Buckley Tops Lansing Christian, Reaches State Class D Final
EAST LANSING – On the heels of recording its first quarterfinal win in program history, the Buckley boys basketball team will now play for its first state championship.
Buckley held off a pesky Lansing Christian team for a 68-61 win in a Class D state semifinal Thursday at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.
Buckley (26-0) will now take on two-time defending state champion Powers North Central in Saturday’s state final. Top-ranked Powers North (27-0) registered a thrilling 84-83 double overtime win over Southfield Christian in Thursday’s earlier semifinal. Seth Polfus nailed a layup in the final second of the double overtime to secure the win.
“We came down here and we talked and we said we’re not going home,” Buckley coach Blair Moss said. “Our focus this summer was defense. I know they says defense wins championships, but I like to score… I know that we’ve got a tough task on Saturday, but we’re not afraid of anyone.”
The Bears opened Thursday’s contest with a 16-11 lead after the first quarter and led 34-32 by the break. Buckley then extended its lead to 46-42 after three quarters.
Austin Harris led Buckley with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Denver Cade tallied 13 points and nine boards. Joey Weber also pitched in with 10 points and six rebounds.
Preston Granger paced the Pilgrims with 15 points and eight boards.
Lansing Christian ends its season at 19-7.
The Bears will now look to knock off a Powers North Central team that has won a state-record 82 consecutive games.
Saturday’s championship game is slated for 10 a.m.