Big Cats Eliminate Buckeye Local

MORRISTOWN – There wasn’t much Buckeye Local coach Tom Figurski could say.

He’d just watched his team fall to state-ranked and unbeaten Maysville, 99-29, in its Ohio Division II girls’ basketball sectional contest inside Union Local High School. But instead of emerging from the locker room Friday night with a disgruntled look on his face, he displayed one of pride.

”We gave maximum effort all year,” Figurski said. ”It’s a building process (with the program). Even though we were down by so many points (Friday) we never gave up.”

It was a struggle for Buckeye Local from the get-go as Maysville showed their might early with a 15-0 run to start the game. The Panthers didn’t dent the scoring column until late in the first quarter and trailed 26-2 after eight minutes.

The Big Cats stretched the lead to 51-9 at halftime and 80-18 after three.

The Big Cats advanced to district final last season, losing to a West Holmes squad that lost in the state final to Hathaway Brown.

Maysville’s press worked to near perfection in the first half, many times not even allowing the Panthers to get the ball past halfcourt, let alone near the hoop.

In addition, the Big Cats were a force on the boards, getting two and sometimes three opportunities at buckets.

All told, 12 players entered the game for Maysville, all of whom scored. Sophomore Cori Sidwell and senior Kayla Russell both led the way, popping in 16 points each. Callie Tatman added 13 points, while Brooke Smith had 11.

Maysville only had two seniors on its roster, with five juniors.

Buckeye Local has a youthful make up, as well. That has Figurski excited about the future.

”We will return six varsity letterwinners next year, instead of the two or three we normally do,” he said. ”Our sophomores got a lot of quarters on varsity this year. So, we’re going to be a lot more experienced.”

Junior Lauren Swiger paced the Panthers with 12 points.