Bison come up short 72-68 at Stockton

Buffalo’s boys basketball team is 9-5 after defeating Forsyth 78-66 in a home non-conference game Friday night. The Bison put together a great opening quarter, posting a 29-12 lead when the buzzer sounded to end the period. They also led 46-27 at the half.

Buffalo led only 7-6 as the first three minutes ended, but then tallied the next 14 points and 22 of the next 29. Bode Abraham was on fire out of the gate with two steals and three drives that resulted in four points. Jamen Smith followed with an old-fashioned three-point play and Abraham sank a 3-point shot to make it 19-6. The passing on that play went from Jamen Smith to Dominic Miller to Abraham.

Pierce Obernuefemann, who already had five points earlier in the quarter, including a 3-pointer, hit a fast-break layup and Cameron Portis had a steal, layup and free throw for a 23-6 lead.

Following a Forsyth basket, Abraham was first to reach a loose ball (no surprise there), which resulted in another two points. Miller hit a layup toward the end of the quarter. 

Buffalo extended its lead by only two points in the second quarter, taking a 46-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. Joseph Horinek, a 6-5 sophomore who finished with a career-high 18 points, had seven of them, including a crowd-pleasing dunk, in the second period.

Forsyth shot a lot better in the second half, but still trailed by 15 at the end of the third quarter. The Bison led by as many as 19 late in the fourth, but the Panthers made a run at them in the last couple of minutes and lost by 12.

Abraham led the Bison attack with 21 points, followed by Horinek with 18, Obernuefemann 17 and Jamen Smith nine. Miller had six, Portis three, Rilye Phillips three and Brett Schwanke one.

Jamen Smith pulled down 13 rebounds and had 10 assists, and Abraham had five boards and three assists. Horinek and Miller had six and five rebounds.

“After a close loss [to Stockton on Tuesday], I challenged the team to step up our intensity in practice the next couple of days,” Coach Kyle Gawlowski said. “The guys responded brilliantly and we had our best game of the season against Forsyth.

Gawlowski stressed that the team did a good job of forcing turnovers and forcing difficult shots. Abraham forced seven steals and Horinek did a great job of defending the basket with four blocks, he said.

“Everyone did a great job of attacking the basket, but I was especially impressed with how Pierce [Obernuefemann] got himself involved with going to the rim,” Gawlowski said.  

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, Jan. 5 the Bison traveled to Stockton for another non-conference game and came up four points short, 72-68. Abraham again led in scoring with 24 points and Jamen Smith racked up 22. Horinek had another good game with 16 points while Obernuefemann and Miller each had two points.

Layne Colvin and Jay Baxter led Stockton with 27 and 23 points.

Gawlowski pointed out that the Bison were in good position to win the game, “but could not finish a play to put us over the top.”

“Stockton did a phenomenal job of shooting the basketball in the second half and that allowed them to pull away,” he said. “This game showed us that we still have a lot of room for improvement and hopefully motivates us as we return to Stockton for their tournament next week.”

The Bison were scheduled to play at Versailles last night (Tuesday) and will host Sherwood Friday in a conference game. The following week the Bison will play in the Stockton Tournament (see separate story).

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