MADISON, W.Va. - Buffalo hopes its trip to the Madison Civic Center on Saturday leads to the Charleston Civic Center in March.
The Bison are starting to resemble a team that has the potential for a postseason run after dispatching River View 74-35 in the Coal Field Shootout.
"It does you good to get out and see different teams and play in different venues like this, a nice open space,'' said Buffalo coach Chuck Elkins, who has scheduled the Coal Field Shootout the past several seasons. "See how well you shoot the ball with different backdrops. It's nice to get away from home and go play. We're one of those teams we'll go and play anybody anywhere.''
Buffalo (3-0) has an unbeaten record after taking care of South Gallia (Ohio), Wahama and River View by an average margin of victory of 23 points.
"We're doing all right,'' Elkins said. "We're finally getting our tempo up. We're not doing quite as well in transition as we'd like to do. Otherwise, we're shooting the ball pretty good right now and we've got some good athletes. We're going to run and shoot and see how far it takes us.''
Buffalo will have to navigate a new regional tournament alignment to get back to Charleston for the first time since 2006. The Bison will contend with Charleston Catholic, Hannan, St. Joseph and Wahama in the sectional as in years past, but will face new regional foes in Calhoun County, Doddridge County, Gilmer County, Parkersburg Catholic, Williamstown and Wirt County.
"We've got a tremendously tough region,'' said Elkins. "We'll know a little more about that after Christmas. We're playing in a tournament with Wirt and Williamstown so we'll see what it's like up there.
"This being the first year in the new regional, I really don't know what to expect from the northern teams. We know how tough [Charleston] Catholic is. I think we're going to be all right by the end of the season. We're going to have some more depth and we're getting some kids knowing where they're going.''
Elkins said he enjoys coaching this group that has several players from the football team, which advanced to the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
"I just like this group of guys,'' said the Buffalo coach. "They just play hard and nobody's selfish. Everybody shares the ball and plays their role. Just a good bunch of kids.''
Scott coach Nick Cabell has kept alive the Coal Field Shootout that he and then-head coach Jason Kingery started four years ago. The Shootout has grown to include teams from Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
"We always went to a Christmas tournament for some type of tournament in December every year and I looked at him one day and I said, 'Why don't we put one on ourselves?' '' said Cabell, who was an assistant under Kingery.
"He said, 'You know how much work that is?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'Well, I do. If you help me we'll pull it off.' We worked together and got it going. That first year went pretty smooth and the next year it went even better''
Cabell said the event has become an institution in the Boone County town.
"For us it's more for the community and the atmosphere,'' he said. "Just come out and get a good day's worth of basketball. Our fans enjoy basketball. Just let them see what basketball is like in other parts of the country. It's just a good day for everybody.''
Scott is off to a 3-0 start this year after finishing with a 7-16 record last season with mostly underclassmen.
"There's still a lot of things we have to get better at,'' said Cabell, who was on the coaching staff that helped the Skyhawks reach the Class AA state tournament title game in 2011. "We're still young. We're starting three sophomores.