It was billed as rematch of last year’s 3A state title game but turned out to be a mismatch as the Buffalo High School Bison (3-0, 12-2) basketball team overwhelmed Cody Saturday at BHS 71-45.
That was following a 62-15 domination of Thermopolis (0-3, 3-12) Friday night on the road.
“Thermopolis has some big kids and plays good defense. They held us to 23 points in the first half,” coach John Hepp said. “We kind of broke loose in the second half.”
The Bison outscored the Bobcats 13-3 in the third and 26-5 in the fourth.
Buffalo shot 57 percent from the field and 73 percent from the line.
Aaron Theile led the way for the Bison with 19 points and four assists. Luke Glassock put up 15 points and five boards. Hunter Peterson finished with six steals and three assists.
“Hunter is starting to step up for us and do some scoring,” Hepp said. “It’s nice giving us another option on offense. This is the first time in years I feel comfortable going to anybody and having them score.”
Tyce Dahlberg finished with eight points and 10 boards against the Bobcats. Hunter Stone had three points; Taylor Swanston, three; Hyrum Hatch, two and Dawson Hatch, two.
Buffalo jumped all over Cody, which made the move up to 4A this season. The Bison controlled both ends of the floor from the tip.
Peterson put the Bison up 10-3 on a deep shot from the corner in the first quarter. Hyrum Hatch added a bucket in the paint and Dahlberg finished off the frame with a shot down low as the Broncs struggled to contain Buffalo’s athleticism and speed, particularly on defense.
“Our press against Cody was probably the best it’s been all year,” Hepp said. “It feels like we are starting to click on all cylinders.”
Jacob Corden got things going for Buffalo in the second with a quick shot under the rim. Peterson drained another 3 and Aaron Theile finished off his own steal to put the Bison up 35-18 at the break.
“Aaron had a great weekend on offense and defense,” Hepp said. “He caused a lot of havoc for both teams.”
Thiele finished with 24 points against the Broncs. Dahlberg finished with 15 points and six boards. Peterson added seven points and six rebounds.
Dahlberg continued to work down low in the third quarter and attack the rim for two easy hoops to push the lead up to 21. Buffalo stretched the lead 22 in the frame before the Broncs made a run to get to within 13 heading into the fourth.
Taylor Swanston slithered through the lane for a basket to start the fourth. The Bison rolled over the Broncs in the final frame highlighted by an alley-oop from Glassock to Dahlberg.
A dish from Swanston to Mason Moon pushed the lead to 29 with just over a minute to go and Buffalo slammed the door shut.
Glassock finished with seven points and three steals. Dawson Hatch added six points; Swanston, four and Hunter Stone, two.
Moon, Hyrum Hatch and Corden finished with two points apiece. Joe Musselman finished with a pair of offensive rebounds and Rowan Ruby added a pair of steals.
The Bison will head to Big Horn Friday for a 2A matchup with the Rams. Big Horn is off to hot a start and may likely be ranked the No. 1 ranked 2A team in the state by the time the next rankings are released.
“Big Horn has a lot of good athletes and some nice basketball players,” Hepp said. “We cannot overlook them.”
Buffalo will then head to Torrington where the Trailblazers (2-1, 8-5) are playing some of their best basketball of the season.
“For it being the first of February, we’re pretty happy with where we are,” Hepp said. “We are winning games and everybody else in the conference is beating each other up. Any team in the conference has a chance at winning on any given night. It’s just who has the hot hand.”