-point showing. Czushran and Richardson finished with 12 apiece and Michalo added nine.

Feller led all scorers with 27 points including four 3-pointers. Price provided the main support with 23 points while Ray finished with 13 and Patrone closed with 11.

Buckeye held a 41-23 rebounding edge with Ring grabbing 13 and Rozenek collecting nine. Patrone and Ray had six each for the Big Reds.

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