Bucks see Silver Division slip away

NEW WASHINGTON – It was a night of giveaways Friday night at Buckeye Central High School.

Some you had to be present to win. Others got prizes without even being there.

Of course, there was the 50/50 drawing.

The athletic boosters held the finale of its season-long reverse raffle with the winner going home with $1,000.

The district, which is raising money for a memorial garden, raffled off an iPad and gift certificates from area businesses.

And Colonel Crawford, despite being a county away, walked away with the North Central Conference Silver Division.

The Bucks saw their chance of splitting the Silver Division become a memory when Buckeye Central fell to Wynford in the regular season finale, 55-47. Meanwhile, the team BC was tied with atop the division to start the day, Colonel Crawford, beat Upper Sandusky, 46-39, to wrap up the crown outright.

“It’s tough. You want to go out with a W for your seniors and we didn’t get it done,” Buckeye Central coach Phil Loy said. “We just got off to such a slow start. We just seemed like we were not with it for some reason. I guess I can’t explain it. They shot the ball extremely well and they came out and were ready.”

Wynford (9-13, 6-7 NCC) kicked in the door offensively out of the gate, sinking 9 of 10 from the floor to take a commanding 21-7 lead in the first quarter.

“That doesn’t happen very often,” Wynford coach Tim Ehresman said. “We’ve done that a couple times this year. It’s been a while since we have. We talk about taking good shots and making good decisions and if we don’t turn it over and we get good shots, we can be OK.”

Meanwhile, the Bucks (14-8, 10-3 NCC) fired at a 3 of 11 clip, in part because of Wynford’s 2-3 zone.

Not to be outdone, the Bucks used 70 percent shooting from the field and six Wynford turnovers in the second quarter to close the gap. In the final four minutes of the first half, BC went on a 13-2 surge to make it 29-25 at half.

“The second quarter we got right back in it and I liked where we were at,” Loy said.

The most impressive stretch of that scoring streak was six straight points in the final 69 seconds of the half, aided in part by two Wynford miscues.

A bucket by Cade Kaple, two of his team-high 12 on the night, opened the third quarter to cut the lead in half. But a couple of turnovers and a BC misfire put Wynford up nine, 36-27.

The Royals had tepid shooting again, firing 6 of 9 from the field in the third quarter to make it a 44-38 game.

The Bucks were not done though. Kaple buried a 3-pointer from the left side to make it a 45-44 game, capping a 6-1 run that took five minutes. Wynford answered with a pair of free throws from Mason Davis, who scored 13 on the night. A Kaple miss from three was rebounded by Davis and the ball ended up out of bounds. On the inbound pass, Alan Niese swiped and raced for the layup.

Just 16 seconds later, it was Todd Carter putting it in from the block and drawing the foul. The bucket gave Wynford a 49-46 lead. A turnover and a missed shot was followed by Buckeye Central being forced to foul with 35.5 second left to go.

The foul put Mike Powers at the line for a one and one. He missed, but Carter soared up, snared the miss and put it in for the 51-46 lead, effectively killing off BC’s chances to rally.

“We’re down three and Powers misses, which doesn’t happen very much because he’s very good at the line and we don’t check out and he goes around us and scores,” Loy said. “That sealed it pretty much right there because we’re a possession away. We can tie it or cut it to one.”

Ehresman said that was one case where screwing off in practice paid off.

“Sometimes when we’re doing free throws (in practice); when we’re supposed to be concentrating on our free throws, they’re working at screwing around to do stuff like that. Trying to beat each other on the sideline thing,” Ehresman said. “If the bounce is just right, that’s a good move. The finish was even more impressive. I thought ‘Todd what are you doing? Oh, that was a nice move.’ I was impressed with it. It’s a move that a playmaker makes and he made a great move.”

Carter finished with a game-high 20 points.

“Carter played extremely well for them. He’s very long and when he wants to play like that, he’s tough,” Loy said. “Tonight, he was physical and determined and when he plays like that, he’s very, very good. With his length, he caused us a lot of problems inside.”

Wynford on the night shot 65 percent from the field (21 of 32) while BC was 19 of 40.

“I thought defensively, we did a nice job staying with the game plan and forcing them to shoot jumpers, especially in the second half and we rebounded the ball pretty well most of the night,” Ehresman said. “Offensively, I thought we stayed with the game plan as well and we didn’t try to do too much too early. We didn’t take too many jump shots. We kept attacking them in the lane and that’s where I thought we scored pretty well.”