Rocket Height Too Much for Pirates

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(BLUFFTON) - Friday night, Bluffton never trailed in a 19 point win over Allen East.  Saturday night was the polar opposite as Pandora-Gilboa led from the opening tip to final buzzer in a 53-39 victory.  

The Rocket combination of 6’4 Eli Phillips and 6’6 Drew Johnson proved too much for the Pirates to bear inside.  The duo each scored 14 points a piece and were the driving force behind 8 offensive boards that led to 9 second chance points for PG.  Keeping the Pirates honest were guards Cooper McCullough (two 3s) and Jared Breece (8 points) who were dangerous throughout the game.  

The Rockets led 25-17 at the break and opened the third quarter on a 10-2 jaunt to open up a 35-19 advantage.  Bluffton Sophomore Mason Soper banked in a three pointer and converted a layup at the buzzer to cut the PG advantage to 37-24 but the Pirates would not get the lead back into single digits.  Kaleb Jefferson scored nine points and repeatedly did his work in the paint but the senior was outmanned by the height of Phillips and teammates.  Dakota Bricker scored 11 including 8 points in the paint, quite a feat considering the Rocket heigh advantage over the 5’8” point guard.  Mason Soper led Bluffton with 12 points including two 3’s. 

In the fourth quarter, Bluffton applied full court pressure resulting in four Rocket turnovers but also several good looks for PG’s offense after the press was broken.  PG outscored BHS 16-15 in the final quarter.  Johnson, Pandora’s all time leading career scorer, was held in check by Cole Fruchey and others.  The senior was held to just two points in the first half.  

Team Statistics

Bluffton  Pandora-Gilboa

13/27   2s   17/30

  3/5     3s    3/9

  4/6    FT’s  10/11

  13     REB   20

  15      TO     9

Individual Pirate Statistics

Mason Soper - 12 points, two 3s, 3 rebounds, 1 block

Dakota Bricker - 11 points, one 3, 1 rebound

Kaleb Jefferson - 9 points, 7 rebounds

Jared Piercefield - 5 points, 1 rebound

Cole Fruchey - 2 points

Pandora improved to 15-1 on the season, Bluffton fell to 7-9.  The Pirates are back in action Tuesday night at Lincolnview in a makeup game from a weather cancellation earlier this season. 

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