XENIA — After a sub .500 start to the season, Xenia coach Kent Anderson said Tuesday night’s 72-42 win over visiting New Paris Graham was just what the doctor ordered for his Buccaneers.
“That can cure a lot of our ills,” he said. “It’s just good to get some of our confidence back, get a lot of kids some playing time and get a lot of kids scoring.”
Xenia had suffered back-to-back losses to Miamisburg and Beavercreek in its previous two games.
Graham (1-2) actually led at one point in Tuesday’s game. That’s when Devin Allen hit the first of his game-high 18 points on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. But Xenia closed out the first quarter on a 11-0 run to take a 13-3 lead after eight minutes of play.
Caleb Moore hit a jumper to pull the Falcons within eight points, 13-5, to start the second half, but Graham never came within 10 points of the lead the rest of the way
Graham coach Danny Moore said his only disappointment was that his Falcons didn’t give Xenia a better game.
“I wanted us to compete better than we did tonight, not only for us but for Xenia,” Moore said. “I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t execute things as well as I thought we could. We knew they were going to press us, we knew we had to attack the basket, we knew they could hit threes, we knew they would come at the boards hard … We didn’t see anything that we didn’t expect to be coming at us, we just failed to stop it.”
Eleven Xenia Buccaneers scored in the game, including Rocky James. With the lead well in hand, the Bucs Christmas-clad student section began chants of “Rock-y! Rock-y! Rock-y!” Anderson obliged by putting the sophomore guard into the game.
And James grabbed the next rebound. About a minute later, James followed up a Jaylin Cumberland miss to score, sending the Xenia student section into a frenzy. It was James’ first points in a varsity game.
“He’s a very athletic player, and he’ll be scoring a whole lot more for us in the future,” Anderson said. “It was great that we could get him in the game to score tonight.”
Anderson said he was pleased with how his team played defensively against Graham. Unofficially, Graham turned the ball over 20 times.
Just as unofficially, Clayton Kadel led the Buccaneers with 14 points, Brent Bauer finished with 13 and Cumberland added 11 to lead Xenia.
Garrett Stickley also scored in double figures for Graham with 11.
Both teams return to league action on Friday. Graham has a Friday road date in Enon against Central Buckeye Conference, Mad River Division foe Greenon, while Xenia is on the road against Greater Western Ohio Conference, South Division rival Lebanon.