The Bucks are still looking for offensive consistency, though, and Richmond asserted itself defensively to start the second half and took control with a 14-3 run to pull away with a 63-41 win.

Zach Small scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Bobcats (4-0). Matt Holt added 10 points, five rebounds and four steals. Jake Kraske poured in 16 points to pace the Bucks (0-3), while Zack Grover added 11 points, six rebounds and three steals.

The Bobcats came out with intense full-court pressure to start the second half and forced 10 Buckfield turnovers to quickly inflate a 13-point halftime lead to 24.

“I think that helped a lot,” Richmond coach Phil Houdlette said of his team’s press. “We weren’t cheating so much (to make steals on the ballhandler), just trying to give them token defense until they picked the ball up and forcing them into areas where there’s no room and they have to make the pass over the top — something we could steal or they’d throw it out of bounds. We got a few easy baskets off of it.”

“We’re learning, learning, learning,” Buckfield coach Kyle Rines said. “I thought we managed it well at times and had spurts of good stuff. But we’re getting better game by game.”

After getting off to a slow start shooting (2-for-10 in the first quarter), the Bucks warmed up in the second period to trim a 17-6 deficit to six after Kraske and Noah Wiley (eight points) banked back-to-back 3-pointers.


Buckfield made five of 13 3-point attempts in the first half.

“Today was about getting moving. We had a lot of success hitting the 3, but also getting in the paint. Just not enough things to win a basketball game,” Rines said.

Richmond scored seven straight to get the margin back to 13. But Buckfield responded again, spurred by a Grover 3-pointer, to pull back within 27-19.

Nate Kendrick ignited another 7-point Richmond spurt with a 3-pointer to help the Bobcats push the lead back into double digits to stay, 34-21 at halftime.

Comments are no longer available on this story