HENRIETTA TWP. — Michael Knoll set the table for Buckeye’s boys basketball team Friday night and Brock Brumfield made sure to clear it when dinner was done.
Knoll scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter and Brumfield had a hand in 24 out of 26 points in a second-half stretch that pushed the Bucks to a 65-40 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division victory over Firelands.
“It gives us more confidence and we’re able to get the offense moving,” Knoll said of his hot start, which included 5-for-7 shooting in the opening quarter.
Buckeye (11-2, 8-1) hit 7-of-14 3-point attempts in the first half and 4-of-7 after the break.
Although the game finished with the visitors pulling away, Firelands (3-9, 3-6) scratched within five points three minutes into the second quarter.
“I’m not unhappy with the way the team played,” Firelands coach Alan Januzzi said. “They just all started burying threes, and when a team like that can do that, there’s not much you can do.”
His team up just 18-13 with five minutes left in the first half, Cam Imes (12 points, 5 assists) drained a 3-pointer to start a 14-2 run, helping the Bucks to a 34-21 edge at halftime.
At that point, Buckeye had made 13 shots from the field and had assists on all but two.
“You have to analyze the defense when you first set up and see what’s there,” Brumfield said. “Once we were confident in that, we just made shots. Everyone made shots.”
Brumfield took over the second half. He drilled a 3-pointer for a 38-24 edge that started a personal 10-0 run, and by the time the fourth quarter was halfway done, Buckeye had pushed to a 61-37 lead. In that stretch of 26 points, the senior had 10 points and six assists.
“When your point guard is aggressive and playing with confidence, it does wonders for your team,” Buckeye coach Tom Harrington said.
Brumfield, though, said his openings came in part from the damage Knoll had done early in the game.
“We went back out and played our game, and we knew they were going to be face guarding, especially Mike after he had that great first half,” Brumfield said. “Once they started to do that, that started to get the middle to open up for me.”
That opened up the court for everyone else. Brumfield finished the night with 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists while repeatedly finding Knoll, Imes and Anthony Watkins (9 points) open. If they missed, Dom Monaco (6 rebounds) was there to get second-shot opportunities.
Firelands 6-foot-6 junior Jacob Schmitz led his team with 15 points and six rebounds.
Buckeye rolled past Firelands 52-34 in the junior varsity game. The Bucks got eight points from Danny Flood and seven from Andrew Geteian in the first quarter to build a 17-3 lead and never looked back. Getian led the team with 12 points, all in the first half, while Nick Miller scored nine.
Contact Chris Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buckeye 65, Firelands 40
BUCKEYE 18 16 20 11 — 65
FIRELANDS 8 13 13 6 — 40
Buckeye — Cam Imes 4-1-12, Michael Knoll 9-0-20, Dom Monaco 1-1-3, Anthony Watkins 3-0-9, Brock Brumfield 4-5-16, Clay Gunkelman 0-0-0, Aaron Drew 1-0-2, Logan Schulz 1-0-2, Jamie Geteian 0-0-0, Pat Midea 0-0-0, Elijah Walker 0-1-1. TOTALS: 23-8-65.
Firelands — Alex Angle 0-0-0, Mitchell Hodges 3-0-6, Jacob Schmitz 6-3-15, Casey Kelley 1-0-2, Austin Urban 3-0-9, Caden Bomback 0-0-0, Jackson Talbott 2-0-6, Jacob Farley 1-0-2, Evan Zidar 0-0-0, Jacob Mullins 0-0-0, Kyle Ransom 0-0-0, Steven Iwanek 0-0-0. TOTALS: 16-3-40.
3-point goals — Watkins 3, Imes 3, Brumfield 3, Knoll 2, Urban 3, Talbott 2. Rebounds — Buckeye 32 (Brumfield 7), Firelands 25 (Hodges 8). Assists — Buckeye 19 (Brumfield 9), Firelands 6 (Kelley 4). Records — Buckeye (11-2, 8-1), Firelands (3-9, 3-6). Junior varsity — Buckeye 52, Firelands 34.