JON KLEINKNECHT Inquirer Sports Editor
January 14, 2014
BUCYRUS — The Tigers picked up a big win here last Saturday night, edging out the host Bucyrus Redmen 43-39 in a boys’ North Central Conference hoops battle in the Alex Kish Memorial Gymnasium.
By winning, the Orange-and-Blue upped their record to 4-7 overall, but more importantly, to 3-3 in the NCC with one game remaining in the first round of league play. Bucyrus tumbled to 8-4 overall and 4-2 in the loop. The Redmen went into the match-up in a three-way tie for first with Buckeye Central and Colonel Crawford, both winners Saturday.
Trailing 26-20 at halftime, the Orange-and-Blue used a tenacious full-court press defense much of the second half to throw the Redmen off balance. After turning the ball over just twice in the first half, Bucyrus coughed it up 10 times in the second half.
Galion limited the hosts to just 13 points in the final two quarters, including two during a span of 8:14 from the midway point of the third period to midway through the fourth. During that stretch, the winners scored 12 of their own to turn what was a 32-28 deficit into a 40-34 lead. Ridge Durbin netted 4 of the points via a free throw and a three-point bomb for the locals.
Bucyrus got as close as three points late in the game, but a pair of Durbin free throws and a Lucas Bohach charity toss in the last minute iced things.
After a 10-10 stalemate in the opening frame, Bucyrus outscored the Orange-and-Blue 16-10 in the second stanza. It was an unusual quarter as 6 of 7 field goals made were three-pointers, four by Bucyrus.
The Tigers beat up the hosts 15-8 in the third period with sophomore guard Houston Blair beginning and ending the scoring with two-point buckets.
Bohach and Durbin tied for game-high scoring honors with a dozen points each for the victors. Durbin canned a trio of three-pointers, and Bohach, two. Also, Tony Kirk added 6 points, Blair and Dareian Watkins, 4 each; Jordan Valentine, 3; and Gavin Ratcliff, 2.
Cole Murtiff and Austin Williams paced Bucyrus with 9 points each.
There were 8 lead changes and 4 ties in the contest.
Junior varsity action showed Galion winning 52-34, Bryce Lybarger connected for a game-high 17 points for the victorious Tiger reserves.
Galion entertains Upper Sandusky on Friday.