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High School Basketball

High school basketball: Buckeye powers through to thrilling North Ridgeville Division II Section final victory

YORK TWP. — With everything hanging in the balance — the game, the season, their careers — seniors Braeden Stauffer and Mikey Novick put the weight of the world on their shoulders.

And like Atlas holding up the sky, the Buckeye seniors lived to play another day.

Fourth-seeded Clearview appeared to have all the momentum heading into the fourth quarter Friday, but the backcourt duo dominated and willed the third-seeded Bucks to a thrilling 75-60 triumph in a North Ridgeville Division II Sectional final.

Buckeye (19-4), which won only the sixth sectional title in school history but third in the last four years, advanced to battle No. 2 Bay, a double-overtime winner over Keystone, Thursday in the district semis.

“It’s just nice to get another number up on that banner,” said Stauffer, who won 18 of the last 20 home games of his career. “It’s also nice to get a revenge game, too (Clearview won 76-67 on Feb. 14).

“We’ve got a great fan base. It’s fun to play at Buckeye.”

The twitchy-fast Stauffer bombed from 25 feet multiple times and finished with a career-high 28 points on 8-of-13 field goals, including 6-of-10 3-pointers, and 6-of-6 free throws. After a scoreless third period, the 6-foot-1 shooting guard scored 11 points in the fourth, including nine in the last 5:23.

The unflappable and consistent Novick pumped in a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-6 threes, and 2-of-4 free throws to go with a game-high-tying five assists. In the fourth, the 5-11 two-year starter had nine points and two assists, including the dagger dime for a corner 3-pointer by Joey Bartinelli with 1:30 to play.

Buckeye led 46-45 after the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division champion Clippers (18-5) ended the third quarter on a 14-2 run behind mid-range specialist Deuce Martin (23 points) and Michigan State football recruit DeAri Todd (19, 9 rebounds), but Novick and Stauffer hit three 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth, and Stauffer free throws pushed the advantage to 57-47 with 5:23 left.

The Bucks were never challenged the rest of the night, as the 6-2 Martin, who is on the short list for PAC MVP, rolled his ankle early in the third quarter and missed five of his final six shots. Clearview also was missing 11-point scorer and starting guard Javon Todd (concussion).

“Novick and Stauffer, I’ve been playing against both those guys for a while,” Martin said. “We knew they would come out with 3-pointers and attack. It’s hard to go against that.”

As has been the case all season in rematch games, the Bucks came out blazing. Power forward Carter Hudak (8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) was a pest with non-stop hustle, Stauffer was in the zone and Novick was directing traffic as Buckeye led 16-4 just 4:29 in.

Martin settled in, kept attacking Buckeye rim-protector Justin Canedy (7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals) and helped limit 15-point scorer Bartinelli to 1-for-6 shooting in the first half.

The Clippers also made sure to keep the 245-pound DeAri Todd involved, though he wasn’t nearly the factor he was when he had 34 points in the first meeting.

Clearview cut the deficit to single digits, but Stauffer pulled up in Todd’s face from the volleyball line to give Buckeye a 37-27 lead at halftime.

That comfort zone was short-lived when the Clippers, whose five other rotation players combined for 18 points on 8-for-23 shooting, made their move after the Bucks shot a miserable 3-for-13 (1-of-7 threes) in the third quarter.

But Novick and Stauffer refused to lose.

“We’re both good shooters,” Novick said. “Coach (Tom Harrington) tells us to shoot the ball, and we let ’em fly.

“We got lazy in the third quarter. We weren’t ready for their pressure. They pressured a lot harder, but going into the fourth we hit a few shots and it opened the game for us.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Buckeye 75, Clearview 60

North Ridgeville Division II Sectional Final

CLEARVIEW 11 16 18 15 — 60

BUCKEYE 20 17 9 29 — 75

Clearview — Evan Berrios 2-4 0-2 4, Gee Newton 0-3 0-0 0, DeAri Todd 8-14 3-4 19, Deuce Martin 11-19 0-0 23, Jamel Billings 2-8 0-0 4, Jaylen Paschel 2-4 0-0 4, Sam Daniels 2-4 0-0 4, Jonathan Coutch 0-0 0-0 0, Mykel Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Collier 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Kozich 0-0 0-0 0, Tracy Daniels 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 28-57 3-4 60.

Buckeye — Joey Bartinelli 3-10 0-0 7, Carter Hudak 3-10 2-4 8, Justin Canedy 2-4 4-7 8, Braeden Stauffer 8-13 6-6 28, Mikey Novick 8-11 2-4 22, Spencer Imes 1-5 0-0 2, Michael Doerge 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Watkins 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Knierim 0-0 0-0 0, Brock Brumfield 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 25-53 14-21 75.

3-point goals — Clearview 1-9 (Martin 1-3, Berrios 0-1, Paschel 0-1, Billings 0-4), Buckeye 11-27 (Stauffer 6-10, Novick 4-6, Bartinelli 1-6, Hudak 0-2, Imes 0-3). Rebounds — Clearview 29 (Todd, Billings 9), Buckeye 31 (Canedy 9). Assists — Clearview 8 (Billings 4), Buckeye 14 (Hudak, Novick 5). Turnovers — Clearview 15 (Billings 5), Buckeye 14 (Novick 5). Fouls — Clearview 15, Buckeye 10. Fouled out — None. Records — Clearview (18-5), Buckeye (19-4).

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