BOYS BASKETBALL: Buckeye beats Havasu despite big night from Boyd
Noah Boyd scored 23 points including three 3-pointers but the Lake Havasu boys basketball team couldn’t overcome a deep Buckeye Union team in the Knights 79-51 loss to the Hawks on Thursday.
Havasu was battling a big Buckeye team which had four guys that could and did dunk. It didn’t help the Hawks bench was immensely deep either and where the Knights stuck with just about the same rotation the entire game, Buckeye’s rotation would change every five minutes to keep their legs fresh.
In the end, the difference between the benches showed.
“To compete with a team like (Buckeye) throughout the entire game, you have to have some depth,” Lake Havasu coach Ted Darnell said. “With Dale (Whitehouse) being hurt, we’re kind of down to a six-man rotation. That really plays into because by the third or fourth quarter the legs start to go.
“I thought we held them pretty good when we were playing man-to-man defense, but then they switch to zone. We then had to switch our offense a bit, which was unconventional for us.”
Down but not out, the Knights entered the second half down 42-29 after the Hawks used a 13-4 run at the end of the second quarter.
Before Havasu knew it though, Buckeye went on a 19-4 run from the start of the second half whistle to go up 61-33 to put the game out of the Knights hands.
“It kind of seemed like they were feeling us out the first half,” senior Cole Wade said about Buckeye. “Then they exploited our weaknesses they must have gone over at halftime. It’s tough when they have 11 or 12 guys rotating all game long and we only have seven.”
Although the final score doesn’t quite show it, the Knights made the Hawks earn every point. Havasu almost won the first quarter if it wasn’t for a late run by in the final minutes. From start to finish the Knights battled and Darnell said that is all he could ask for in a game like Thursdays.
“As long as we play hard, give ourselves a chance and the kids do the things that we coach, I’m happy,” Darnell said. “We did that until we got tired. Then we were out of positions and shots weren’t falling. It happens. But we always play hard, no matter how bad we’re getting beat and I think that is one of the things I like about coach this team specifically.”
Andrew Ortega scored 10 points with two 3-pointers. Will Prater had five points and Jayden Azar added four.
The Knights are now 5-5 overall and 0-1 in West Valley regional play. Havasu heads to Bullhead City today to fave rival Mohave at 7 p.m.