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Talented Buchtel defeats Tallmadge in possible sectional preview

Published: February 21, 2017 9:17 PM
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It could be a preview for things to come.
If that's the case, the Tallmadge boys basketball hopes the sequel is better than the first one.
The host Blue Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end after losing to Akron Buchtel 71-65 Feb. 21 at James O. Maddox Court.
With the loss, Tallmadge dropped to 12-8 on the season. The Griffins improved to 15-5.
The two teams could meet again in the Canton Division II sectional-district tournament.
Second-seeded Buchtel is scheduled to entertain Canal Fulton Northwest in a sectional semifinal contest Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
If the Griffins win that contest, they are set to host sixth-seeded Tallmadge in a sectional title game March 3 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils have an opening-round bye.
Buchtel led most of the way and had a 29-22 advantage, including a 15-7 edge in the second half, on the glass. The Griffins got a majority of their points in the paint as Buchtel made it point to go inside time and time again.
Tallmadge trailed by as many as 14 (63-49) early int he fourth quarter, but the Blue Devils rallied. They just simply didn't have enough time or energy to keep up with the faster, more athletic Griffins, who led 29-26 at halftime and had 11 offensive rebounds.
Nine players scored for Buchtel, which made 11-of-23 shots from the foul line. Four Griffins reached double digits in scoring.
Amir Solomon led Buchtel with a season-high 17 points and Brandon McGinnis finished with 16 points.
Isiah Rogers and John King contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively, for the Griffins.
Tallmadge junior forward Matthew Francesconi led all scorers with 24 points  on 9-of-17 shooting. Junior guard/forward Zach Boyd added 14 points and sophomore guard Sam Seeker finished with 11 points.
The rest of the Blue Devils, who made 12-of-17 from the free throw line, finished with just 14 points.
Tallmadge also had two key players go down with injuries. Junior guard Seth Gergely hurt his ankle in the final seconds of the first half and did not return.
Senior guard Josh Taylor landed awkwardly on his hand in the second half.
Buchtel posted a 46-39 win in the junior varsity contest.

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