Donovan Geiger delivers in 4th quarter to lead Buckeye Trail to 52-42 OVAC victory
OLD WASHINGTON −Junior Donovan Geiger continues to get comfortable with his new expanded role for his Buckeye Trail team.
And on Friday night, Geiger delivered with a clutch fourth quarter effort from the charity stripe to help Trial hold off Fort Frye for a 52-42 victory in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference matchup.
The team lost junior guard Koen Eagon for the season, with a broken arm suffered during a road game at Tuscarawas Central Catholic a few weeks ago. Since then Geiger has seen an increase in both his minutes on the floor, and in the ball handling duties for the Warriors and head coach Gregg Strasser.
"Donovan has just kind of migrated towards taking up the ball handling slack from us not having Koen out there," Strasser explained. "He's getting more comfortable with his new role, and you can see that out there on the court. I'm really happy for Donovan, because this is really the first full year he's had since the seventh grade. He's had an injury every other year."
"He's always had the talent, he just couldn't stay healthy and out on the court. So I'm very happy for him, he deserves to finally get out there and show what he can do."
Buckeye Trail clung to a slim 45-42 lead after Fort Frye's Zach Huffman's basket with just 2:31 left in the game with the Cadets' mounting a fourth quarter rally.
With his team needing a spark to maintain control, Geiger stepped to the forefront and delivered with an impressive effort from the foul line.
Geiger answered Huffman's basket by knocking down four consecutive free throws, on back-to-back 1-and-1 opportunities to boost the Trail lead out to 49-42 with just 1 minute left to play. Following a Fort Frye turnover, Geiger stepped to the foul line for yet another 1-and-1 opportunity and converted his fifth consecutive foul shot for a 50-42 Buckeye Trail lead with 43.9 seconds left. Geiger would miss the second shot on that trip, but the damage was done with a clutch 5-for-6 performance to seal the home court win.
Buckeye Trail lead throughout the first three quarters, despite suffering through some foul trouble by three starters and a fourth starter missing some time with an injury. That was accomplished by Strasser getting a big effort off his bench from juniors Gavin Rome, Janson Alloway, Jett Giesey, Wyatt Tank, Brady Hastings and sophomore Travis Dodd.
"It's a great feeling to be able to have confidence in all 11 of your guys to come in and contribute," Strasser continued. "And that's what we got tonight, this was a true team victory and I'm really proud of my guys."
Buckeye Trail held a 24-20 lead at halftime with Geiger leading the way with six points, with juniors Charlie Parry and Brady Hastings each adding four points.
In the third quarter, Trail used a 12-8 scoring edge to extend their lead out to 36-28 heading to the fourth quarter. Senior Garrett Burga had a big quarter with six points for Buckeye Trail.
Fort Frye opened the fourth period by connecting on three consecutive 3-pointers to take its first lead of the night at 37-36 with 6:11 left in the game.
"They were hitting some big shots in that fourth quarter, some really deep shots as well," Strasser added. "They are a scrappy, well coached team and they can shoot it well. When they get it going like they did there in that fourth, they can be a handful to deal with."
"So we had our hands full tonight for sure," Strasser offered. "I'm just proud of my guys effort, that battled through and got the job done. We got a big lift from our bench and from Donovan late in that final quarter."
Buckeye Trail closed out the win with a slim 16-14 scoring edge in the final quarter, Burga pumped in seven points and Geiger six to lead the way.
Burga finished with a game high 17 points along with seven rebounds to lead Buckeye Trail, who improves to 13-7 with the home court win. Geiger added 11 points, six boards with senior Isaac Beaver finishing with seven, and Parry added four.
Huffman paced Fort Frye (5-15) with 13 points, Dakota Snodgrass added 10 and Clayton Miller finished with nine for the Cadets.
Buckeye Trail collected a 38-32 victory in the JV game to improve to 18-2 on the season. Ty McGlumphy led the young Warriors with 10 points, Travis Dodd added nine and Blake Wayble tallied seven. Fort Frye was led by Tavin Books with 13 points.
NEXT − Buckeye Trail closes out the regular season on Friday, hosting Tuscarawas Central Catholic at 6 p.m. with JV action.
Sheridan 39, John Glenn 33
NEW CONCORD −Visiting Sheridan overcame a 5-of-15 effort at the foul line to hold on for an Muskingum Valley League-Big School win over John Glenn on Friday night.
Reed Coconis led a balanced Sheridan offense with 11 points, while Raine Rodich and A.J. Winders added eight. The Generals again played without starting guard Caden Sheridan, who is recovering from an injured ankle.
Sheridan (14-8, 10-6 MVL) held leads of 10-6 after a quarter, 20-15 at halftime and 30-24 entering the fourth, as John Glenn managed only six first-half field goals. Nathan Walker scored nine of his 11 points in that span to account for almost half of the Muskies' points.
Kaiden Walls hit a 3 and Will Nicolozakes struck for a pair of baskets in the fourth for John Glenn (11-11, 9-7 MVL), but Sheridan held on despite missing nine free throws in the final frame.
Senior Bexlee Woodard added six points for John Glenn.
NEXT − John Glenn will host Steubenville on Tuesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. to open OHSAA sectional action.
Morgan 77, Meadowbrook 58
MCCONNELSVILLE − Host Morgan High had a total of 13 players score — 10 in the second half — as they pulled away from the Meadowbrook in an MVL-Small School win.
Quintin Davis collected 17 points and Rowdy Williams 13 for Morgan (10-11, 8-8 MVL), which scored 25 points in the third quarter to break open up a 60-37 lead entering the fourth.
Tavian Myers added nine points and Hunter Shriver eight for the Raiders, who were 31-of-60 from the field and 10-of-18 at the foul line. Williams had all of his points and Davis 11 of his in the second and third quarters, when Morgan outscored the visitors, 45-30.
Myers, Davis and Shriver also had five rebounds and Nate Silvus dished out three assists. Morgan had 23 turnovers, but it held the Colts to 22-of-54 field goals shooting (41 percent).
Senior Dayne Singleton tallied 16 points, senior Easton Eibel 10 and sophomore Colton Delancey 10 for Meadowbrook (1-20, 1-15 MVL).
NEXT − Meadowbrook will host Zanesville on Friday at 6 p.m. in the regular season finale
This article originally appeared on The Daily Jeffersonian: Donovan Geiger delivers in 4th quarter to lead Buckeye Trail to 52-42 OVAC victory