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Nelsonville-York Buckeyes Southern Tornadoes
Southern Tornadoes @ Nelsonville-York Buckeyes Dec. 3 2019

Buckeyes Notch First Win of Season Versus Tornadoes

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio- The Nelsonville-York Buckeyes were eager to notch their first win under new coach Blaine Gabriel following a two-point loss in their opener last week. 

The Buckeyes wasted no time grabbing a lead they would not surrender on their way to a 51-39 victory over the Southern Tornadoes on Tuesday to secure Gabriel’s first win as coach for Nelsonville-York.

Things got going quickly for the Buckeyes. They scored the first 13 points of the game with an outside attack led by their starting lineup. Seniors Austin Thrapp and Mikey Seel both hit threes early, but it was junior Drew Carter who stole the show. Carter hit two threes on his own that helped kickstart the Buckeyes offense on their way to an 18-point opening period that would be their highlight of the night offensively.

The main reason the Buckeyes were able to build a double-digit lead so early, however, was because of their swarming defense. They pressured Southern ballhandlers into a plethora of turnovers, and when the Tornadoes did get shots off, they were constantly contested by Buckeye defenders. The Tornadoes only made one basket in the first quarter and had a 20-2 deficit early in the second quarter.

Instead of folding after a rough start, the Tornadoes fought their way back into the game. Led by Cole Steele and Trey McNickle, Southern managed to get the lead down to single digits by halftime. Arrow Drummer used his size to corral rebounds and earn free throws. Both players did a good job penetrating the Nelsonville-York zone defense for layups to help chip away at the lead. Steele would finish with a team-high 13 points, and McNickle would end the night with 10. Defensively, Southern cracked down on open three-pointers and forced turnovers, entering the fourth with a nine-point deficit to the Buckeyes.

Nelsonville-York would not be denied on their way to their first victory of the season. Carter had a steal and two free throws to extend the lead on his way to a 13-point outing, only outdone by junior Ethan Gail, who hit four free throws late to tally a game-high 16 points and seal the win for the Buckeyes.

Nelsonville-York will have time to celebrate Gabriel’s first win with the program, as their next game is not until next Tuesday, Dec. 10th against the Athens Bulldogs in Athens.