Buchholz edges Eastside, continues hot start

Buchholz's Lucas Bhatia tries to go around Eastside's Kelvin Baker (24) to defend Quashawn Brittingham.
Buchholz's Lucas Bhatia tries to go around Eastside's Kelvin Baker (24) to defend Quashawn Brittingham.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The Buchholz boys basketball team has found plenty of success early this season in Elliot Harris’ first season as the Bobcats head coach.

On Friday night at Bud Seymour Gymnasium, Buchholz defended its home court and picked up its second win in a week against a city rival as the Bobcats edged Eastside, 57-53.

With the win, Buchholz improves to 5-1 overall and 3-0 at home.

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Buchholz's Palmer Watson get's fouled during the third quarter against Eastside.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Palmer Watson gets fouled during the third quarter against Eastside.

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the largest lead for either team at 10 points.

It doesn’t matter what their (Eastside’s) record is, they are physical, play hard and are well coached,” Harris said. “We are just happy to get out of here with a win.”

The first quarter see-sawed back and forth. Eastside hit three shots from behind the arc, including two from senior Davion Pugh. But Buchholz ended up with the lead after the first eight minutes as the Bobcats’ Cedric Collins hit a long three from the top of the key at the buzzer for a 16-15 Buchholz lead.

In the second period, senior forward Palmer Walton got going for Buchholz, scoring eight of his 13 first-half points. Walton hit three shots from long range in the opening half.

But Eastside senior Kelvin Baker nearly matched Walton with nine first-half points of his own. Again, Buchholz hit a three-pointer right before the buzzer, this time by Walton, and that extended the Bobcats lead to 29-25 at halftime.

The second half was the Zion Newkirk show. Newkirk, a sophomore, was held scoreless in the first half, but he was key in the second half with 13 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, along with nine rebounds.

Eastside's Quashawn Brittingham with a third quarter shot against Buchholz's Cedric Collins.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Quashawn Brittingham with a third quarter shot against Buchholz’s Cedric Collins.

“He (Zion) is a rebounding machine,” Harris said. “When Zion is being aggressive it’s hard to keep him off the boards. He had some big offensive rebounds that turned into putbacks in the second half. “

Buchholz slowly and methodically pulled away from Eastside (1-4). The lead was 43-38 for the Bobcats at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter became a free-throw shooting contest. Buchholz made 8-of-12 from the line in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.

Buchholz, who was led by Walton with 17 points and senior Collin Dunmore adding seven points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, is off until next Thursday when they travel to The Villages.

Eastside, who was paced by Baker with 17 points, returns to action next Friday at Fort White.

Eastside's Jerrel Comer (15) and Dante Bray (20) defend Buchholz's Kewan Hall.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Jerrel Comer (15) and Dante Bray (20) defend Buchholz’s Kewan Hall.
Buchholz's Palmer Walton (35) and Gabe Thompson (10) block Eastside's Davion Pugh.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Palmer Walton (35) and Gabe Thompson (10) block Eastside’s Davion Pugh.
Buchholz's Zion Newkirk with a block against Eastside's Dante Bray.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Zion Newkirk with a block against Eastside’s Dante Bray.
Buchholz's Zion Newkirk (24) and Cedric Collins (1) battle Eastside's Jerrel Comer for a rebound.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Zion Newkirk (24) and Cedric Collins (1) battle Eastside’s Jerrel Comer for a rebound.
Buchholz's Gabe Thompson can't believe a foul call against Eastside.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Gabe Thompson can’t believe a foul call against Eastside.

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