Dylan Herbert kept things close with a solid third quarter and Dylan Thompson exploded in the fourth to give the Buckeye Valley boys basketball team a late lead, but visiting Eastmoor Academy made just enough plays down the stretch to hang on for a 64-59 win in Saturday’s Division II sectional final in Delaware.
The Barons, who never quite found an answer for Da’Lon Keaton in the post, made their comeback with the Warrior big man on the bench late in the third. Down 40-29 with 4:50 left, Herbert hit back-to-back three-pointers, the second after a Clark Newland steal, to slice the deficit in half.
Herbert had eight of his 16 points in the third quarter alone, helping BV close the period with an 8-2 run after Eastmoor started it 12-5.
Trailing 42-37 after three, Thompson answered a Keaton hoop with a deep three to make it 46-40. Keaton, who finished with a game-best 26 points, scored again on the ensuing possession, but the Barons’ Troy Scowden came right back with a three of his own to make it a four-point game, 48-44, with 5:41 left.
Thompson followed Scowden’s clutch hoop with back-to-back buckets to even things at 50 and, after Julian Binford split a pair from the line to put the Warriors back on top, Thompson hit again to give the Barons a 52-51 edge with 3:51 left.
Thompson, who finished with a team-best 22 points, scored eight straight at one point in the fourth, but EA didn’t flinch.
Kamal Walters scored inside to help the 11th-seeded Warriors regain the lead and, after fourth-seeded BV missed the front end of a 1-and-1, completed a three-point play on the other end to make it a 60-56 game with 40 seconds left.
Thompson hit a three to close the gap to one less than five seconds later, but that’s as close as things would get. Forced to foul, the Barons sent Daylen Patterson to the line, and he calmly sank both to make it a three-point game with 30 seconds left.
BV missed a potential game-tying three on its next trip and Walters sank two more free throws on the other end to smooth out the scoring summary.
Binford and Walters backed Keaton with nine points apiece while Patterson had seven in the win.
Scowden joined Thompson and Herbert in double figures with 10 points for BV.
Next up, Eastmoor will take on eighth-seeded London in Wednesday’s district semifinal at Dublin Jerome. Tip is set for 7 p.m.