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Balanced Effort Keys Buckeye Boys Past Edison

December 17, 2011
By KIM NORTH , Martins Ferry Times Leader

CONNORVILLE - Buckeye Local second-year head coach Jay Morris was well aware that Edison was coming off a big victory at Bellaire on Tuesday night.

He didn't want a repeat Friday.

His Panthers (3-1) jumped all over the visiting Wildcats (2-3) from the get-go and never let up in posting a 78-59 nod on the home boards.

''We didn't want to let them get into what they do offensively,'' Morris said. ''We wanted to try and jump out and get the early lead.''

That is exactly what Buckeye Local did. Its full-court pressure defense and timely shooting led to a 24-8 advantage after the first quarter.

Brennan Czuchran scored seven of his 13 points in the opening quarter. His 3-pointer from the left wing ignited a 10-1 run to end the period, while Kyle Michalo nailed two 3s in the quarter.

As hot as the Panthers were (9 of 19) from the floor, the Wildcats were just as cold (3-for-14). Add to that eight early turnovers, and it's no wonder the visitors were in the chasing mode all night.

''Poor shooting by us and great shooting by them,'' Edison coach Todd English said. ''Not very good defense by us and way too many turnovers.

''When you put yourself in a hole like that, even though we still thought we could come back, we came out in the third quarter and had a kind of carbon copy of the first half.''

Tyler Richardson came off the Buckeye Local bench in the second quarter to net nine of his 14 points as tit out to a 41-20 margin.

''Tyler got hot when he got in and we need that from him,'' Morris said.

A quick 12-7 run to start the third bumped the count to 26 at 53-27, and the Panthers were able to keep the Wildcats from seriously threatening.

John Rozenek led a quartet of twin-figure scorers for the Panthers with 17. Michalo finished with 15, Richardson 14 and Czuchran 13.

''With our team, we might have a different high scorer every night. It could even be someone off the bench,'' Morris assessed. ''We shot the ball well, but you should shoot well on your home court. Even the other night, as bad as we were we still shot 45 percent. We just had too many turnovers.''

Buckeye Local meshed 26 of 54 shots from the floo in this one, including six from beyond the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Edison finished a meager 19 of 68.

''We don't have any time to feel sorry for ourselves because we go to Ferry (on) Tuesday and then have Steubenville on Friday,'' English said. ''We've got to do a better job of executing and a better job of finishing inside.''

Mark Smyth tallied a game-high 23 points for the Wildcats, which was one more than teammate Chad Wickham. Smyth had 16 of his total in the second half.

Edison did claim a 45-42, advantage off the glass as Austin Abdalla grabbed 11 and Smyth 10. Rozenek completed his double-double with 11 boards. Cat-quick point guard Caleb Agnew charted six assists and four steals.

Buckeye Local ended with 22 turnovers, four more than Edison.

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