MIAMISBURG — The Xenia Buccaneers couldn’t overcome cold shooting and shaky ball handling in a 55-43 non-league loss at Miamisburg Monday night.
The Bucs made just 14 of the 50 shots they fired including just one of 15 from 3-point range in dropping to 1-7 this season. They also committed 16 turnovers — 15 in the final three quarters.
“It’s been a problem since November 1,” Coach Kent Anderson said. “It’s been our Achilles Heal. That and turnovers. They’re really unforced. Been careless with the ball.”
Xenia made seven of 30 shots in the first half, in scoring just 15 points in the first half.
Remarkably, the Bucs trailed just 19-15 at halftime.
“We played ugly and we made them play ugly,” Anderson said. “(We leave too many baskets at the rim. That’s kind of how the game got out of hand.”
Back-to-back threes from Miamisburg’s Colin Murphy and Corey Fries extended the lead to 25-16 90 seconds into the third quarter but after a timeout, Xenia went on a 12-5 run to make it a 30-28 game after a Dylan Hoosier drive and basket with 2:03 left.
Then came the turning point.
Down 31-28 with 55 seconds, the Bucs grabbed an offensive rebound after two missed free throws but turned it over leading to a Murphy fast-break bucket in the lane to make it 33-28 after three. Luke Copsey hit a 3-pointer 30 seconds into the fourth quarter and Miamisburg (8-2) led, 36-28 and the Xenia could get no closer.
“It killed us,” Anderson said of that sequence.
Despite that, Anderson remains optimistic things will improve.
“We’re getting better,” he said. “Our kids are playing harder. We’ve got another month and a half to get better. We’ve got to clean up all those unforced errors.”
And make a few shots.
“We keep chucking them up,” Anderson said. “We figure the next one’s (going) in.”
Fries led all scorers with 17 points. Hoosier led Xenia with 16 points. Matthew Caupp came off the bench for six points including a couple nice first-half baskets to help keep Xenia close.
Xenia is at Stebbins Friday, Jan. 3.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.