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Buhler Makes Long Awaited Return to the Fieldhouse, Sweeps Nickerson

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BUHLER, Kan. – For the first time in nearly two years, Buhler basketball took the floor Friday night at Jim Baker Fieldhouse. The Crusaders’ home venue was unoccupied all last season while undergoing extensive floor renovations.

Following a slow start, the Buhler girls outscored Nickerson 21-11 in the second quarter and raced away to a season-opening win, 56-42. A Charley Baxter three at the first-quarter buzzer gave the Crusaders their first lead. Using tempo and defense, the lead ballooned to 17 early in the fourth quarter when Makenna Siemens connected on a right-side jumper.

Buhler had four players finish in double figures, including Baxter with 12 points. Gracie Oard ended the night with a team-high 13 points, while also collecting seven rebounds and nine assists. Natayla Krafels and Sammie Brooks added 10 points each.

Buhler boys 60, Nickerson 39 – Buhler found the basket from all over the floor in earning a 60-39 win over Nickerson. The Crusaders connected on six of 16 three-point attempts, including four from Halstead transfer Isaiah Heredia. Heredia finished with a game-high 14 points, while also tallying six assists and five rebounds.

Nickerson kept it close for most of the first half and trailed by just eight points at the break. A 20-7 run in the third quarter sealed the Panthers’ fate, as Buhler turned defensive intensity into offense.

Jeffrey Neill, Buhler’s lone returning starter from last season, tallied 12 points and eight rebounds. Jalen Crable added 11 points.

Buhler has three more home dates before the Christmas break, including a meeting with Goddard next Tuesday.

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