A youthful Buckeye Central squad opened up the season with a 51-39 victory over Plymouth Friday night.
"I knew coming here this would be a very tough test to see what we are made of," Bucks coach Phil Loy said. "They've got one of the best players in the area in Tyrell Edmiston and I thought it was a key to hold him. He got some good looks and still ended up with 16 points, and Tyson Beebe (17 points), we knew we had to hold those guys in check. He got some key points there, but we switched up some defenses on them and tried to keep them a little off balance."
Buckeye Central was 7-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to hold off a fourth quarter comeback by the Big Red Vikings. Austin Wurm led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds, finishing 10-of-11 from the line. Bryce Christy hit a pair of free throws with less than 30 seconds left to put it out of reach, bringing the Bucks' charity stripe total to 18-of-24.
"I give credit to Phil and his boys," Plymouth coach Troy Keene said. "They came out, played hard and stuck to their game plan."
Both teams opened up the evening playing a fast paced game, putting up points fast, but after the Bucks took a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, the scoring slowed down. The Big Red put scored five points in the second quarter while Buckeye Central only scored three, taking a 24-21 halftime lead.
"It was a track meet in the first quarter," Loy said. "We were up 21-19 and I thought, wow, that is a lot of points for us, but I knew we were going to play that style where we were pressing and they were pressing us. It was just very up-tempo and we were making shots. The second quarter we pulled off the press because we were giving them a lot of layups."
Mid-way through the fourth quarter, Plymouth started to chip away at Buckeye Central's 10 point lead. With 3:27 remaining, the Big Red came within three points, 42-39, but when given opportunities were unable to make any shots for the tie or the lead.
"Our shot selection was not very good all night," Keene said. "Shots were forced and I thought the guys were out of position all night long. The point guard couldn't get us into the right things at times, the shooting guards never really caught fire and our posts didn't play very well."
Stone Wurm also scored in the double digits for the Bucks with 11 points and Cade Kaple had eight rebounds. Edmiston led Plymouth in rebounds with eight.