Panthers beat Wildcats

RAYLAND – Buckeye Local junior Brennen Czuchran likes getting his hands on the ball in the corner and Friday night was a prime example why.

Czuchran scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead the Panthers to a 51-39 win over visiting Edison Friday night.

Winning for the third time in four outings, coach Jay Morris’ Panthers pushed their record to 4-5 after opening the season with 1-4 mark. Buckeye will be looking to improve on that record next week when they host Harrison Central on Tuesday and visit Bellaire on Friday.

Edison saw its season mark fall to 1-8 with the setback. The Wildcats have dropped three straight since getting their first win over Bellaire. The Cats are back in action tonight taking on Southern Local in Salineville.

“When you aren’t shooting well you have work that much harder ad have to rebound well,” Morris said after the win. “We weren’t shooting well, but we rebounded very well. You got too hit the boards.”

Morris saw his Panther shooting convert just 19 of 58 shots from e field, by they did control the boards with 45 rebounds.

“We played spirited tonight, but we were certainly outrebounded, ” Edison coach Nate Moses said after the tough loss. “Second chance points decided this game. We had that little run in the third quarter, but they got a lot of second chance points and that was the difference.”

An evenly played first period closed with the Panthers managing to take a narrow 10-8 lead in the final seconds and took that lead into the second frame.

In the second session, Buckeye’s Kyle Michalo, Dylan Williams and John Rozenek combined for seven straight points before Ryan Kramarich scored for the Wildcats. Czuchran got the hot hand and scored five straight then made a slick pass to Rozenek for a score and a 24-10 Buckeye lead. The Panthers led by 26-13 at the half.

“I just felt good and had the open shot,” Czuchran said about his productive second half. Caleb (Agnew) did a good job of getting the ball to me in the corner. That’s where like to get the ball.”

“We had to play hard to be able to get at the boards like we did. It was a team effort. We’ve had the energy lately. We just have to keep playing hard to keep winning.”

In the third quarter, Edison fell behind by 32-16 before making a run . Clay Woodward and Alec Jones combined for five straight to close the gap to 32-21, but Czuchran converted a deuce from the corner and seconds later drilled a trey from the corner to push the lead by to 37-21. Jones closed the session with back to back scores as the hosts led by 37-25 after three frames.

Czuchran paced the Panthers fourth quarter run with a pair of treys and two free throws as the hosts extended their lead to 49-32 before Morris cleared the bench in the final minutes.

“Six of our first eight were on the road and any time you play a team in the Buckeye 8, you don;t care how much you win by, you are just happy to get a victory,” Morris said.

Czuchran and Michalo had 10 rebounds each while Rozenek grabbed eight for Buckeye. Alec Jones hauled in six to pace the Cats.