MERCERSBURG - The James Buchanan boys basketball team had one major thing on its mind Tuesday - redemption from a poor performance in the Big Spring Holiday Tournament against the hosts.
A 27-point win over the Bulldogs, 75-48, in a Mid Penn Colonial Division game is certainly a good place to start.
"Losing up there in the championship of the Christmas tournament, our guys wanted to prove that they could play better than what we did up there," James Buchanan coach Larry Strawoet said.
JB started strong, capitalizing on Big Spring turnovers in the first quarter, as the Bulldogs turned the ball over more than seven times in the first eight minutes. The Rockets limited Big Spring (6-8, 1-6 MPC) to five field goals in the first half, with eight of its 18 points coming on free throws in the first two frames.
"Right off the tip I think JB was more prepared and executed better than we did," Big Spring coach Jason Creek said. "I think they were just more aggressive. We were in panic mode, especially when we got down."
With a 33-16 lead at the half, James Buchanan (10-4, 5-2 MPC) was in a comfortable place.
"It's always harder to come from behind with them, so getting a big lead at the beginning was key," James Buchanan's Jared Pine said.
Pine finished with one of his most complete games of the season, scoring 16 points while shooting 46 percent from the field, and had six assists and five steals.
"In the second half we got out of our zone and gambled a lot to try to get back into the game," Creek said. "We take pride in our defense - we only average giving up 40 points per game this year - but they hit a lot of shots; they executed better than we did."
"I felt like I took some high quality shots. I was feeling it tonight," Pine said. "We we're distributing the ball well to everyone."
The Rockets were led by Ryan Hege, who had his third double-double in as many games with 17 points and 11 assists. He also finished the night with two blocks.
Gage Piper and Zach Vosburg each scored 15 points for the Rockets.
"It was a good team win tonight on both ends of the floor," Strawoet said. "We made some very unselfish moves on offense. Our effort was good tonight. I'm never satisfied, but certainly our guys did a lot of good things tonight that they can take away from this."
Big Spring's Peyton Bechtold was a threat on the outside in the second half, after not scoring a point in the first 16 minutes. Bechtold nailed three consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter, and finished the game scoring 20 points.
James Buchanan 75, Big Spring 48
Big Spring (48)
Ryker Armond 1 6-8 8, Jared Petty 1 1-1 3, Nick Black 1 3-5 5, Bryce Ruth 4 0-1 8, Peyton Bechtold 6 3-4 20, Josh Header 1 2-2 4, Conner Griffie 0 0-0 0, Trevor Moyer 0 0-0 0, Jesse Jarstetter 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 15-22 48.
James Buchanan (75)
Jared Pine 7 1-2 16, Gage Piper 6 0-0 15, Zach Vosburg 6 3-5 15, Cody Tacker 1 0-0 2, Ryan Hege 8 1-2 17, Toby Sowers 2 0-0 4, Justin Helman 0 0-0 0, Hunter Sowers 0 0-0 0, Kyle Buchanan 0 2-2 2, Ryan Wassil 1 0-0 2, Owen Stoner 1 0-0 2. Totals — 32 7-12 75.
Big Spring _ 8 _ 10 _ 17 _ 13 _ — _ 48
James Buchanan _ 18 _ 15 _ 19 _ 21_ — _ 75
3-point goals — BS 5 (Bechtold), JB 4 (Piper 3, Pine).
JV score — James Buchanan 39, Big Spring 30. Owen Stoner led the Rockets with 11 points.