Indian Creek was hoping for a quick start against a vastly-improved Buckeye Local team and they got that with an opening 11-3 run that catapulted the Redskins to a thrilling 49-39 win over the Panthers on the Buckeye court in Connorville Friday night.
Coach Joe Dunlevy's Redskins boosted their record to 10-4 with the win. It was the second against the Panthers this season having beaten Buckeye in Wintersville on December 11 by 50-27. Creek is back in action on Tuesday with a key Buckeye 8 game at Harrison Central.
Buckeye has played well lately winning four of their last five. Coach Jay Morris' Panthers dropped to 7-7 on the season and face another tough foe on Tuesday at Martins Ferry.
"I think our kids played very hard tonight" Dunlevy said after the win. "Buckeye's a nice team. It was a battle but I expected that. I knew that this was going to be a tough game to win. There were a lot of three year players out on the floor tonight, so they all know each other.
"I'm very proud of my kids," the Creek coach added. "They are mentally tough kids. They could have gotten rattled out there tonight, but they didn't. This is a very special group of kids."
Buckeye opened the scoring on a Shane Duncan bucket off a nifty John Rozenek pass, but from there the Panthers found scoring a tough task. Creek would score the next seven getting two-pointers by Frank Kamarec, Matt Furda and Alex Young and a charity marker by Shane Winland.
Kyle Michalo added one at the stripe before Drew Sullivan and Young added buckets to stretch the margin to 11-3. Michalo closed the first with a trey as the hosts trailed by 11-6.
In the second session, Furda opened with a deuce and Blake Roar followed with five straight. Kamarec added a two-pointer that extended the Redskin lead to 20-6. Buckeye battled back, but Creek held its ground as they went on to lead by 28-16 at the intermission.
In the third frame, Creek led by 33-19 before the Panthers made a brief run as Michalo tossed in six points around a Young foul conversion to cut the margin to 34-25. Again Creek extended the margin with scores by Roar, Young and Sullivan as they led by 38-28 at the close of the third.
A Sullivan conversion gave Creek a 44-35 lead midway through the final frame and it appeared Buckeye would make a late run as Michalo made back-to-back trips to the line.
Leading by 44-37, Young drove the lane for two with 1:11 on the clock and Furda cashed two at the line with 38 ticks remaining to push the lead to 48-37 and ice the win.
"We told our kids at halftime that we just getting bullied out there," Morris said after the tough loss. "But they came out in the second half and played good down the stretch. We told our kids that they had to play strong and tough against them."
"They (Indian Creek) are a very good team," Morris added. "You just know that if you get down to them, they are going to pull the ball out. Our kids played well out there, but they are pretty good."
Kamarec and Young led the Indian Creek scoring with 11 points each while Furda and Roar added nine apiece. Sullivan added seven rebounds and Young had six.
Michalo led the Panther attack with 18 points including a trio of treys. Czuchran followed with 11 markers and six team-high rebounds.
In the jayvee contest, Buckeye registered a 46-41 win as Cory Donahue scored 14 points, Mike Carducci added 13 and Jonathan Borkoski tossed in 10.
Bellaire 59, Edison 57
At Bellaire, the Big Reds rallied from six points down to edge past Edison and avenge a prior loss at Richmond.
Bellaire mounted a 22-17 lead after eight minutes and maintained a 33-25 intermission advantage before Edison came back to pull within 42-39 after three frames.
Big Reds' junior Kenny Hess heated the hoops for a game-leading 21 points. Classmate Ryan Callarik and sophomore Nathan Steele each provided 13-point support. Edison's Alec Jones topped the Wildcats with a 16-point outing.
Bellaire made good on 19-of-58 field goal attempts and overcame 20 turnovers. Callarik hauled in nine of Bellaire's 28 rebounds. Junior Nick Patrone recorded five steals.
Edision shot 17-of-54 from the floor, landed 30 rebounds and was charted for 27 turnovers.
The Big Reds welcome Union Local on Tuesday.
Bridgeport 56, Toronto 43
At Toronto, the Bulldogs won for the third time this season and handed the host Red Knights their sixth setback in 12 starts.
Bridgeport took immediate control, mounting a 12-6 upperhand after one period and extending the count to 23-15 at halftime. The Dogs left no doubt after outpointing the Knights, 19-10 in a decisive third quarter which left the hosts facing a 42-25 deficit.
Jonathan Kreiter paced a balanced Bridgeport offense with 15 points. QJ Williams contributed 10 markers as did teammate Aaron Roth. Parker Dyson netted nine points.
Toronto's Tyler Owens took game scoring honors with 16 points. Brad Melville tallied 11.
The Bulldogs remain on the road for a Tuesday night tipoff at Cameron.
River 79, Caldwell 43
At Caldwell, invading River made quick work of the hosts, mounting leads of 19-9 and 38-14 after the first two periods. Mark Romick's quint went on for a 64-28 upperhand after three panels.
Brett Price rifled home a game-leading 24 points as River improved to 11-3 overall and 9-1 in PVC play. Matt Marconi provided 14-point support and Cody Caldwell contributed 13.
Price landed seven rebounds with Caldwell and Jordan Indermuhle bringing down five apiece. River owned the boards to the tune of 42-23.
The Pilots are idle until next Friday's invasion of Fort Frye.
Bridgeport 67, Cameron 20
At Bridgeport, the Lady Bulldogs built a 22-1 upperhand after one quarter and went on to slay the Lady Dragons.
Maclaine Murad scored a game-leading 21 points and was joined in twin digits by teammates Caitlyn Krol (16) and Nicole Smolenak (15). Krol and Murad collected six rebounds apiece as the winners totaled 31 boards.
Smolenak distributed five assists while Krol dished out five assists ans recorded four steals.
Bridgeport shot 27-of-63 from the floor and was charted for but four turnovers. The Lady Bulldogs play Bishop Donahue Monday at McMechen.
In Friday's jayvee contest, Ali Baker's 14 points sparked the Bulldog reserves to a 32-25 victory.