BUCYRUS — Galion faced off with archrival Bucyrus on Tuesday evening and dropped a non-conference game by the score of 47-45.
In a competitive game, the Tigers came up just short, missing a chance to win or tie it with just seconds remaining.
The loss ended Galion’s eight-game winning streak against the Redmen. Bucyrus’ last win over their cross-county rival was a 53-47 decision on Dec. 16, 2011, at Galion. It was the first home win for the Redmen against Galion since Dec. 3, 2005, when they picked up a 66-41 victory at Alex Kish Memorial Gymnasium.
Junior Mike Wise and senior Nick Middleton each scored nine points for Bucyrus. Middleton knocked down three 3-pointers.
As a team, Bucyrus (4-14) knocked down seven 3-pointers. Galion hit three of their own.
“We will take any win we can get,” said Bucyrus coach Barry Egan. “We played some defense in the second half when it mattered the most.”
Bucyrus led at halftime 24-22 thanks to a steal and pass ahead to Mike Wise, who got his floater in the lane at the buzzer to fall.
“They have done pretty good with handling the clock situation and staying patient,” Egan said. “You have to make shots and we were able to make shots at the end of the quarters.”
Galion was led by junior Hanif Donaldson who scored 12 points. Donaldson was tough for the Tigers on both ends of the floor.
Rece Payne pitched in eight points of his own.
“(The effort) was great. We’ve been preaching it all year and they gave the effort on both ends of the floor,” said Galion coach Bobby Gossom. “We didn’t settle for shots and we were patient. We looked like a team.”
The Redmen again nailed a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter, this time from freshman Malachi Bayless. Bucyrus held onto a 36-35 lead after three quarters.
“We gave up a couple shots at crucial times to end the half and to end the third. We’re not going to dwell on anything,” said Gossom.
The Tigers (0-16) won’t have time to dwell on much this week with three more games on the schedule. Galion plays host to River Valley on Wednesday, then plays road games on Friday at Pleasant and on Saturday at Shelby.
“We have the NBA schedule this week with four games,” joked Gossom. “This could be good because we don’t have time to think about it. It’s the first time we’ve came into the locker room at the end of the game and knew we really had a shot. You hope that confidence carries over.”
Galion, seeded 11th in the Division II Ashland District, opens postseason play on Tuesday, Feb. 23, facing No. 3 seed Norwalk in the sectional round. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on the Truckers home floor.
The Redmen have two more home games this week, on Friday against Northern 10 Athletic Conference champion Colonel Crawford and on Saturday against Upper Sandusky.
Bucyrus is the No. 9 seed in the Division III Shelby District and is scheduled to play host to No. 11 seed Lakota on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Alex Kish Memorial Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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