BUFFALO - They've been playing basketball a long time in Buffalo High School's 60-year-old gym, affectionately known as "The Barn.'' And they hope it's a long time until they shoot like they did Tuesday night.
Charleston Catholic's stifling defense held the Bison to 21 percent shooting and the state-ranked Irish coasted to a 60-32 boys basketball victory.
Sophomore Nick George had 20 points and seven rebounds for Catholic (5-1), which broke it open by nearly holding Buffalo (5-3) scoreless in the second quarter. The Irish, ranked No. 2 in Class A, stretched an 11-10 lead to 26-12 as the Bison sank just 1-of-12 shots and committed four of their 18 turnovers in the second period.
Even the one shot they made could have been better, as Laythen Good's toes tickled the 3-point line when he hit a long jumper.
"I thought tonight was without a doubt the best team defensive effort we've had all year,'' said Irish coach Bill McClanahan. "The young men really understood the game plan and understood what we were trying to emphasize. It's probably as good an effort carrying the game plan to the floor as we've had in a long, long time, especially on the defensive end.''
Buffalo wound up 11-of-52 from the field and had no double-figure scorers. Levi Jordan, the team's top scorer and tied for the Kanawha Valley lead at 21 points per game, was held to nine points on 3-of-17 shooting. Catholic's Keaghan Ritchie guarded him much of the way.
"Everybody knows Levi Jordan is a solid single-A athlete, and a borderline great single-A athlete,'' McClanahan said, "and I thought from a defensive perspective, Keaghan Ritchie was our best athlete and best matchup and tonight, Keaghan won the battle.''
Jordan and the Bison also went 2-of-19 from 3-point range.