It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Colonel Crawford boys basketball team finally surpassed county rival Buckeye Central for a 47-42 home victory in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference Wednesday evening.
“It’s a good rivalry,” said David Sheldon, Colonel Crawford head boys basketball coach. “It’s a hard fought battle. Every time we played them it comes down to the fourth quarter.”
The Bucks were in control throughout most of the game, heading into the locker room with a 30-24 lead at halftime. But the Eagles would come back to win the second half 23-12.
“We just kept chipping away,” Sheldon said.
Buckeye Central head boys basketball coach Phil Loy attributed his team’s inability to score in the final minutes of the last quarter as a main issue, as it caused some turnovers.
“It’s a hard one to swallow,” he said. “Because I thought we control that game and… played very well for 28 minutes and just our inability to finish it.”
But Loy said Buckeye Central’s boys played a “solid ball game,” that evening.
Loy commended Eagles senior Derek Burkhart for his performance in the final quarter. Fans in the crowd roared with excitment when Burkhart scored a 3-pointer in the final quarter, paving the way for the Eagles to take the lead, 44-42, with 35.5 seconds left on the clock.
“He shot well when he needed to,” Loy said.
Burkhart led Colonel Crawford with a game high of 19 points including five 3-pointers. Owen Adams added 10 points, making 5 of 8 free throws, while Will Kirkpatrick tallied seven points.
For the Bucks, Grant Loy led the team with 13 points including a 3-pointer. Scott Heydinger added 10 points with two 3-pointers, while Jacob Shade tallied nine.
“Grant Loy had a big game tonight,” Sheldon said. “But I thought Will Kirkpatrick and Jake Lohr made him work for every point.
“He’s one of the best players in this area,” Sheldon added. “And we made him work.”
The Eagles’ coach said there were some minor issues in the team’s execution as it took some bad shots. He credited the Bucks’ performance earlier in the game and how it improved its shooting game.
“They hit some threes early on,” he said.
Colonel Crawford made 15 shots and 10 of 14 free throws, while the Buckeye Central made 18 shots and 2 of 4 charity shots.
The Eagles (8-1, 6-0 N10) will travel to play non-conference foe Northmor on Saturday, while the Bucks (8-1, 4-2 N10) will host to play Plymouth, also outside of league play.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.