Buckley Rallies Into Class D Title Game


EAST LANSING – Buckley rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit for a 65-55 win over No. 9 Hillsdale Academy in a Class D state semifinal Thursday at the Breslin Center.

With the win, the eighth-ranked Bears (21-5) advance to their second straight Class D final. Buckley finished runner-up to Powers North Central in 2017.

Buckley took control of the game early on, securing a 20-14 lead after one quarter. Hillsdale responded by outscoring Buckley 24-11 in the second quarter to take a 38-31 lead at the half.

The Colts built on their lead in the third, going up 43-31 with 6:15 remaining. The Bears would end the quarter on a 12-0 run, holding the Colts scoreless over the 5:14.

“It was big,” Buckley senior Joey Weber said. “It helped us be able to hit those big shots at the end and keep them from scoring. Keep our lead building. Have the time going down. Have the time in our favor instead of the time in theirs.”

Austin Harris paced four Bears in double figures with 22 points. Weber scored 15 points and nine rebounds while Denver Cade and Brock Beeman tallied 11 points apiece.

“Austin made big shots. Joe made big shots,” Cade said. “Just defense. Defense wins championships, offense sells tickets. That’s what I always say. So that obviously shows. But that’s basically what we did. It’s just our defense worked to our offense and that’s how we got some open looks. And then eventually we just had to play the foul game.”

Peter Kalthoff led Hillsdale (19-7) with 17 points.

Buckley will now face No. 1 Southfield Christian (22-5) for the state title at 10 a.m. Saturday. Southfield Christian rolled to a 71-32 win over Dollar Bay in an earlier semifinal on Thursday.

Categories: Boys Basketball