PARMA — Double the trouble, double the fun.
The Buckeye girls basketball team gave Valley Forge fits Monday in a 69-39 non-conference victory.
Playing without leading rebounder Grace Allen (illness), the Bucks (14-3) came out determined, especially shooting guard Sydney Bell (20 points, 11 rebounds) and power forward Madison Ross (16, 10), who had their hands in just about everything in the nearly coast-to-coast win.
“They stepped up for sure,” Buckeye coach Ron Clady said. “We’ve had a couple struggles with both players finishing at the rim, but they did absolutely that tonight. Their job was basically to get away from those mistakes and go harder at the rim. They needed to finish at the rim and they did. They both rebounded well and attacked the basket and scored and it made the game easy for them.”
Whether it was grabbing a defensive board or putting back a bunny, the two seemed to be in the middle of everything.
“Rebounding was one of my main points because our main rebounder was out,” Ross said. “I knew I had to step up and take care of what she does. We had to get started one way or the other and get going from there.”
The two weren’t the only ones wiping the glass, as Courtney Keeler (11 points, 7 rebounds), Emily Whetstone (10, 7), Tatum Widenmeyer (2, 7) and Alysa Beckett (1, 5) made it a point to get inside position.
It led to multiple one-and-dones for the Patriots (1-14), who shot 17-for-60 (.283) and committed 27 turnovers.
“Rebounding was huge because (Allen) is such a big part of where our rebounds come from,” Ross said. “I knew I had a big responsibility and so did (Ross). We had to clean up all the extra boards without her here.”
The attention to detail took what was a close game after the first quarter at 17-11 and blew things open in the second.
Valley Forge opened the quarter by going 0-for-11 and Buckeye went on an 11-0 run before the Patriots snapped a 3:11 scoreless streak.
Things didn’t get much better for Valley Forge in the frame, as the Bucks held the Patriots to a 2-for-18 performance (.105).
Add 17 first-half turnovers, with 10 coming in the second quarter, and Buckeye lapped the opposition by intermission, taking a 39-15 edge into recess.
“It set the tone, but I believe it was our second group getting it done,” Clady said. “I had two or three of my bench players in there and they just went after it. That’s the one thing we’ve developed with our bench.
“They’re not afraid to come in. They’re becoming a close 1-A with the starters. Courtney Keeler has really come off the bench for us. She’s a scorer and gets her nose on the ball. Riley Vickerts and Alyssa Beckett are filling their roles. They know their roles. We play a little different defensively when they’re in and we benefit because of it.”
The Buckeye junior varsity played a solid second half and beat Valley Forge 40-31. Madison Amburgey led the Bucks with 14 points.
Buckeye 69, Valley Forge 39
BUCKEYE 17 22 19 11 — 69
VALLEY FORGE 11 4 15 9 — 39
Buckeye — Elizabeth Whetstone 4-0-10, Madison Ross 6-4-16, Tatum Widenmeyer 1-0-2, Sydney Bell 9-1-20, Gabby Glancy 2-0-4, Autumn Meyer 2-1-5, Courtney Keeler 4-2-11, Riley Vickerts 0-0-0, Alyssa Beckett 0-1-1. TOTALS: 28-9-69.
Valley Forge — Ashley Marchese 1-0-2, Haley Onderak 7-0-14, Anaela Lett 1-0-2, Andrea Guerra 1-1-4, Jada Benjamin 2-2-6, D’Naya Williams 2-1-5, Emily Bechner 2-0-4, Maria Ulery 1-0-2, Ava Workman 0-0-0, Kayla Kucera 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-4-39.
3-point goals — Whetstone 2, Keeler, Bell, Guerra. Rebounds — Buckeye 54 (Bell 11), Valley Forge 29 (Lett 8). Assists — Buckeye 18 (Meyer 5), Valley Forge 10 (Guerra 3). Records — Buckeye (14-3), Valley Forge (1-14). Junior varsity — Buckeye 40, Valley Forge 31.