Friday, November 24, 2017 Medina 29°
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High School Basketball

Bigger Rockets defeat Bucks

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    Buckeye's Joey Bartinelli grabs a rebound away from Bay's Nick Cady in the first quarter Thursday night during the Division II district semi final game at North Ridgeville High School.

    JUDD SMERGLIA / GAZETTE

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    Buckeye's Justin Canedy looks to pass the ball after getting stopped at the basket by Bay's (l) Max Showalter and (r) RJ Sunahara in the fourth quarter Thursday night during the Division II district semi final game at North Ridgeville High School.

    JUDD SMERGLIA / GAZETTE

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE — There was no problem with the size of the Buckeye boys basketball players’ hearts. Their bodies were another story.

Bigger across the board, second-seeded Bay pounded the third-seeded Bucks on the boards Thursday night en route to a 68-53 North Ridgeville Division II District semifinal victory.

“It’s tough when you get a stop with your initial defense and they grab a rebound and put it back in,” said senior shooting guard Braeden Stauffer, who led the Bucks with 23 points while adding four boards and three assists. “We needed to keep playing.”

The Bucks (19-5), who were bidding to reach a district final for the first time in school history, lost to the Rockets (17-8) in the semis for the second straight year because they were outrebounded 40-24.

“When you get outrebounded like that, it’s tough to win,” said Buckeye senior point guard Mikey Novick, who suffered through a 1-for-11 shooting night.

Doing most of the damage for Bay was 6-foot-6 junior power forward R.J. Sunahara, who finished with 23 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Of Sunahara’s nine field goals, six came on putbacks, while two others were resounding dunks.

Nick Cady, a strong 6-3 center, added eight points and seven boards, while 6-1 small forward Max Showalter had 10 and seven while competing against a Buckeye starting front line that went 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.

“We don’t have many losses, but in the couple we do, that seems to be the theme,” Bucks coach Tom Harrington said of his team’s struggles on the boards. “It wasn’t from a lack of effort. Our kids battled and I love our seniors. But (Sunahara) is a great player. We didn’t have an answer for him.”

The Bucks committed five of their 14 turnovers in the first 2:51 of the game and immediately fell behind 10-4, but they battled back to take a 21-20 lead on a hoop by Joey Bartinelli.

Buckeye was down just 30-26 at halftime due largely to Bay’s 1-for-13 3-point shooting, but Sunahara assisted on a pair of threes as the Rockets won the third quarter 16-6.

Less than 3 minutes into the fourth, the Bucks were down 21.

“We couldn’t make plays when it counted,” Stauffer said. “I don’t think it was an effort thing. We just couldn’t make plays.”

Outside of rebounding, the Bucks’ problems were twofold: They couldn’t get good looks against Bay’s man-to-man defense, and when they tried to apply defensive pressure, the Rockets got layups.

Justin Canedy, a 6-2 center, had 12 points and five rebounds for Buckeye, while 6-1 power forward Carter Hudak had all eight of his points in the first half. Small forward Bartinelli, who had four points and six boards, was the only other player to score more than two.

“They disrupted the normal flow of our offense,” Harrington said. “But the big thing is they really beat us on the boards. Against good teams, you can’t give them that many chances.”

The Rockets, who got 14 points from point guard Erik Painter, will play top-seeded Holy Name for a district title Saturday at 4 p.m., while Buckeye’s season, which included a Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division crown, came to an end.

“It was a great season,” Novick said. “We all put it on the line. We all competed. It’s something to look back at and be proud of.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Bay 68, Buckeye 53

North Ridgeville Division II District Semifinal

BUCKEYE 16 10 6 21 — 53

BAY 20 10 16 22 — 68

Buckeye — Joey Bartinelli 2-3 0-0 4, Carter Hudak 3-7 0-0 8, Justin Canedy 6-10 0-2 12, Braeden Stauffer 8-17 3-4 23, Mikey Novick 1-11 0-0 2, Spencer Imes 1-2 0-0 2, Anthony Watkins 1-2 0-0 2, Brock Brumfield 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Doerge 0-1 0-0 0, Eric Knierim 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22-53 3-6 53.

Bay — Max Showalter 4-11 0-0 10, R.J. Sunahara 9-19 5-6 23, Nick Cady 2-4 4-4 8, Daniel Brajdic 1-3 1-2 4, Eric Painter 6-14 2-2 14, Jack Jelen 3-5 0-0 6, Eli Koury 0-0 0-0 0, Brent Hull 1-1 0-0 3, Park Altieri 0-0 0-0 0, Christian Dupps 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Veverka 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26-57 12-14 68.

3-point goals — Buckeye 6-22 (Stauffer 4-9, Hudak 2-6, Imes 0-1, Doerge 0-1, Novick 0-5), Bay 4-21 (Showalter 2-8, Hull 1-1, Brajdic 1-7, Painter 0-5). Rebounds — Buckeye 24 (Bartinelli 6), Bay 40 (Sunahara 19). Assists — Buckeye 11 (Stauffer, Hudak 3), Bay 9 (Sunahara 3). Turnovers — Buckeye 14 (Stauffer 5), Bay 14 (Sunahara 6). Fouls— Buckeye 16, Bay 10. Fouledout— Stauffer. Records— Buckeye (19-5), Bay (17-8).

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