The last time Charleston Catholic standout Aiden Satterfield took the court, he erupted for 46 points. Things were much different for the senior on Thursday in the Class AA regional final against Buffalo after being saddled with foul trouble in the first half.
The Irish received contributions all across the board and pulled away in the second half after only leading by five at the break, defeating Buffalo 51-33 in the Region 4 co-final at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex.
With the victory, Catholic (11-2) advances to the state tournament. The Irish are the No. 3 seed and will play No. 6 seed Ritchie County Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. in the Charleston Coliseum.
Catholic coach Hunter Moles was happy the Irish are headed back to the state tournament, especially after the fact that they qualified last season before COVID abruptly ended the season after their regional win.
“That was our goal as soon as it got canceled last season,” Moles said. “We’ve got unfinished business for those seniors [from last season] and we are thankful to get there again. We really wanted to get back for them. It was really tough last year, mentally. You’re on such a high note and then get shut down.”
Things were much tougher for the heavily favored Irish against Buffalo, with Satterfield picking up two offensive fouls in the first quarter. Catholic, which had defeated the Bison 68-47 in the regular season, was tied going into the second quarter.
In the first minute of the second quarter, Satterfield picked up his third foul with 7:08 remaining, also offensively, and had to sit the remainder of the half for the Irish.
Despite Satterfield’s long absence, Catholic received numerous big contributions from Zion Suddeth. The senior collected four steals in the first half to go along with eight points. Farris Murad also contributed five points.
Buffalo played tough and hung around, giving the Irish all they could handle, only trailing by five at halftime 22-17.
“Aiden got a couple of fouls, and we had to roll with it,” Moles said. “We had some guys step up. It was a battle. We were only up five, but you have to give Buffalo a lot of credit. They had a great game plan, and did a great job.”
Buffalo coach Adam Scott was proud of his bunch, especially in the first half, playing right with the Irish.
“We played a good enough first half to give ourselves a chance to win,” Scott said. “I’m very proud of the guys’ effort. When Satterfield got in foul trouble, it takes away an offensive threat for them and alleviates the pressure. We missed some shots that could have made it even different.”
In the second half, Satterfield returned, and Catholic took off. The Irish opened with a 11-4 run to begin the third quarter to create some distance. Satterfield scored the last six points and the lead ballooned to 42-24.
Satterfield finished with 16 points and six rebounds and Catholic received numerous contributions. Suddeth had 10 points and five steals, Chase Dalporto and Jayallen Turner both grabbed seven boards, and J.P. McCutcheon scored six points to go along with seven rebounds.
“I have trust in all of them, and they have trust in me,” Satterfield said. “When you get fouls like that, you have to keep your composure and stay calm. It was frustrating but you have to do whatever to help your team and that was encouraging them from the bench.
“It’s a blessing to have those guys on my team. Coach has a lot of confidence in me, and when I got back out there in the third quarter, we knew it was time to go, and we turned it on. But shoutout to Buffalo, they played a great game.”
For Buffalo (9-10), Jackson England grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and added seven points. Ian Thompson scored a team-high 11 points for the Bison.
“Jackson is a great athlete,” Scott said. “He gets a lot of accolades on the football field but hardly any on the basketball court. He has been great for us, and does things that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He is big on the boards and gives us high energy and defense.”