DELAWARE – Buckeye Valley boys basketball coach Andy Gast pumped both fists walking out of the handshake line.
He had reason to be excited. His Barons put together the kind of performance most coaches wish they could have every game.
Was it perfect? No, but everybody played well and the Barons efforted their way to a 66-51 win over rival and previously unbeaten Marion Pleasant in MOAC play Wednesday night.
“It wasn’t just our freshmen – everybody we put in the game contributed,” Gast said. “I couldn’t be more proud of how hard every kid on our team played.”
Freshman Dylan Thompson scored seven consecutive points during a 14-2 run that gave BV the lead for good in the first quarter and fellow freshmen Jevin Beard led a 9-0 rally in the fourth quarter to help the Barons pull away.
“That was the best complete game Thompson has played all year,” Gast said. “He’s on the floor because he’s a defender – that’s why he’s earning minutes. But – offensively – he took the ball to the basket, he hit some threes and that’s a huge lift for us offensively.”
Beard also dished out three assists and had a couple of steals to help BV in the final frame. He finished with eight helpers and seven boards overall.
Thompson scored 17 points and had three steals, fellow freshman Troy Scowden added 16 points and six rebounds and ole reliable Dylan Herbert chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the Barons (3-3, 2-2).
“Our main point is to get the win every night,” Herbert said. “If I’m not scoring, I’ve gotta be dishing it out and other guys have to be producing for us – so, it just works out like that.”
The fourth of those freshmen, Owen Osbourne, pulled down three boards on the offensive end and played significant minutes off the bench.
It was necessary.
BV was whistled for 14 fouls in the first half. Herbert had three and was on the bench before the break.
“We got into some foul trouble, so we had to pull off our full-court press,” Gast said. “We’re getting used to playing with each other and we put it all together tonight.”
But the Barons kept their heads above water, using a 7-1 rally to push the lead to eight late in the second; led by Scowden, Beard and Thompson.
“These freshmen are insane,” Herbert said. “It’s crazy how they’ve stepped up going from eighth grade last year to this level. I’m surprised by how much they’ve adapted.”
BV pushed the lead as high as 10 in the third quarter before the Spartans turned to Ethan Warner, who scored four points in a 6-0 rally to end the third down 49-45.
But a Beard steal-and-score pushed the lead back to six and started a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Warner led all scorers with 19 points, Gage Williams added 11 and Cohl Ambrose chipped in eight and had nine boards to lead the Spartans (3-1, 3-1).
BV hosts Olentangy Berlin Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in former coach Donovon Barrett’s return. Barrett coached the Barons for 14 seasons, compiling a 193-99 mark with seven MOAC championships.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.