CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The euphoria of knocking out Parkersburg Catholic in the Region 4 co-finals Thursday night hadn't even worn off when Buffalo's players and coaches got the news.
On the bus ride back down Interstate 77, the Bison found out its game matchup for the first round of the Class A state tournament next week - none other than Kanawha Valley neighbor and longtime nemesis Charleston Catholic (22-3), the No. 3 seed.
Now, that draw is as close to a death sentence for the Bison than any other potential quarterfinal matchup, as the Irish have beaten Buffalo 32 straight times over the last 16 years.
Still, the No. 6 seed Bison (21-4) seems to be taking the high road for its state tournament assignment, which comes at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, and not treating it like a downer.
"I really didn't have any reaction,'' Buffalo coach Chuck Elkins said about Thursday's late-night news. "We're there. We're going to play.
"The only reaction I had is I wish we'd play somebody different. But I'm not so much concerned about Catholic as I am with playing at 9:30 in the morning. But we're there, and we'll take it from there. It's another game and we'll approach it just like we did Parkersburg Catholic, and see what happens.''
Not every Catholic-Buffalo game has turned into a rout, though there have been a good deal of those in recent years.
In last year's regionals, the Irish outlasted a shorthanded Buffalo team 46-42 to reach the state tournament. This season, Catholic won at home in the regular season just 53-46 before blowing out the Bison four weeks later on the road 83-59 behind some sharp shooting.