The first time Eisenhower senior Trevon Evans saw Tyler Buchanan play basketball, it was during a summer pickup game.
“I thought, ‘Man, this dude is tall,’ ” Evans said Tuesday night. “And he came out hitting three after three after three. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going to be great for us.’ ”
Buchanan, a 6-foot-4 senior transfer from Indiana, came off the bench to score a team-high 25 points and 14 rebounds in an 83-58 win over Andover Central (2-2).
“He’s a great addition to the team,” said junior Bailey Strunk, who scored 14 points, hitting three three-pointers. “For most teams, he’d start. He can do everything. Literally. Everything.
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“ He creates a lot of problems, honestly. He’s probably the biggest threat, other than Tre. He can fill up the stat sheet so easily, so easily. He’s so smooth. He’s like a miniature Paul Pierce.”
With senior starter Matt Morris battling foul trouble all game, Buchanan provided quality minutes.
In a span of about two minutes, he threw in a shot from beyond half court to end the third quarter — he was 3 of 3 from three — and then he blocked a jumper by Andover Central sophomore Darraja Parnell.
“(Buchanan) can really do everything,” said Evans, who scored 24 points, making three threes. “ He can shoot anywhere, he rebounds, he can jump.”
As for that three to end the third, it was yet another momentum builder for Eisenhower (4-0).
“(Teammate) Kit (Ndeti) is telling me, ‘Just shoot, shoot.’ I grabbed the ball and let it go,” Buchanan said. “I knew it was good as soon as I let go.”
Buchanan scored 17 points in the second half and had 13 of his rebounds in the same span. But it was Evans and Strunk who sparked the Tigers early.
After Parnell opened the game with a jumper, Strunk answered with a three from just left of the top of the key. Parnell hit two free throws, and Evans came back with his three.
Then Strunk scored on a fast break and Evans hit another three. Strunk followed with his second three and Evans scored on the first of two emphatic dunks on fastbreaks.
Midway through the first quarter, Eisenhower had a 16-6 lead. By the 5:09 mark of the second quarter, the Tigers capped a 27-9 run for a 35-15 lead.
“You would not have known that would happen if you had watched us yesterday in practice. We did not shoot that well,” said Eisenhower coach Steve Blue, whose team made 16 of 27 shots in the first half, including 6 of 10 three-pointers. The Tigers finished 27 of 58 from the field, 18 of 20 free throws and 11 of 27 threes.
“We have guys who can shoot. They all have the green light. As long as they are passing the ball and being unselfish.”
Andover Central showed a bit of life when it went on a 14-7 run — including Parnell’s eight points — over the final five minutes of the first half, including scoring the last six points to get within 42-29.
The Jaguars even got within 44-34 when Parnell got a steal and found Christian DeYoung for a three on the right wing with 7:00 to go in the third.
But Eisenhower’s Brennan Stemple answered with a three and Andover Central never threatened again.
“We played great as a team,” Evans said. “Everybody facilitated. It’s just a great team win.”
Eisenhower: Evans 24, Strunk 14, Morris 10, Stemple 6, Buchanan 25, Ndeti 2, Pile 2.
Andover Central: Parnell 26, Downing 5, Lock 1, Cole 2, DeYoung 7, Kirkhart 2, Schaffer 8, Taylor 5, Rafferty 2.
Andover Central fans
Andover Central's band
Eisenhower coach Steve Blue
Eisenhower's Tyler Buchanan
Eisenhower's Trevon Evans