Woodrow Wilson's record looked peculiar when it started off the season 1-2. Since then, the Flying Eagles have won three in a row to bump it back to a better-looking 4-2 heading into Friday's home game with Winfield.
The losses were somewhat understandable when you consider they came on the road to No. 2 Huntington and No. 5 Greenbrier East, and even more understandable when you factor in missed playing time by starters.
The Flying Eagles were without starter Brent Osborne for their first two games, including the loss to Huntington, and played four games without senior guard Donte Nabors, a returning first-team all-stater who led the team in scoring last season at 20.2 points per game. Low post Noah Hancock also missed a game.
The loss of Nabors to an ankle injury was obviously the biggest obstacle to overcome for a team that made it to the Class AAA state finals last year.
"It took us starting to play games for the kids to realize we don't have Donte,'' said Woodrow coach Ron Kidd. "They've got to do a lot of little different things and step up. And that comes with us playing games.
"We call it like being a warrior or a solider. Anytime you have a solider go down, we always tell our kids somebody else has got to step up, and kind of mend for that person that's gone. Help somebody out.''
One of the players asked to chip in even more in Nabors' absence is senior guard Jaylon Breckenridge, who is averaging about 10 points and led the Flying Eagles with 14 points in a recent win against Hurricane.
"I feel that,'' Breckenridge said about taking over some of Nabors' duties. "I feel like I need to for the team when our point guard [is out]. That's the biggest step up right there."
Buffalo certainly won't be lacking for senior leadership the rest of the season.
The Bison lost the only non-senior in its rotation when junior Austin Hensley re-injured his shoulder in a Jan. 4 game against South Gallia (Ohio). It's the same ailment that sidelined Hensley nearly the entire football season when he was hurt on the opening kickoff of the first game.
That leaves Buffalo (6-2) with eight players, all seniors, to see most of the floor time.
"We're going to play eight seniors from here on out,'' said coach Chuck Elkins. "They know what we're trying to do. We're just not doing it very well at times.
"And the hardest is yet to come. We still have Greater Beckley, Magnolia, Tucker and Valley twice. It's not going to get any easier.''
Buffalo has reset its home game against Charleston Catholic to Feb. 13.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.