After 26 lead changes, the Hackett Catholic boys basketball team emerged victorious Saturday afternoon at Kalamazoo College, beating Class D finalist Buckley 63-59. It’s the second time this year the Irish have gotten the better of the Bears, as Hackett topped them 3-1 in the Division 4 soccer semifinal back in November.
Neither team led by more than four points. Hackett held the lead at the end of the first quarter, 15-14. At halftime, the game was tied at 28. The Bears claimed a 46-43 advantage into the third quarter Free throws and fouls ended up playing a big role down the stretch as the Bears lost one of their six-man rotation. The Irish were 22-29 at the line, compared to Buckley’s 11-17.
Cooper Smith led Hackett with 23 points, including 9-13 at the foul line. Heath Baldwin was next for the Irish at 14 points, nine of his points came in the third quarter. Casey Gallagher had 11. Austin Harris topped the Bears at 15 points. Next in line were Joey Weber with 13 and Brock Beeman with 11. Denver Cade, who led Buckley with around 21 per game last season, was held to nine.
The win puts Hackett at 2-0, joining their 62-22 win Friday over Lawton. They return to action Tuesday at home against Wyoming Potter’s House Christian. Buckley starts the season 0-1, their first regular season loss since March 1, 2016. They begin Northwest Conference play Tuesday at Onekama.
Listen back to Saturday’s game below:
HACKETT SCORING: Cooper Smith 23, Heath Baldwin 14, Casey Gallagher 11, Brennan Creek 8, Jacob Niesen 4, Aidan Gillig 3
BUCKLEY SCORING: Austin Harris 15, Joey Weber 13, Brock Beeman 11, Denver Cade 9, Ridge Beeman 6, Tyler Francisco 5