OLD WASHINGTON — Battling through a sluggish third quarter, host Buckeye Trail held on to open Inter-Valley Conference play with a 45-33 victory over Indian Valley on Tuesday evening.
"To get this IVC win in front of our home fans tonight was huge," Buckeye Trail head coach Drew Mesiter said. "Our league is so competitive you don’t want to lag behind early if you want to have any hope to stay in the race.
"We got a little loose with what our shot selection needed to be in the third quarter," Meister added. "But we are playing a lot of guys with little varsity playing time, so we are kind of piecing some other young parts in there ... so we can get in the film room and take a look at our mistakes in that third quarter and grow from it."
Entering the third quarter, the Warriors held a 27-18 lead, but as Meister explained, some poor choices enabled the visiting Braves to make a move by outscoring the hosts 7-4 to close within 31-25 entering the fourth period.
But Trail regrouped. Led by senior Ronnie Romancer’s six points and a spirited game-long robust rebounding effort by Rominger, fellow senior Jack Parry and freshman Garrett Burga, the Warriors enjoyed a 14-8 scoring advantage to collect the IVC opening night win.
"I thought our guys came out at half and played really well," IV head coach Jamie Herman explained. "We showed some good toughness and rebounded much better in that third quarter."
"We need to do a ton of that because we are just a really young team right now," Herman stated. "We don’t have much varsity experience and that’s what we are gaining right now each night out. I like what I see from this group and feel good about how much we can grow as the year goes on."
Buckeye Trail flexed its muscle off the glass all night with a total of 39 rebounds. Parry pulled down 14. Rominger, Burga and point guard Franko Rome each finished with seven boards.
"Those guys did a great job by committee rebounding the basketball tonight," Meister stated. "They take pride in rebounding and have a drive to win the rebounding battle every night."
Rominger paced the Buckeye Trail (2-1, 1-0 IVC) scoring effort with 12 points, with Rome adding double-figure help with 11. Parry finished with nine markers and Burga chipped in with eight points for the winners.
Indian Valley (0-2, 0-1 IVC) failed to land anyone in double figures, with Lucas Hagan and Zeb Fisher each collecting seven points. Grant Tschudy, Mason Rummell and Mason Love each finished with five points for the Braves.
Fisher did a solid job of battling the Warriors off the glass with 12 rebounds on the night.