By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Senior Owen Graham dropped a game-high 17 points to help North Andrew (5-3) top East Buchanan, 49-41, in first-round action at the Bishop LeBlond Holiday tournament Monday.
The game was air tight in the first half with neither team able to jump out to a big lead. East Buchanan led 18-17 at halftime behind a three-pointer from both Jack Archdekin and Conner Musser.
The third quarter is when North Andrew gained some control. The Cardinals opened the third on a 12-0 run and led 32-23 entering the fourth. The Bulldogs were held to just five third quarter points.
"For the guys to dig in and battle against a really good East Buchanan team, it was a big sign for us," North Andrew coach Wade Bryson said. "We had some nice offensive performances, but tonight, it was nice to see us play championship level defense."
East Buchanan made a strong charge in the fourth, opening that quarter on a 10-0 run. Archedkin had 10 points over the final eight minutes alone, and led the Bulldogs with 15 points total, but North Andrew closed the game out strong.
The Cardinals went 6-for-6 at the foul line in the fourth quarter, and got a key three-pointer from sophomore Trey McDaniel to seal the victory.
"As teams start to key in on Owen and take him away, it's going to have to be the guys around him who step up and make plays and you saw that tonight. That was exciting as a coach to see."
Freshman Braxon Linville was also reliable, scoring 13 points for the Cardinals. McDaniel finished with nine. Musser dropped 11 for East Buchanan, while Carson White had six.
North Andrew advances to the LeBlond tournament semifinals on Tuesday night, where they'll face the hosting Golden Eagles. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.
East Buchanan faces Nodaway Valley in consolation play on Tuesday morning at 11:30.
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