POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A 21-12 fourth quarter charge ultimately made the difference for the Buffalo girls basketball team Wednesday night during a 63-54 victory over Wahama in a Class A Region IV, Section 1 semifinal at Point Pleasant Junior-Senior High School in Mason County.
The second-seeded Lady Bison (12-11) and third-seeded Lady Falcons (10-13) battled through five ties and eight lead changes throughout the contest, as both teams entered the fourth quarter knotted up at 42-all. BHS scored the opening basket just 22 seconds into the finale and never looked back, as the hosts went on to lead the rest of the way to secure the nine-point decision.
The triumph allowed Buffalo to advance to Saturday night’s Region IV, Section 1 final at PPJSHS, as the Lady Bison will take on top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Huntington Saint Joseph at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Irish defeated Hannan 82-16 in the other semifinal Wednesday night.
The was one tie and four lead changes in the opening 16 minutes, and neither team led by more than seven points over the course of the first half.
Buffalo stormed out to a 6-0 lead just 2:19 into regulation and were up 11-4 with 3:08 left in the first stanza, but the Lady Falcons countered with nine straight points over the next 2:22 to take their first lead of the night at 13-11 with 46 seconds left in the period. BHS answered with a small 5-2 surge to close the first quarter with a 16-15 edge.
Ashley Templeton gave Wahama a 17-16 lead following a basket 39 seconds into the second stanza, and the guests never trailed the rest of the half. WHS followed with a 9-5 run over the next six minutes, which gave the Lady Falcons their biggest lead of the first half at 26-21 with 1:22 remaining in the half.
Buffalo tacked on a basket with 1:09 left in the period, which allowed the hosts to cut their halftime deficit down to 26-23. WHS had nine turnovers at the break, one fewer than the Lady Bison’s intermission tally of 10 giveaways.
BHS scored the first five points of the third period to claim a 28-26 edge with 6:44 left, then both teams found themselves knotted up at 28-, 30- and 32-all — with Wahama claiming leads after each of those ties. After claiming a 33-32 edge with 4:16 left in the quarter, WHS followed with a 6-2 run to match its’ biggest lead of the night at 39-34 with 2:23 remaining.
Buffalo, however, countered with an 8-3 charge over the final 2:07 to force the final tie of the night at 42-all headed into the finale. Both teams were also lucky to be in that position, as the two squads combined for 17 turnovers in the third quarter — including 10 by the Lady Bison.
Buffalo looked to Chelsey Parkins down the stretch, and Parkins delivered by scoring 13 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter — which ignited the 21-12 run that secured the final margin of victory. BHS took its biggest lead of the night with 3:40 left in regulation at 58-46.
The Lady Falcons closed the game on an 8-5 spurt, but never came closer than seven points (58-51) with 2:37 left in the contest. Buffalo finished the game with 23 turnovers, but only three came down the stretch. Wahama had five turnovers in the fourth quarter and also made 21 mistakes overall.
The win also allowed Buffalo to claim 2-of-3 decisions against WHS this winter. The Lady Bison claimed a 74-59 win at BHS back on Jan. 16, but the Lady Falcons avenged that setback with a 78-67 decision last week on Senior Night. Along with its season, Wahama also saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
Ashley Templeton led the guests with 17 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Sierra Carmichael was next with 14 points, followed by Mackenzie Gabritsch with nine markers. Karista Ferguson and Kelsey Zuspan both added seven points apiece to round out the scoring.
Wahama hit two three-pointers and was 4-of-16 at the free throw line for 25 percent. It was the final hoops contest for seniors Ashley Templeton and Karista Ferguson in the Red and White.
After Parkins, Buffalo received 15 points from Ali Burdette and 10 points from Olivia Dunn. BHS sank four trifectas and also went 21-of-36 at the charity stripe for 58 percent.
Wahama finished tied for fifth (Miller) in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division with a 5-11 league mark.
Buffalo 63, Wahama 54
W 15-11-16-12 — 54
B 16-7-19-21 — 63
WAHAMA (10-13): Karista Ferguson 3 1-3 7, Ashley Templeton 8 1-2 17, Kelsey Zuspan 2 1-6 7, Paige Gardner 0 0-1 0, Sierra Carmichael 7 0-0 14, Mackenzie Gabritsch 4 1-2 9, Bunni Peters 0 0-2 0, Olivia VanMeter 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24 4-16 54. Three-point goals: 2 (Zuspan 2). Turnovers: 21.
BUFFALO (12-11): Paige Roush 1 1-5 4, Chelsey Parkins 7 11-15 25, Olivia Dunn 4 0-1 10, Ali Burdette 6 3-5 15, Katie Allen 1 4-8 7, Tiffani Bailey 0 2-2 2. TOTALS: 19 21-35 63. Three-point goals: 4 (Dunn 2, Roush, Allen). Turnovers: 23.