Updated Thu, Feb 13, 2014 1:59 am
The six Nelsonville-York Buckeye seniors played their final home game, as they contributed to a sound victory over the River Valley Raiders 58-41.
“They have all greatly contributed to this team in the past, and in the future, so their legacy is pretty secure with me,” head coach Jay Kline said after the game.
The Bucks took the floor with a lot of emotion, and that translated to a lot of heart and hustle that earned them their twelfth win of the season.
With a face-paced start to the game, both teams missed out on a number of scoring opportunities and had a difficult time taking care of the ball. The Raiders unveiled a full-court press that gave N-Y some problems. River Valley’s pressure only forced six first half turnovers, but they successfully disrupted the flow of the Buckeye offense.
Once Nelsonville-York was comfortable, the Bucks looked no further than to senior guard Josh Fayette to provide the spark they were looking for. Fayette posted all of his 11 points in the first half, along with six of his eight rebounds. He played the role of floor general, as N-Y shot 46 percent and went into the locker room with a 14-point lead.
River Valley tried to make some adjustments for the start of the third quarter, but to no avail. The Buckeye defense held the Raiders to a meager 29 percent from the field, which prompted Nelsonville-York’s 12-2 run that really put the game away.
Because the Raiders could not recover, the Buckeyes spent most of the fourth quarter playing their bench players. The home crowd went wild for players like Cameron Chilcote, Jason Riffle and Evin Stotts, as they kept River Valley at bay until the final buzzer.
N-Y has two remaining regular season games in Wellston and Meigs, but can’t help but to look ahead to a first round postseason matchup with Crooksville, who ended their season last year on a game-winning 3-pointer.
As for the seniors (Wade Lent, Cannon Kilbarger, Fayette, Ryan McManus, Stotts and Riffle), they are looking to keep this season going for as long as they can.
When referring to his feelings on playing with this group of seniors, Fayette could only smile and say, “It’s hard to explain.”