By Michael Rich
Alaina Radcliffe scored the final nine points during a 15-0 second-quarter run to blow it open for the Buckeye Valley girls basketball team.
The Barons cruised from there, posting a 61-27 win over visiting Highland Thursday night in Delaware.
“When you win like that, you can’t be unhappy with them because they gave me great effort in short periods of time,” Barons coach Landon Fraker said. “We have to now be able to convert short periods of time into games, and once they’re able to do that, we’re going to be a very good basketball team.”
Radcliffe finished with 19 points, 12 of which came in the second frame. She finished with seven rebounds and a pair of steals for Buckeye Valley (9-5).
“My hip has been hurting me in practice, so I was just expecting a regular game,” Radcliffe said. “That came out of nowhere.”
“(Radcliffe) has been playing well — she’s been doing a lot of good things,” Fraker said. “Alaina is streaky and I’m glad she’s streaking on the good side. She was due to have a good game, and that’s what she’s capable of.
“She wasn’t content — she wasn’t content in the post, she wasn’t content on the perimeter — she did exactly what she was supposed to do.”
It took awhile for the Barons to get going, coming off a six-point performance against Olentangy Orange in the second half.
“I think we were all hurt by Orange because we beat them last year,” Radcliffe said “I think (the win) will be good going into next week with two league games against North Union and Harding.”
Tess Hughes scored a put-back bucket a little under three and a half minutes in to break a scoreless tie.
Morgan Scowden broke a 4-4 tie with the first of her two three-pointers. She had eight of her 10 points in the first half and finished with five rebounds, five steals and four assists to round out her effort.
“(Scowden) had a pretty complete game,” Fraker said. “Morgan’s starting to hit her stride. She’s doing a lot of things well on the floor.”
The Barons led 9-4 through one period.
“We made a small adjustment defensively to get us up and pressure a little more … it led to some easier baskets,” Fraker said.
Harlee Steck found Taylor Belcher for a basket that pulled the Scots within five early in the second quarter, but BV held Highland off the scoreboard until late in the period when Belcher finally ended the run.
BV took a 32-13 lead into the locker room.
“I think what picked up was the intensity of our defense,” Fraker said. “Once the intensity of our defense picked up, it lead to us converting on the offensive end.”
Belcher and Steck led Highland (3-11) with seven points apiece. Belcher finished with four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Kenzie Fuller pulled down five rebounds to lead the Scots.
Hughes came within a basket and a rebound of a double-double for BV, scoring eight points and pulling down a game-high nine boards.
Buckeye Valley outscored the Scots 29-14 in the second half to close out the win.
The Barons have won five straight meetings against Highland, last losing Dec. 17, 2011. The Scots have not won in Delaware since Dec. 17, 2010.
BV returns to MOAC-Red play at Fairbanks Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.