Buffalo's Bradley Harris goes to the hoop against Fayetteville's Tyler McVey.
BUFFALO, W.Va. - Buffalo's first-round game in the HIT was a hit.Laythen Good knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 18 points and Levi Jordan added 14 points and five steals Tuesday night as the host Bison rolled to a 77-47 victory over Fayetteville in the opening round of the Hometown Invitational Tournament.Buffalo (13-1), ranked No. 6 in the state Class A poll, hosts Richwood at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the South Division I semifinals. The Bison won last year's HIT championship in Elkins against East Hardy.The Bison is off to its best start since it blazed out to a 17-1 record to begin the 2005-06 season and spent a week as the top-ranked team in the state.
"This is kind of a special group,'' said veteran Buffalo coach Chuck Elkins, "because they're not real big kids. They just kind of all play their role and do their thing. Everybody complements everybody and we shoot the ball pretty well and we defend pretty well."This is probably the best group I've ever had that plays their roles. They pretty much know their limitations and stay within them.''Buffalo also ran its record to 7-0 in its new gym and has now won 71 of 85 home games over the last 10 seasons.The Bison shot out to a 22-9 lead after one quarter on Tuesday, getting four steals that turned into baskets at the other end. Buffalo swiped the ball 13 times in all, many coming out of full-court pressure defense.Buffalo also sank nine 3-pointers, with Good hitting 4 of 9 and Jordan 3 of 6."The thing is, if somebody's not on with their shooting, we've got two, three other people who can just shoot lights out,'' said Jordan, who stands 23 points shy of 1,000 for his career. "If we can get everybody on, we're going to be tough to beat.''Buffalo won the rebound battle 50-38, with Bradley Harris grabbing 12 missed shots, Aaron Lewis eight and Isaiah Robinson seven. Austin Moore came off the bench to tally 11 points, Good also had three steals and Robinson five assists.The Bison shot 56 percent in the first half in earning a 45-21 lead before getting the backups beaucoup playing time in the second half."I told their coach in pregame that outside of Greenbrier East, they're the best team we've played,'' said first-year Fayetteville coach Todd Mann. "They're the best we've played in single-A by far. Their record is every indication of how good they are. We played them better this time than last time at that fast tempo. The difference is that they played much better this time."They've got a great chance to win the HIT again. The only thing that stands between them and Charleston [for the state tournament] is a couple private schools. They're probably the best single-A public school on our schedule. They pass well, they shoot well. They're everything you want your team to be.''Fayetteville (1-11) suffered an 84-35 loss to the Bison on Dec. 18, also in Buffalo.
The Pirates, three years removed from a trip to the state tournament, received a double-double from Zach Semple (11 points, 13 rebounds) and 10 points from Jacob Alton.Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.