TOLEDO – All season long the Toledo Libbey Cowboys have been attempting to establish a balanced offensive attack. Early in the season too much of the responsibility was falling upon the capable shoulders of standout senior William Buford.
But the Libbey coaching staff recognized that in order for the Cowboys to seriously challenge for a state title other players would have to step up. Over the past several games this has begun to happen and never more so than in Friday’s contest with league rival Toledo Scott.
The Cowboys, playing nearly the entire first quarter without Buford who was sitting on the bench with two early personal fouls, overcame a slow start to outdistance the Bulldogs in the first quarter, 16-6, and go on to a convincing 73-58 victory.
Buford was held scoreless in the first quarter but the remainder of the Cowboy team shot 6-for-8 from the floor while playing outstanding team defense on the usually prolific Bulldog offense.
Holding Scott’s leading scored, senior David Sweeney, scoreless the Cowboys virtually shut down the paint area and forced the Bulldogs to shoot from the outside. As a result, the Bulldogs shot only 25% while the Cowboys pulled away. By the end of the quarter Libbey was up 16-6 and, with Buford returning in the second quarter, the outlook for the remainder of the game was not good for Scott.
“We have been attempting to get the entire team involved all year long. Finally, Jones (senior Lance Jones), the consummate team player, Sandridge (senior Brad Sandridge) and Wells (senior Julius Wells) are picking up their games. We are beginning to come together and it is becoming a true team effort,” said Libbey coach Leroy Bates.
The remainder of the evening was a case of the Bulldogs attempting to play catch-up but with the Cowboys playing aggressive team defense it was an impossible task. The Cowboys led by as much as 25 points as they simply had too many weapons for the Bulldogs to overcome.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, William Buford, led all scorers with 20 points to go along with his 12 rebounds.
Buford teammates, Brad Sandridge and Julius Wells, also enjoyed big nights.
Sandridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Julius Wells added 11 points and 12 boards. Lance Jones’ 13 points completed the list of Cowboy double figure scorers.
Scott’s David Sweeney finally got his game going in the second quarter and finished the game with 18 points. Junior Sheron Allen added 15.
Libbey’s victory solidifies their position for the league’s number one seed in the championship playoffs and raised their overall record to 13-2 and their league record to 8-1. Scott drops to 5-8 and 4-5 in league play.