Branford sent their boys varsity basketball team to the Villages this past week to compete in pre-season tournament action.
The Bucs were able to control game one on Tuesday night leading most of the way for the first three quarters. The Bucs would commit over 30 turnovers in the contest, and seemed to struggle with the lay-ups according to Coach Garman. With the combination of the two, the Bucs would fall in the end by six points.
On Thursday night, the Bucs would make the necessary adjustments, cutting the turnovers in half, and had a good shooting night to win the ball game 63-48.
Branford was in front the entire ballgame until early in the third quarter falling behind at 37-35. It was only a three point lead to start the final quarter until senior Randy Johnson and freshman David Campbell took control.
Johnson would tally 6 rebounds, score 5 points and stole the ball twice, with all but 2 rebounds coming in the final quarter.
Campbell scored 7 of his 11 points in the final stanza, and grabbed 6 rebounds along with a key steal in the fourth quarter to ignite the Bucs. He would do a great job from the foul line hitting 5-6. Campbell was able to connect for one of his two three pointers to give the Bucs the lead for good.
The most consistent performer on the floor for the entire four quarters had to be Michael Lindblade. The opponents had no answer for the talented forward. Lindblade did a great job posting up underneath and tallied 15 points, and grabbed 8 rebounds. Five of those was offensive which led to easy put backs. Lindblade also stole the ball twice.
Junior Dustin Cannon put up good numbers hitting one of his three behind the arc shots in the fourth quarter that helped the Bucs run away in this game. He would finish with 15 points, had 5 rebounds, and passed the ball for 4 assists.
Junior Brian Bullock would not score in the game, but a key stat that will tell the story for the Bucs this year was 3 assists. He was effective grabbing 5 rebounds, and stole the ball once. Branford would record nine total assists in the game.
Junior Jacob Ludlam was effective for the Bucs scoring 5 points while grabbing 4 rebounds.
Other Bucs scoring in the contest with each getting two points was Andrew Johnson, Travis Williams and Bobby Engskow.
Talking with Coach Garman afterwards, he was pretty pleased with the efforts of his team in the tournament. If depth decides the district this year, the Bucs should be in great shape as Coach Garman got quality minutes from all twelve Bucs that suited for the game.
Coach Garman was happy with the turnovers being reduced, and hopes that trend continues as the season goes on as he intends on focusing on protecting the ball this year.
The three opponents for the tournament are obviously not used to playing the brand of basketball that Branford brought. The concern was the physical play by the Bucs. The officials had to mount several fouls on the Bucs as a result that are not normally called in a very physical district that the Bucs play in. Coach Garman however has practiced his team this year to be physical and take the game to the opposition.
The Bucs will open their home season on Nov. 29 against Lake City Christian with both the boys and girls seeing action. The Lady Bucs tip-off at 6 p.m. with the boys starting at 7:30 p.m.