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Boys basketball: Good, Buffalo hold on for win over Sissonville

By Nick Brockman

BUFFALO, W.Va. -- The score and pace favored Buffalo all game, but certain victory eluded the Bison boys basketball team until the final minutes.

Buffalo employed its up-tempo style and led throughout. While the Bison lead ballooned to as many as 15, Sissonville cut its deficit to three with 5:18 remaining before sixth-ranked Buffalo pulled away for a 76-68 win.

"Our kids will battle right to the end no matter who it is, and I think that's the strong point of these guys," Bison Coach Chuck Elkins said. "They're not going to give up. They're going to keep after you and keep going."

Buffalo led by 15 at halftime, but Sissonville carved into the advantage behind the strong-shooting of Zach Null and Trent Stowers, along with a solid performance from Anthony Bess off the bench.

The Indians trailed by 10 to begin the fourth quarter. Bess successfully converted a 3-point play, followed by a layup from Austin Crawford to quickly cut the lead to five. Bess pulled Sissonville (3-7) within three after a Buffalo turnover, and the Bison led 54-51 with 5:18 remaining in the game.

After 27 minutes of a rather frenetic pace, Buffalo (10-1) began to pull away in the final minutes, however. Senior forward Levi Jordan and junior guard Laythen Good combined to score the game's next 12 points to create a bit of comfort room for Buffalo.

"We just had to keep playing our game, press, get the ball and run it," Jordan said of the winning game plan. "That's basically our game - transition."

Speed and quality shooting propelled Buffalo to its lead, but free-throws cemented the game down the stretch. The Bison shot 13-of-19 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

After a seven-point loss to Charleston Catholic and a tight contest with Sissonville, Good said Buffalo has grown from its recent games.

"You learn a lot," he said. "You learn how to stay controlling at the end of the game. You learn how to fight or to continue fighting to get back in the game, learn how to stay in the lead, learn how to pick up momentum, how to stay at the pace."

Good posted a game-high 24 points, including 17 in the first half, on 8-of-12 shooting. Good finished the night 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

"Teammates were finding me, I was shooting good, and they kept finding me," Good said. "I was thankful for them trying to find me, and I just did my part."

Behind Good, Jordan finished with 22 points, including 7-of-10 at the free throw line. Isaiah Robinson and Dylan Rich also reached double figures with 10 points.

For the Indians, Zach Null and Trent Stowers combined for 40 points, as Null finished 5-of-9 from 3-point range.

"They were more physical," Good said. "(Null), he shot lights out. You got to give him credit. That's what hurt us the most. We left him open. We left others open that we shouldn't have."

Though the Indians found weaknesses in the Bison defense, Sissonville found no answer for Buffalo's speed.

"We don't play at a great speed, but we play at a little more up-tempo than most people around here," Elkins said. "I think that kind of got to them.

"I think the press eventually gets to everybody. It causes people to get out of their rhythm and play a different style than they're used to."

The pace doesn't work well for every team, but for the Bison, it's a winning strategy.

"Our motto is relax and have fun," Elkins said. "Go after it and go hard."

Buffalo returns to action to play host to No. 8 Valley Fayette at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Sissonville next plays host to second-ranked Poca at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

In other boys action:

Parkersburg 55, Winfield 52 - Ben Umpleby netted 20 points to lead the Big Reds (5-8) at home.

Trevor Britton added 19 points for Parkersburg.

For Winfield (6-5), Chris Turner led the way with 17 points, while Zach Fisher had 15.

Cabell Midland 59, Capital 56 - The Knights (4-8) ended a four-game losing skid with the tough road win.

Sawyer Beckett's 14 points led Midland, while Coy Petitt added 12.

For Capital (5-8), Austin Coleman scored 19 points, while Carrington Morris added 15 points and 12 rebounds. Brad Grose contributed 11 rebounds for the Cougars.

Huntington 59, Riverside 52 - The Highlanders (9-2) trailed after one quarter, but outscored the Warriors in each of the final three quarters to pull out the road win.

Arick Nicks led Huntington with 25 points and nine rebounds, followed by Nathan DeMoss with 12 points and Chancelor Wooding with 10.

For Riverside (6-7), Marcus Reed led all scorers with 27 points, while Nick Light added 11 rebounds.

Wyoming East 59, Scott 57 - The Warriors went 7-of-9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter at Madison to send the Skyhawks (8-4) to their fourth consecutive loss.

Brett Bowling had 24 points to lead three double-figure scorers for Wyoming East (8-2), which rebounded from its second loss of the season.

Josh Tunstalle had 17 points and Austin Canada 10 for the Warriors.

Matt Dolan had 17 and Logan Webb 16 for Scott, while Eric May added 14.

In girls action:

Chapmanville 60, Herbert Hoover 50 - Jessica Rideout and Hillary Hainer scored 15 points apiece to lead the Tigers (7-5) on the road.

Kristen Desrocher added 10 points for Chapmanville.

For Hoover (7-4), Caroline Thornburg scored 14 points, followed by Jordan Marshall's 12.


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