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Court Report

Brookside overtaken by nerves, Buckeye in sectional opener

  • mgb1monaco4xcolor-jpg

    Buckeye's Dom Monaco scores over Brookside's Dylan Smith during the first half.

    AARON JOSEFCZYK / CHRONICLE

  • mgb4knollagain4xcolor-jpg

    Buckeye's Mike Knoll scores on an alley oop pass from teammate Anthony Watkins against Brookside during the first half.

    AARON JOSEFCZYK / CHRONICLE

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YORK TWP. — Brookside could play even against Buckeye. It was the odds that got the Cardinals in a 70-47 loss in a Division II sectional opener Tuesday night.

In quarters two and four, the 12th-seeded Cardinals (7-16) hung tough with the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division champion and fifth-seeded Bucks (20-3).

Quarters one and three got away from them and it cost them their season, while Buckeye moved on to face fourth-seeded Fairview (21-2) on Friday.

“I think our kids were nervous, I really do,” Brookside coach Corey Emerine said. “I kind of felt the vibe (Monday) in practice. There was a confidence, but like a, ‘I’m not really sure.’ I think some light bulbs went off for some seniors that this might be the last game.

“I think we came out tentative and after we played for a little bit and got into that second quarter, we played even with them and started to get our feel. We came out in the third quarter. It was a close game, but we started poorly.”

The first quarter was more everything Buckeye was doing right as Cam Imes (14 points) hit three of his four 3-pointers to jumpstart the Bucks, who shot 8-for-12.

Brock Brumfield scored 14 of his game-high 21 points for Buckeye in the third quarter and a 13-point deficit at the break ballooned into a 22-point hole.

Add solid games from Michael Knoll (15 points, five rebounds) and Anthony Watkins (10 points, nine assists) and it seemed anything the Bucks touched eventually became a basket.

“We stopped attacking and stopped putting the pressure on them,” said Brookside shooting guard Tyler Horvath, who scored a team-high 14 points. “They got out on transition and got out on fast breaks. We didn’t get back on defense and they got a big lead that we couldn’t get back from.

“We have to move on defense because their offense is really fast. You have to know where to go and since they move the ball so fast, it’s tough. They made some shots, so it’s tough.”

Buckeye’s 29-for-47 performance (.617) aside, every time it seemed like Brookside was going to climb back into things, a string of turnovers began and the Bucks converted on the other end.

The Cardinals turned it over 18 gaffes time, with five coming in the first quarter and another six in the third.

“The turnovers are always costly,” Emerine said. “We turned it over a lot this year and we lost a lot of games because of those turnovers. I think we averaged around 18, 19 or 20 turnovers, so we’re always around that.

“It’s just possessions that you can’t get back. When you play a team like Buckeye, those turnovers turn into points. We stressed all year about valuing the possession, valuing the possession, valuing the possession. They understand it. They understand the importance of it. It’s now acting on it and not making bad passes or taking bad shots.”

While Brookside loses starting seniors Jacob Cole and Cody Mortensen to graduation, Exavier Ortiz, Dylan Smith (11 points) and Horvath will be back as starters next season on a team that will be ripe with experience.

“It’s going to be great because we have a bunch of juniors and sophomores back,” Horvath said. “We’ll have to put a lot of work in during the offseason, but we’re willing to do that.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.

Buckeye 70, Brookside 47

North Ridgeville Division II Sectional Semifinal

BROOKSIDE 8 15 12 12 — 47

BUCKEYE 19 17 21 13 — 70

Brookside — Jacob Cole 5-0-11, Dylan Smith 4-2-11, Cody Mortensen 1-0-2, Tyler Horvath 6-0-14, Exavier Ortiz 1-0-3, Jonathan Wright 0-0-0, Andrew Mohrbach 1-0-2, Jake Barnhart 0-0-0, Gabe Pawlosik 0-0-0, Malachi Sheffield 2-0-4, Jordan Sweeney 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-2-47.

Buckeye — Cam Imes 4-2-14, Michael Knoll 7-0-15, Dom Monaco 3-0-6, Anthony Watkins 4-2-10, Brock Brumfield 10-0-21, Clay Gunkelman 0-0-0, Pat Midea 0-0-0, Nick Miller 1-2-4, Zach Weber 0-0-0, Shane Bambrick 0-0-0, Aaron Drew 0-0-0, Jamie Geteian 0-0-0, Elijah Walker 0-0-0, Danny Flood 0-0-0. TOTALS: 29-6-70.

3-point goals — Horvath, Smith, Cole, Ortiz, Imes 4, Brumfield, Knoll. Rebounds — Brookside 18, (Mortenson 7), Buckeye 24 (Knoll 5). Assists — Brookside 11 (Smith 5), Buckeye 24 (Knoll 5). Records — Brookside (7-16), Buckeye (20-3).Brad Bournival

The Gazette

YORK TWP. — When coach Tom Harrington has his Buckeye boys basketball team in motion, the Bucks are like a semi truck rolling downhill.

You might be able to slow it down for a second, but it’s best to step aside to avoid a crash by the time it gets to the bottom.

Fifth-seeded Buckeye played its last home game of the season Tuesday and opened the North Ridgeville Division II Sectional with a convincing 70-47 win over 12th-seeded Brookside.

The Bucks (20-3) did very little wrong against the Cardinals (7-16) to earn a trip to fourth-seeded Fairview (21-2) on Friday.

“This offense is a lot of fun,” said Buckeye guard Brock Brumfield, who led all scorers with 21 points. “We have a really good group of seniors. When we’re clicking like we were tonight, it’s just fun to run around out there and play our offense. Coach lets us shoot the ball, and when we’re confident in ourselves, the shots are going to go in.”

In the Bucks’ third win of the season over the Cardinals, buckets came in bunches, even after the Cardinals’ bench barked out what was about to happen when Harrington called out a set.

Buckeye shot 29-for-47 (.617), anyway.

“Our calling card all year has been how unselfish we are,” Harrington said. “We have a lot of guys who are capable scorers. We share the ball and, as long as our defense stays consistent, we give ourselves opportunities to score.”

The scoring wasn’t limited to Brumfield, as Michael Knoll added 15 points and five rebounds.

Cam Imes had 14 points and Anthony Watkins just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine assists in three-plus quarters.

“When we’re rolling and feeling good, the baskets are going in,” Knoll said. “That helps out on defense, too, because you want to compete more and get back on offense. It’s just fun.

“In practice, we stress sharing the ball and moving it real fast. Each guy can do it. It just works because we have an athletic team.”

It worked to near perfection in the first quarter thanks to the hot hand of Imes, who buried three of his four 3-pointers.

It was on point again in the third, when Brumfield scored 14 of his team’s 21 points.

“Cam broke the ice with his 3-pointers in the first quarter,” Harrington said. “At halftime, we talked about the first three minutes of the second half. We wanted to get off to a great start, and our kids did. They got great stops, and our kids buried shots on offense. That was the difference in the game.”

The win brings a rematch of one of the best Patriot Athletic Conference games of the season. The Bucks needed overtime Dec. 11 to give the Warriors their only PAC loss in a 72-70 thriller.

Knoll finished with 34 points and nine rebounds to offset Fairview point guard Luke Howes, who finished with 34 points, 15 boards and four assists.

Like last time, the Bucks will travel to Fairview Park. Like last time, they know the formula to win.

“We just have to play as a team again and play great defense, and we should be good,” Knoll said. “I’m super excited. Last year, I didn’t play much, but this year it’s going to be fun.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.

Buckeye 70, Brookside 47

North Ridgeville Division II Sectional Semifinal

BROOKSIDE 8 15 12 12 — 47

BUCKEYE 19 17 21 13 — 70

Brookside — Jacob Cole 5-0-11, Dylan Smith 4-2-11, Cody Mortensen 1-0-2, Tyler Horvath 6-0-14, Exavier Ortiz 1-0-3, Jonathan Wright 0-0-0, Andrew Mohrbach 1-0-2, Jake Barnhart 0-0-0, Gabe Pawlosik 0-0-0, Malachi Sheffield 2-0-4, Jordan Sweeney 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-2-47.

Buckeye — Cam Imes 4-2-14, Michael Knoll 7-0-15, Dom Monaco 3-0-6, Anthony Watkins 4-2-10, Brock Brumfield 10-0-21, Clay Gunkelman 0-0-0, Pat Midea 0-0-0, Nick Miller 1-2-4, Zach Weber 0-0-0, Shane Bambrick 0-0-0, Aaron Drew 0-0-0, Jamie Geteian 0-0-0, Elijah Walker 0-0-0, Danny Flood 0-0-0. TOTALS: 29-6-70.

3-point goals — Horvath, Smith, Cole, Ortiz, Imes 4, Brumfield, Knoll. Rebounds — Brookside 18, (Mortenson 7), Buckeye 24 (Knoll 5). Assists — Brookside 11 (Smith 5), Buckeye 24 (Knoll 5). Records — Brookside (7-16), Buckeye (20-3).

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