Buckeye defeats Riders

RAYLAND – Buckeye Local’s Kyle Michalo scored a game-high 22 points and Shane Duncan added a season-high 12 as the Panthers pushed themselves back to the .500 mark with an impressive 68-43 win over Weir Friday night.

Starting a seven-day stretch that will see coach Jay Morris’ Panthers play five games, Buckeye Local boosted its record to 9-9.

The Panthers will be back in action with a matinee contest opposite St. Clairsville today, then host Shenandoah on Tuesday in their first OVAC consolation pool game, followed by the second OVAC contest at Barnesville on Wednesday and a make-up game with Bellaire at home on Thursday.

Coach Mike Granato’s Red Riders host Edison on Tuesday and travel to Bridgeport on Friday in their OVAC matchups. They visit East Fairmont tonight.

Buckeye jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first quarter, paced in part by the scoring of Michalo and some slick passes by Brennen Czuchran. Before the frame ended, the Red Riders rallied to take the lead at 15-14 on a three-pointer by Shane Davis and back-to-back buckets by Andre Sims. Duncan closed the frame with a nice put-back at the buzzer to hand the winners a 16-15 lead.

In the second session, the timely scoring by Duncan and guard Caleb Agnew enabled the hosts to push the lead to 25-19. Michael Curtis and Josh Groves led a brief comeback that pulled the Riders to within 25-24, but Duncan, Michalo and John Rozenek sparked the Panthers as they took a 31-28 lead into the intermission.

In the third period, Buckeye went on another run and it proved to be a decisive one. Led by Michalo, Rozenek, Agnew, Czuchran and Tommy Hamilton, the Panthers went on a 17-0 run that pushed the lead to 48-28. Dylan Cassiadoro’s trey with 2:13 on the clock halted the Buckeye outburst. The Panthers led by 54-33 after three periods.

Aside from Michalo’s 22, Buckeye got 12 from Duncan and 10 from Czuchran. Rozenek closed with five points and a team-high 11 bounds. Hamilton added six points and five blocks.

Davis paced the Red Rider scoring with 14 points while Curtis added eight.