DELAWARE, Ohio -- In a matchup that was decided by just a single point the first time the two teams met up, Buckeye Valley (8-7) got revenge on Marion Harding (5-10) on Saturday. Despite losing the first meeting between the two, Buckeye Valley looked to be a completely different team tonight, dominating on their way to a huge 64-23 win.
The Barons clearly wanted to be there more than Harding, and it was evident from the opening tip.
After they took control of the tip, freshman stud Dylan Thompson buried a three on the first possession and Buckeye Valley hopped out to a quick lead. After another three from junior Dylan Herbert, Thompson converted a transition lay-in, forcing a Marion Harding timeout with the Barons leading 10-2 early on.
They used another quick 7-0 run capped off by a triple from sophomore Jack Rotondo to take a commanding 17-6 lead into the second frame. Clicking on all cylinders and knocking down open shots at a high rate, the Barons did not look back for the rest of the night.
After another huge 15-2 run in which Buckeye Valley hit two tough triples, a three from Herbert forced a Marion Harding timeout as they trailed 32-8 with 3:33 to go in the half.
Taking a huge 34-12 lead into the half, the Barons almost doubled this in the second half, putting on an excellent showing in front of the home crowd. Behind great transition offense, good ball security and lockdown defense, they controlled the entire second half as well, allowing them to roll to this win.
For Harding, they really struggled to hit open shots tonight against a defense that you have to capitalize against when they leave you open. Senior Garey Moaney was their best bet to generate offense all night, finishing with seven points. Junior Mitch Myers also contributed six points.
They will not play again until next Thursday when they host Shelby.
Buckeye Valley dominated tonight, as they put on a great display of team basketball. Making the extra pass, talking on defense and rebounding, they locked down Harding en route to this big win.
Thompson led them with a career-high of 18 points, putting on an excellent showing both on and off the ball. Herbert filled the stat sheet up, finishing with 11 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. Rotondo chipped in with 11 points as well and junior Max Stokey scored 10 to go along with nine rebounds.
They have a very tough test coming up as they host Worthington Christian on Tuesday.
Dylan Thompson (6’1 CG / Buckeye Valley / 2022): One of two starters for Buckeye Valley that is an alum of The Intro in last August, we were blown away with the maturity of Thompson’s game tonight. Going for a career-high 18 points, he was in attack mode from the very beginning, knocking down a smooth catch and shoot three from the wing on the very first possession of the game.
On offense, Thompson was excellent tonight. Looking to score first when in one-on-one situations, he excelled at getting by his defender regardless of who was guarding him. He uses good hesitation and headfake moves to deceive his man before he blows by with his lightning quick first step. He did an excellent job of keeping defenders off balance all night and used very long strides to get into the lane on a number of occasions. When he was inside, the freshman showed to have the ability to score it in multiple ways. Converting an extremely high level up-and-under early on the first, he displayed great control and finesse touch when coming down the baseline. He hit two soft touch floaters in the lane as well and showed good potential as both a spot up shooter and a shooter off the dribble. Despite only knocking down one three in the game, Thompson showed great potential in the mid-range as well when he hit a tough pull-up jumper while driving baseline, also a testament to his above-average handle. Also doing an excellent job at filling lanes in transition, Thompson could become an elite scorer in high school with continued development and growth.
On defense, Thompson was excellent on the ball as he locked down the Harding guards on the perimeter all night. He came up with two steals on that end of the floor, one of which was a chase down in transition, using great speed, quickness and active hands on that end of the floor.
Just being a freshman, Thompson has the potential to become an elite two-way player for Buckeye Valley in the coming years as he is already gaining experience at a young age.
Dylan Herbert (6’1 CG / Buckeye Valley / 2020): A knockdown shooter who has turned in some huge scoring performances already this season, we liked the overall game and decision making of Herbert in Saturday’s contest. He finished with a solid all-around stat line of 11 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists.
Herbert has an extremely quick release from the perimeter and used it to knock down three triples in the contest. As he is not afraid to shoot with just a little bit of space, Herbert still makes good decisions with the ball and avoids taking bad shots for the betterment of his team. He is not the longest or strongest, but can shoot with the best of them. As he knocked down one of his three’s curling off of a screen around the top of the key, he showed excellent ability to shoot off movement, something that you must be able to do if you rely on your outside stroke heavily. He also knocked down a tough pull-up off of a combo cross move with comfortability. Though he can score in volumes, Herbert showed off great vision tonight in both the full court and half court, but specifically in transition. Making several over-the-top passes to sprinting teammates, he kept his head on a swivel the entire night as the lead ball handler against the Harding press. A good ball handler as well, he had no problems with this.
On defense, Herbert is an above-average on ball defender who has quick feet. He does not have the most active hands, but he stays involved and keeps his man in front with his quick feet. He also does a good job of staying within the system off the ball, a trait which everyone on the Buckeye Valley roster showed off tonight.
Overall, Herbert is an elite shooter who can score it in more than one way. With added strength, he can round out to be a very good two-way guard at the next level.
Troy Scowden (6’6 F / Buckeye Valley / 2022): Though he did not have a dominant night in terms of scoring, we liked several traits that the freshman flashed tonight. Standing at 6-foot-6 and not lacking thickness, Scowden has the ideal build of a power forward despite being slightly short (just a freshman). He has posted some huge games earlier this season in terms of scoring and rebounding, but filled up several other categories tonight.
Finishing with four points, six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals, he turned in an excellent all-around performance. A great interior defender who negates shots with his length, Scowden blocked three Harding attempts tonight and altered many more. He also showed great instincts by jumping two passes which led to easy buckets on the other end.
On offense, he did not get to do much work in the post, but showed excellent vision out of it. As he saw several double teams on the block, he showed great patience and vision, using his length to throw over top of the defense and kick out to an open teammate. Though we would have liked to see him in more post up situations, we have seen in previous viewings that the freshman is very capable of scoring on the block.
A monster freshman at 6-foot-6, keep an eye on Scowden’s name in the MOAC for the next several seasons.