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Buckeye Local falls short to Beaver Local

CONNORVILLE – Beaver Local made the most of the charity stripe in gaining a repeat 64-56 Buckeye 8 win over Buckeye Local Friday night.

The Beavers, who won the initial encounter 65-55, meshed 18-of-25 free throws in improving to 8-6.

The Panthers, meanwhile, went to the stripe on just four occasions, sinking two. Chris Heaton’s squad fell to 4-7.

Buckeye Local turned in a solid first-half effort despite falling behind 9-2 right off the bat. The Panthers scrapped back to gain a 16-15 edge after the initial frame. Jake Mayle sparked the surge with eight points.

Buckeye Local took a 29-27 lead into halftime, despite committing six second-quarter turnovers.

Beaver Local snatched away the momentum immediately after intermission.

The Beavers ran off seven unanswered points at the start of the third quarter for a 34-29 edge. The Panthers, however, stemmed the tide and used a three-point play by Luke Darrah to regain the lead at 40-39 with 1:54 showing in the third.

The Columbiana Countians received four points from ace Luke Chetcock to re-take the advantage at the quarter pole, 44-43. Chetcock netted 11 points in the period.

Beaver Local spurted to a 49-44 advantage in the early stages of the fourth. The visitors would never trail the remainder of the night, although their lead would never be more than five points until the final seconds.

After Mayle buried a trey at the 1:40 mark drawing the Panthers to within 56-53, Beaver responded with a Jaden Kiddey putback for a 58-53 upperhand with 1:26 to play. After a Buckeye Local miss, Chetcock buried two foul tosses for a 60-53 lighting at the 1:04 mark.

The Panthers again could not find the mark before Chetcock meshed another freebie for an eight-point lead with just 37 ticks remaining. After another Buckeye misfire, Nathan Barber iced the verdict with a charity toss for a 62-53 reading with 19 seconds left.

“It is always nice to get a win on the road. We came into the game on a three-game losing streak. We lost to some quality teams which will prepare for later in the season,” first-year head coach Nick Miller said. “Buckeye Local is a very solid ball club. They control the pace. I was very happy with how we executed down the stretch. We made our foul shots.

“We have won some games this year we would have lost last year. So we are showing growth,” added the 25-year-old mentor. “I like where we are at. We are playing together and playing hard, and that is half the battle.”

Chetcock topped all scorers with 23 points, 18 coming after intermission. Barber and Kiddey evenly divided 18 points for the Beavers.

“I told the kids at halftime that the most important three minutes of the game will be the first three minutes of the second half,” Heaton said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t come out in the second half and execute. We had some turnovers early in the half and they went on that 7-0 spurt.

“But we fought back and kept it close. It was a physical game and for us not to get to the line much hurt us,” he added. “Our kids play hard and get after it every night. I will never fault their effort.”

Mayle was exceptional in defeat for the Panthers, tallying 20 points. He drained five treys. Cameron Grabits also enjoyed a fine night for Buckeye, producing 19 points.

Buckeye Local was its own worst enemy, committing 24 turnovers. Beaver Local committed just 11 miscues.

Buckeye Local returns to action Tuesday night at East Liverpool. The Beavers welcome Indian Creek the same night.

Beaver Local also won the reserve contest by a 51-36 count.

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