Dalton standing in way of Buckeye Central’s push to state
Buckeye Central’s girls will square off with Dalton tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Massillon Perry High School in a Division IV regional final.
The winner advances to the state semifinals.
The Bucks have made it to the state tournament five times in program history with the last appearance coming in 1992. Buckeye Central (25-1) won the state championship in 1985 with second place finishes in ’92 and ’82. BC made other appearances in 1986 and in 1990.
Dalton’s girls team has not made a state appearance.
Buckeye Central has been led all season by Jenna Karl and Courtney Pifher. Pifher leads the Bucks in scoring and rebounding, averaging a double-double with 18.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Karl adds an average of 15.1 points and 9.2 boards while dishing out seven assists and snaring 4.9 steals per game.
Pifher is third in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference in field goal percentage, shooting better than 56 percent while Karl is third in 3-point percentage (44.8 percent).
Dalton (22-4) played a slowed down game against Lisbon David Anderson in Thursday’s semifinals to take a 44-30 win. The Bulldogs kept Lisbon scoreless in the second quarter and were able to shut down the outside threat.
But Buckeye Central coach Greg Moore said that won’t affect how the Bucks prepare for the regional title game.
“We aren’t going to change anything,” he said.
He added that when it is this late in the season, there isn’t much much need to make changes. He plans to keep playing at a fast pace and wants to get Pifher down court to make plays.
The Bucks have a chance to make it to the state tournament for the first time in 26 years. Moore keeps telling his players to “keep focused.”
“The most important game is the one right now,” he said. “Take care of business this week and then we can take care of next week.”
Since its first and only loss of the season back on Dec. 28 to Carey, BC has kept the task at hand.
“(The girls) have been working hard since day one,” Moore said. “These girls are hungry …The chemistry is great and they loving playing together.”
If the Bulldogs manage to get a comfortable lead late in the game, Moore and the Bucks can expect Dalton to play keep-away and spread the floor in the half-court offense.