Slow start haunts Bearcats again against Bucs

GRAFTON – The Grafton High School boys basketball team played their first contest of 2019 last Thursday night at home against the Buccaneers of Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

Once again the Bearcats fell behind early as the Bucs outscored the Cats 26 to 14 in the first quarter. The Cats played almost even the remaining three quarters but could never get the lead as they fell to Buckhannon-Upshur 84 to 69.

It was not a matter of offense for GHS as they were able to score 69 points in the contest. The problem for the Cats came on the defensive side of the ball.

“We are having trouble defending and rebounding the basketball,” said veteran head coach Mike Johnson. “We have been working on a few new defenses and I thought tonight that we were better than we have been in the last few games,” added Johnson.

As mentioned before the Cats fell behind by 12 in the first quarter and then played a little closer in the second quarter as they found themselves down 47 to 29 at the half.

The Cats turned the tables in the third as they outscored the Bucs 22 to 19. In this quarter the Bearcats had seven different players put points on the home side of the scoreboard. The fourth quarter was played almost even as the Buccaneers cruised to their 84 to 69 win.

Jack Faulkner led the Bearcats with 20 points in the contest. The remaining GHS points were scored by Blake Moore (14), Caleb Bish (12), Dylan Massie (10), Ryan Maier (5), Logan Beltner (4), Matt Gallo (30 and Garrett Wellman (3).

“Over the last five or six games we have just started so slow in the first quarter,” said Coach Johnson. “I really can’t explain why as we have tried to mix a few things up, but nothing seems to help. We just come out of the gate slow and when you look at it, it has been the difference in many of the games. We tell the kids all the time that you can’t win the game in the first four minutes but you sure can lose it in the first four minutes,” Johnson added.

The JV Cats were also in action as they also fell to B-U 49 to 36. The GHS points were scored by Tanner Taylor (15), Ryan Maier (9), Xavier Floyd (7), Carson Lambert (7), Joe Charlton (7), Isaiah Stottlemyer (3) and Luke Wiseman (1).

The Bearcats will be back in action tomorrow night as they travel to Bridgeport to face the Indians. The JV game is set ti tip at 5:45 p.m. with the varsity contest to follow at 7:30 p.m.


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