BUFFALO, W.Va. — As it turns out, the third time wasn’t the charm for the Wildcats.
The Hannan boys basketball team — which dropped a pair of regular season decisions to Buffalo — had its postseason cut short by the same Bison on Saturday in Putnam County, as fourth-seeded BHS defeated fifth-seeded HHS by a 69-56 count in the opening round of the Class A Region IV, Section 2 tournament.
Hannan (8-14) — which fell to BHS by a 72-61 count on Dec. 14 in Ashton, and then by a 65-54 tally on Jan. 31 in Buffalo — was out for revenge early, charging out to a 20-10 lead eight minutes into play.
Buffalo (8-14) — snapping a five-game skid — got nine of the 10 points back in the second quarter, however, using a 19-to-10 run to trim the HHS lead to 30-29 at halftime.
The Bison repeated their second quarter spurt in the third and headed into the finale with a 48-40 advantage.
The Wildcats came up with 16 points over the final eight minutes, but Buffalo saved its best for last, sealing the 69-56 win with 21 fourth quarter points.
Hannan held an 8-to-4 advantage in three-point makes, but shot 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from the free throw line, where the Bison were 15-of-26 (57.7 percent).
Dalton Coleman led the Wildcats with 16 points, six of which came from beyond the arc. Casey Lowery hit a game-best four trifectas on his way to 15 points, while Matthew Qualls made two triples and finished with eight markers.
Chase Nelson contributed seven points to the Wildcat cause, Chandler Starkey added six, while Andrew Gillispie chipped in with four.
Alec Hanshaw led all-scorers with 22 points for Buffalo. David Whittington was next with 19 points, followed by Nathan Gibson with 10, Noah Thompson with eight, and Jackson England with seven. Adam Slaman and Drew Clendenin rounded out the winning tally with two points and one point respectively.
Buffalo moves on to the sectional semifinal on Tuesday at top-seeded Tolsia.
This marks the final game in the Blue and White for Wildcat seniors Dalton Coleman, Andrew Gillispie, Chase Nelson, Matthew Qualls, Caleb Gussler and Jason Hudnall.
In the last four seasons the Wildcats have compiled 28 victories, with this season’s total of eight wins as the program’s most victories since the the 2010-11 campaign, when HHS was 9-14.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.