Elkins, whose team saw a six-game win streak halted, felt like his team would gain confidence and not a hangover from the heartbreaking loss.
"There's going to be no hangover,'' Elkins said with a chuckle. "It's Charleston Catholic coming up on Tuesday. We'll come back to practice Monday ready to play and give it our best shot.''
Elkins noted that the final three rounds of the Division I HIT - an in-season tournament for 16 single-A public schools - mirrored the schedule for the upcoming state tournament.
Buffalo (15-2) beat Richwood on Wednesday, No. 10 Valley on Friday and lost to No. 7 St. Marys (16-3) on Saturday in a back-and-forth game.
"If we make it to the state tournament,'' Elkins said, "it's the same format in Charleston. Single-A games are Wednesday and double-A Thursday. It's something that's preparing you for the end of he season. It gets you ready for the state tournament. St. Marys is about as good a test as you can get.''
St. Marys coach Mark Barnhart was also pleased with the way things turned out regarding the third annual event.
"I think this has been good for us to get to do this in February,'' Barnhart said. "As the season closes down, it's great to get this kind of competition as you near your sectional tournament. And we're in a very good sectional, we believe, and a very tough regional.''
Barnhart and his players were complimentary of Buffalo, a team they normally wouldn't see during the regular season.
"I was really impressed with how fast they are to the basketball,'' Barnhart said. "This, I believe, was a very good Class A basketball game. Charlie's team is very good. I never doubted they were good, and nothing changed my mind tonight.''
Cosper said going against a quality team such as the Bison at this point in the season should help the Blue Devils down the tournament road.
"They are definitely very good,'' Cosper said. "They're very fast and they play an up-tempo game, and that's what we like to do, too.
"I think it's going to help our team. We know we have some things we've got to work on. They got some offensive rebounds on us, and we have to work on that. We have to work on our press break and our zone offense a little bit. It's a good win for us, I think.''
Greg Crist, the former Midland Trail coach who serves as president of the HIT, said Saturday the tournament could expand next season. He's hopeful of adding teams such as Williamstown and Wirt County to the field.
The HIT staged its grand finale again at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center, with two games featuring smaller Division II schools on Friday night and eight on Saturday between the 16 teams in Division I (see results, Page 2B).
Prior to that, the other rounds were held on home courts of the higher-seeded teams.
Last year's final day in Summersville was mostly wiped out by snow. Buffalo won the title over East Hardy in a game held several days later in Elkins.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.