Buckeye Wins By 63 In Blowout

by Justin Vargas | Posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Buckeye basketball has been creating quite the buzz in the West Valley as of late.  That buzz only intensifies with time, as they held on to a 11-3 record going into Thursday night’s game.  Buckeye has yet to lose to an in-state opponent.  They would take on Gila Ridge on Thursday night at home, and would make sure it was never even a game.  Head coach Randy Bland has these Hawks flying high!

Buckeye was flat out just too much for Gila Ridge from the opening tip - like Mike Tyson stepping into the ring with your local gym flyweight fighter.

Buckeye’s 6-foot-5 ultra-talented wing Otis Frazier’s second 3-pointer in the first 2 minutes of the game would make it 10-0 to start the game.  The Hawks’ defensive pressure overwhelmed Gila early, as it became a problem just trying to get the ball advanced to half court.

On the offensive side of the ball, Buckeye’s ball movement was nothing short of impressive, even for playing against a much lesser talented opponent.  Frazier would get a steal at half-court and finish with a transition 2-hand slam dunk to push the score to 17-0.

Gila Ridge would score their first point on a free-throw, as Buckeye looked disappointed for even allowing them to get on the scoreboard.  With a minute left in the opening period, Buckeye’s 6-foot-1 sophomore star point guard Za-Ontay “Tay” Boothman would hit a tough and-1 layup, through heavy contact in heavy traffic - to give his team a lopsided 28-3 lead with a minute left in the opening quarter.  Buckeye would go into the second period up 32-5, as Frazier connected on 4 of 5 of his free throw attempts.

Not much would change in the 2nd quarter, including the Hawks’ pace of play, as they continued to fly all over the court - creating turnover after turnover, and converting them into easy buckets.  Boothman would drop off a nice dime to the cutting 6-foot-6 junior forward Adam Hamilton to make it 43-8 with (2) minutes to go in the half.  Coach Bland would take his squad into the locker room up 44-9.

Explaining anything in the second half would just be a repetition of the first, as Buckeye just flat out dominated the contest.  However, what should be noted is that Buckeye never let their foot off the gas.  Though there would be a little heckling from the crowd on the other side, this is my opinion; you allowed your kid to sign up to play at this level.  You had to know that eventually your team would face a much superior opponent that has bigger aspirations, as to what their season and basketball careers entail.

Buckeye is a team that should not find much competition in any opponent, until they square off with their toughest match-up of any of their high school careers on February 1st against Shadow Mountain.  Nevertheless, they will have things that they need and want to clean up.  At the level this team can play at, they will need to have a focus on staying consistent and motivated to play at the highest level for the entire game.  Thus, that is why there is an importance for them to stay the course, and continue to do what they do, even in blow-out victories.  That is exactly what they did Thursday night, as they routed Gila Bend 87-24.  They continued to press and trap on defense.  They continued to fight for rebounds and hit the deck for loose balls.  They continued to move the ball and push each other.  That’s what you ask for out of your team as a coach.

Frazier (pictured) would end with a game-high 36 points, as Boothman would add 17 in a great team win.

While Frazier and Boothman receive most of the recognition, and rightfully so, they are great talents and prospects.  However, this team is much more than just the duo of those two.  They have length, quickness and toughness.  Their other guards fly around and create turnovers.  While they do not have a traditional center, they have some forwards and wings that can rebound and finish tough inside.  Adam and Ethan Hamilton provide that in the paint for the Hawks, as they run the floor almost as well as the guards.

But Frazier is special.  Every time I see him, he looks more and more like a high-major prospect.  He has some real weapons in that arsenal of his.  He is the real-deal-Holyfield!

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