PREP BASKETBALL: Buckeye Local Rallies To Beat Bridgeport in Boys Basketball

Photo by Kim North Buckeye Local’s Cameron Grabits dribbles the ball while Bridgeport’s Adam Sommer defends.

BRIDGEPORT — If there ever was a time a team needed a win it was Thursday night.

The Buckeye Local boys basketball team had been quarantined for just over two weeks before suffering a lop-sided loss to Union Local last week that extended a losing streak to four games. Oh, by the way, the Panthers also played without head coach Chris Heaton for two games during that stretch.

It appeared the Connorville contingent was on its way to another setback as it trailed homestanding Bridgeport 31-21 halfway through the second quarter. However, after closing the gap to 33-31 at the half, the Panthers (8-6) received a sterling effort from Mason Brown in the second half in rallying for a 70-68 victory on Frank Baxter Court inside John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.

“This was a big win. We kind of hit a skid there … losing four in a row but we got back on track (Thursday),” Heaton said. “Hopefully this victory will give us some momentum going into the tournament.”

Brown, a 6-foot-3 senior, netted 23 of his game-high 31 points after the break, including 14 in the fourth quarter. He completed a double-double with 10 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive glass.

“He was huge. He’s been huge all year for us,” Heaton said. “He works his butt off. I’m glad to see it’s paying off for him.”

The Bulldogs (10-10) built a 58-53 advantage with just under six minutes left to play, only to watch Brown drain a three to give the Panthers a 65-63 edge with 80 ticks left on the clock.

Cooper Dulesky scored in the lane to even things at 65 and Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash called timeout. Following the 30-second break, Cameron Grabits grabbed his own missed shot and scored on the followup with 47 seconds showing to give Buckeye Local the lead for good at 67-65.

Bridgeport misfired on its next trip down the floor and the Panthers’ Jacob Mayle secured the rebound before being fouled. Mayle made the first shot but the second attempt caromed off the rim where Brown snagged it. He was fouled with 14.8 seconds remaining and sank both for a 70-65 advantage.

Burlenski banked in his sixth triple of the contest just ahead of the final buzzer. He finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.

“I feel like we let one slip away but Buckeye Local played well,” Cash said. “We didn’t get the stops when we needed to.”

Grabits added 19 points in support of Brown, while Mayle added 11.

Riese O’Kernick added 17 markers to back Burlenski. Dylan Gregorcic fired in 13 and Dulesky added a dozen before fouling out late.

The Panthers held a commanding, 30-17, bulge off the glass, including 14 offensive rebounds. Mayle added nine.

“I told the kids Monday at practice that if we had any chance of winning this game we’ve got to win the rebounding battle,” Cash said. “They got a ton of offensive boards, especially after missed foul shots. That gave them extra opportunities to score.”

Buckeye Local turned the ball over 16 times, two more than Bridgeport.

The Panthers are right back in action again Friday at Edison. The Bulldogs finish the regular season Tuesday at Frontier.

Martins Ferry 59, Monroe Central 57

MARTINS FERRY — Senior Logan Smith dropped in a running floater just ahead of the buzzer for two of his 16 points while junior Jaizen Miles scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half as Martins Ferry pulled off a thrilling victory against Monroe Central. Zach Flesch and Colby Shriver each added 10 for the Purple Riders.

Luke Burkhart tallied a team-high 17 points, including five triples, while Garet Cramer finished with 10 for the Seminoles.

Rosecrans 82, Beallsville 32

BEALLSVILLE — Peyton Hughes paced Beallsville with 12 points. but the Blue Devils fell to Rosecrans.


Shadyside 50, River 34

SHADYSIDE — Paige Gorby tallied a game-high 25 points as Shadyside defeated River. Tory Hendershot had 10 for the Tigers.

Rylee Knight had nine points for the Pilots.

Harrison Central 46, Steubenville 39

McKayla Dunkle recorded her 10th consecutive double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds as Harrison Central defeated Steubenville.

For Big Red, Kylie Maxwell also finished with a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) while Makayla Abram had 12 points.

Steubenville Catholic 43, Bellaire 37 (OT)

STEUBENVILLE — Katie Zatta turned in a game-high 23 points to lead Steubenville Catholic past Bellaire. Morgan Green was also solid for the Crusaders with 12 points.

Allie Ault led the Big Reds with 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers while Lizzie McAninch added 10.


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