BUFFALO, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic never let Buffalo get comfortable on offense Friday night and, as a result, walked out of the Bison Barn with a comfortable win.
Senior forward Nick George posted a double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds) and senior point guard Garret McCarty added a dozen points and seven assists to spark the Irish to a 65-48 victory, their fourth straight win.
Catholic (12-5), ranked No. 8 in Class A, vaulted into a 36-19 lead by halftime, getting 12 points from George and, at the other end, smothering Buffalo's leading scorer, Laythen Good. Good didn't even get off a shot until just 40 seconds remained in the first half and was scoreless at the break.
"We knew that Buffalo shoots the ball well, and that they were probably going to shoot it well in this gym,'' said Irish coach Bill McClanahan. "So one of our points of emphasis was to make sure we knew where Good was. If we were man, that was Garret's responsibility, and if we were zone, whoever the wings or guards were had to make sure they tilted that way.''
Buffalo is now 17-3 at its new gym - 0-2 against Charleston Catholic and 17-1 against everyone else. It also marked the 35th straight win for the Irish over the Bison, a streak that covers 17 seasons and dates back to the 1997 Class A sectionals.
"They're just a very fundamentally sound ballteam,'' said Buffalo coach Chuck Elkins, "and you can't make mistakes against them.
"We had some opportunities in the first half that we didn't take advantage of and it snowballed a little bit. You look up at the scoreboard and we're down 10 or 12, and that's where it stayed the rest of the ballgame. I can't fault our effort in the second half, but in the first half, we didn't play well.''
Buffalo (10-7) was held to its second-lowest point total of the season, beating only a 60-43 loss to No. 1 St. Joseph on Jan. 7.
Catholic also dominated the boards, especially in the first half (22-9), getting as many offensive rebounds as the Bison had total rebounds, which included four stickbacks for baskets. The final count off the boards favored the Irish 41-26.