YORK TWP. — Buckeye boys basketball coach Tom Harrington asked his team to play harder than it did in an ugly win at Brookside last month.
Ask and you shall receive.
The Bucks stormed out of the chute with a fierce display of defense that created an unstoppable offense, pounding out a huge halftime lead that allowed Buckeye to coast to a 68-31 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division victory.
“Defense was really the story,” Harrington said. “At Brookside, they played harder than we did. We said if you play hard, good things happen. Our guards did a great job getting the ball down the floor and we made our open shots. When the defense is good, it really helps our offense.”
So good was the Buckeye defense that it harassed Brookfield into 25 turnovers, pitched a two-point first quarter and fueled a 22-6 spurt in the second quarter.
In one stretch late in the second, Buckeye’s Brock Brumfield (15 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) executed steals for layups on consecutive Brookside possessions and followed with a four-point play. When Anthony Watkins flicked a long rebound back at the hoop and found the bottom of the net at the first-half buzzer, the scoreboard read 38-8 Buckeye.
“Yeah, Coach has been on us about defense,” Brumfield said. “We know good defense leads to good offense. Our team skill is defense.”
The senior point guard admitted to having fun in a lopsided victory.
“We like to keep the gas on,” he said. “I’m proud of the way the team battled. I love my teammates and the coaches are great.”
Buckeye demonstrated good balance behind Brumfield, power forward Michael Knoll (13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) and shooting guard Watkins (12 points, 5 rebounds). The Bucks hit 25-of-46 field goals and outrebounded the Cardinals 23-15.
Brookside’s lineup weakened when starter Connor Baughman went down with a knee injury early in the first quarter and had to be carried from the floor.
Zack Weber scored 11 points and Elijah Walker added 10 in a 61-37 rout.
Contact Harry H. Peck at email@example.com.
Buckeye 68, Brookside 31
BROOKSIDE 2 6 11 12 — 31
BUCKEYE 16 22 12 18 — 68
Brookside — Tyler Horvath 0-0-0, Exavier Ortiz 1-1-2, Dylan Smith 0-0-0, Connor Baughman 0-0-0, Jacob Cole 4-1-9, Jonathan Wright 0-0-0, Josiah Ortiz 2-0-4, Malachi Sheffield 1-0-2, Andre Gardener 3-0-6, Cody Mortenson 2-0-4, Jordan Sweeney 0-0-0, Andrew Mohrbach 1-0-2, J. Barnhart 1-0-2. TOTALS: 14-3-31.
Buckeye — Cam Imes 3-1-7, Michael Knoll 5-1-13, Dom Monaco 1-1-3, Anthony Watkins 4-4-12, Brock Brumfield 6-1-15, Aaron Drew 2-1-6, Clay Gunkelman 0-2-2, Logan Schulz 2-0-4, Pat Midea 0-0-0, Jamie Geteian 0-1-1, Elijah Walker 1-2-5. TOTALS: 25-14-68.
3-point goals — Brumfield 2, Watkins, Walker, Knoll, Drew. Rebounds — Brookside 15 (Horvath 3), Buckeye 23 (Watkins 5). Assists — Brookside 6 (Cole 2), Buckeye 10 (Brumfield 4). Records — Brookside (4-10, 3-8), Buckeye (13-2, 10-1). Junior varsity — Buckeye 61, Brookside 37.