BUFFALO, NY – On Sunday, December 2nd, the B&SC – Buffalo Bobcats traveled an hour east to Greece, NY to face inter-school rival, the B&SC – Greece Bobcats. In what proved to be a hard-fought game that went down to the wire, Buffalo pulled out a close win, 84-77.
Coming off their second loss of the season, Buffalo needed a game that could set them back on track. B&SC – Greece, on the other hand, had yet to win a game all year. Both teams needed a win, but for very different reasons, which made for an interesting game.
From the tip off, both teams struggled to find their rhythm. Jordan Street and Torry Wright jumped, but both players missed the ball for the opening tip. On the second try, Wright tipped the ball and it went sailing into the stands, where it later landed in an unknown off-court substance. The referees took two seconds off the game clock and replaced the basketball with another one.
This sequence of events felt like a metaphor for the rest of the game.
In the first half, something felt off. Buffalo settled into a half-court offense and moved the ball around the perimeter. Taijay Williams and Damone Brown Jr. knocked down some early three pointers from outside. Michael Davis came off the bench and added a needed spark, picking up the defensive pressure.
These weren't the usual suspects, but the Buffalo Bobcats were putting points on the score board.
Meanwhile, for Greece, Torry Wright and Terrance Bouie were keeping their team in the game. Bouie knocked down a couple of threes and Wright banged inside, grabbing rebounds for second-chance put backs. Greece looked like a team with nothing to lose, but despite their valient efforts, the shots just weren't falling.
At halftime the score was 42-29, Buffalo.
In the second half, Greece carried over the same effort and attitude from the first half, only this time, their shots started to fall. Torry Wright began attacking the basket immediately, slicing through the Buffalo defense. Wright went on to score 16 of his 20 points in the second half, and he got some help from Dimitri Campbell and Meleek Mason.
Campbell scored a solid eight points, whereas Mason's impact, though not entirely represented on the stat sheet, was his ability to penetrate and get to the basket. When Mason missed what appeared to be errant shots, his presence broke down the defense and drew potential rebounders away from the rim.
On other occasions, Mason's penetration led him all the way to the basket, where when the Buffalo defense failed to shift and help out, he put in six points for the game.
Wright, Campbell, and Mason brought Greece within two points of Buffalo in the last couple of minutes, where a foul called on Jordan Street led to Street fouling out and a technical foul was then called on Buffalo's bench for protesting the call. If it weren't for some poised free throws by Nicc Johnson and Tyrell Mitchell at the end, Greece appeared to be close enough to pull off their first win of the year.
Buffalo Bobcat Coach, Damone Brown said "Today, the guys played hard and found a way to pull out a tough win, against a tough, scrappy team."
Williams finished with a season high 12 points. Brown Jr. lit the Greece team up for 17 points. Johnson and Mitchell, who have traditionally led the Buffalo Bobcats in scoring stepped up late, but otherwise had quiet performances.
Brown commented, "They just have to keep playing together and competing and getting better every day. Nothing is going to come easy."
B&SC – Greece falls to 0-6 on the year and B&SC – Buffalo improves to 5-2. On Wednesday, Buffalo will need to channel their competitive edge and team play on the road to take on Villa Maria at 7pm.