BUCKFIELD – Buckfield coach Cam Cowett flipped through his scorebook and ran through the litany of games that his Bucks have seen slip away seemingly in the blink of an eye.

“Everybody is so tough this year (in the East-West Conference), there’s going to be a lot of close games. We just haven’t been able to close out close games,” he said.

The Bucks enjoyed a rare laugher Saturday by putting Vinalhaven away early and completing a weekend sweep of the Vikings, 73-34.

Vinalhaven was pesky Friday night, hanging around until the Bucks ran away with a big third quarter from Chris Reuter for a 61-32 win. Saturday, Reuter and Jamie Henderson combined to spark a 31-2 run between the first and second quarters to move the game out of reach well before halftime.

Henderson scored nine of his 10 points in the first quarter to help the Bucks (5-6) finish the first quarter with 13 unanswered points and a 20-8 lead. Reuter, who had an 18-point third quarter the night before, came off the bench and tallied 10 of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter Saturday. All of those points came in an 18-2 run to begin the period that essentially salted the game away.

Josh Ames led Vinalhaven (4-7) with eight points.

“This was good for them. I think it was a confidence boost,” Cowett said. “Hopefully, it shoots them back into the right direction. I think all we need is one more credible win and we’re in the playoffs.”

Winners of three in a row and five of their last eight, the Bucks have been climbing the Heal Points standings the last couple of weeks. Part of the resurgence has been the return high-energy senior forward Sean Ridge (12 points), who recently had two screws removed from an ankle he broke during football season.

“We depend on Sean for a lot of energy,” Cowett said. “He and (senior forward) Jeff Bennett (seven points, seven rebounds) get each other going. Jeff is big-time on the offensive glass.”

“The younger guys are playing pretty well now, too,” he added. “I think we’re pretty deep.”

Cowett believes the Bucks have yet to play their best game. What he’s looking for is more balance to take some of the scoring load off Henderson

“It seems like we just have two kids scoring. It’s not always the same two. It’s been uneven. I’m waiting for…I’m not waiting for, I’m pushing for, four scorers,” he said.

The Bucks will need as much scoring as they can get for their next game, which is in Bingham against Valley next Friday.

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