YORK TWP. — The top defensive team in the Patriot Athletic Conference flexed its muscles against a formidable offensive foe Tuesday night.
Justin Canedy collected 16 points and four blocks and Anthony Watkins had 15 points and three steals as Buckeye defeated Oberlin 51-29 in a cross-division contest.
Carter Hudak added four points and game highs of nine rebounds and six assists for the Bucks (7-3, 6-1), who lowered their PAC-best defensive average to 41.6 points in league play.
Stars Division co-leader Buckeye limited the Phoenix to 11 baskets and a .212 field goal percentage while not allowing it to post double-digit points in any quarter.
“Our kids have embraced the defensive mentality and take great pride in holding teams down,” Buckeye coach Tom Harrington said. “We have some athletic guys — obviously, it starts with that — and they have done an excellent job executing our scouting reports.
“When you have a team full of players who work hard and work together defensively, you can do a lot of good things.”
Oberlin (3-7, 2-4) averaged 67.0 points over its first five PAC games, with Justin Smith leading the way at 19.4 and fellow senior forward Devan Yarber at 13.8. The Bucks held Smith to two points on 1-for-10 shooting, while Yarber had three points on 1-for-9.
The Phoenix, which also starts two sophomores and a freshman, was unable to get anything going with its two leading scorers stuck in neutral. Its previous low-water mark in the PAC was 55 points against Fairview last month.
“We knew who we wanted to lock up after we watched some game film,” Watkins said. “We had to shut down (Smith) because he’s their top shooter and (Yarber) because he’s their best ballhandler. The key was just keeping our composure and playing our game.”
Oberlin coach Kurt Russell also designed a strong game plan, featuring sophomore guard Giles Harrell III shadowing Buckeye point guard Brock Brumfield. It encouraged trapping in the backcourt and forced the Bucks to commit 23 turnovers while only attempting 32 field goals.
Canedy and Watkins made those odd numbers work, however, by combining to make 14-of-17 shots. Brumfield scored all seven of his points in the third quarter and finished 3-for-6.
As a result, Buckeye’s team scorched the nets with a .656 field goal percentage. Hudak and Watkins also ran the half-court offense efficiently by utilizing their playmaking abilities.
“In practice, all three of us practice running the point,” said Watkins, who had two assists. “I play my role and (Hudak) plays his. It works really well when teams try to take the ball out of (Brumfield’s) hands like Oberlin did tonight.”
Mike Knoll started at forward for the Bucks, filling in for Spencer Imes, who is recovering from a twisted ankle. Imes played eight minutes in a reserve role, but Harrington expects him to be full-go Friday when Buckeye plays Wellington.
l Buckeye won the junior varsity game 60-44 behind 18 points from Jamie Geteian.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.
Buckeye 51, Oberlin 29
OBERLIN 5 8 9 7 — 29
BUCKEYE 10 10 17 14 — 51
Oberlin — Justin Smith 1-0-2, Devan Yarber 1-1-3, Aaron Hopkins 1-0-2, Trajen Chambers 1-3-5, Giles Harrell III 2-0-6, Greg Richardson 4-0-9, Azarie Hairston 1-0-2, David Hopkins 0-0-0, Jeremiah Austin 0-0-0. TOTALS: 11-4-29.
Buckeye — Carter Hudak 1-2-4, Mike Knoll 0-0-0, Justin Canedy 7-2-16, Anthony Watkins 7-0-15, Brock Brumfield 3-0-7, Adam Fauver 2-0-4, Spencer Imes 1-0-3, Dominic Monaco 0-0-0, Cameron Imes 0-0-0, Jamie Geteian 0-0-0, Jacob Doerge 0-0-0, Clay Gunkelman 0-2-2. TOTALS: 21-6-51.
3-point goals — Harrell 2, Richardson, Watkins, Brumfield, S.Imes. Rebounds — Oberlin 18 (Hopkins, Chambers 4), Buckeye 29 (Hudak 9). Assists — Oberlin 7 (Yaber 3), Buckeye 12 (Hudak 6). Records — Oberlin (3-7, 2-4), Buckeye (7-3, 6-1). Junior varsity — Buckeye 60, Oberlin 44.