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Bison Overcome Slow Start in Win at Wickliffe

Coach calls win "best game we've played up to this point"

Submitted by BeachwoodBison.org:

Behind 23 points from junior guard John Davis III, Beachwood overcame a slow start to down host Wickliffe, 68-51, on Thursday in a Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division game.

The Bison improved to 3-0 on the season.

“It was a good win, probably the best game we’ve played up to this point,” said Beachwood head coach Jason Pecjak. “Our goal going in was to set the tone defensively with our ball pressure and I thought we did a good job of that.”

Wickliffe (1-1) jumped out to a 17-12 first quarter lead but the Bison responded with a big second quarter to take a 35-28 lead into the break.

Senior forward Jordan Richardson led the way for the Bison in the second half to keep Wickliffe from forging a comeback.

He scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

“He did a great job in second half of scoring off the block when we fed him,” Pecjak said. “There were some big possessions when we needed it and he stepped up when we called his number.”

Davis, who added five rebounds to his game-high points total, did his best work on defense.

“He still hasn’t shot it good, but he got to the rim and hit his free throws,” Pecjak said. “He’ll eventually shoot it good one game and it will be lights out. We’re really confident in him and defensively he did a good job. That’s what we’re most happy with.”

Freshman forward Ronald Jones and senior guard Jared Williams turned in strong performances off the bench for Beachwood.

Jones scored seven points with eight rebounds and Williams scored five.

“Jared hadn’t scored up until this point in the season, so he gave us a good burst,” Pecjak said. “Ronald Jones came in and did his thing.”

Ethan Nobbe led Wickliffe with 22 points.

The conference victory was the second in two days for Beachwood. The Bison defeated Independence, 71-56, on Wednesday.

“We had an 11-day layoff going into that game, our first home game, so we were flat but we came out in the second half and did what we had to do,” Pecjak said. “The kids know that we have to have a big third quarter and they played well.”

Beachwood, ranked No. 18 in The Plain Dealer Top 25, travels to Massillon Jackson High School on Saturday to play Massillon Washington in the Play for Cancer Shootout. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable.

Massillon features Ohio State football commitment Gareon Conley, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound defensive back.

“This is going to be a great test for us,” Pecjak said. “We like being in games like this. This is why you put all the hard work in. If you’re going to have the rankings and all that, you have to go into games like this and compete at high level.”

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