Dawson Hatch came out hot early and Tyce Dahlberg made his presence known down low Friday night as the Buffalo High School Bison basketball team eventually pulled away from Douglas for a hard fought 64-40 win over the Bearcats.
The Bison then relied on a big fourth quarter the following day in a 72-48 victory in Newcastle as Buffalo upped their record to 2-0 in district play and 10-2 overall.
The win against the Dogies was the seventh in a row for the Bison.
“It was a good matchup with Douglas. They are very athletic,” coach John Hepp said. “They are scary. They can hit about anything they want to shoot at.”
The Bearcats did hit everything they shot at in the first quarter Friday night at BHS. Douglas drilled a pair of 3-pointers early in the frame, but a jumper by Hatch tied things up at six. Dahlberg had one of his four blocks in a back-and-forth first quarter.
Hyrum Hatch did what he has been doing all year and made an immediate impact down low with a bucket to tie it at 14 to start the second. A Luke Glassock three-point play tied things up again at 17 before he found the range from beyond the arc. Dalhberg then fought for a rebound and put back to get the Bison ahead 28-24 heading into the break.
“We emphasized post up play a little bit. Douglas doesn’t have a lot of size,” Hepp said. “I thought Tyce came out and dominated the game on the inside. He was just a big inside presence for us.”
Dahlberg was tangled up with Bearcat defenders all night. The senior finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds including five offensive boards.
The Bison continued their second quarter surge into the third. A Dawson Hatch jumper moved the Bison lead to 36-27.
After a Glassock bucket stretched the lead a little more, five fresh Bison came off the bench to finish out the frame. A Hyrum Hatch basket in the paint followed by a Joe Musselman steal and a Mason Moon finish got the lead to 45-34 at the end of the third.
The Bison defensive pressure prevented the Bearcats from getting most of the looks they had in the first half, but it seemed Douglas was never far from making a big run and cutting into the lead quickly.
Buffalo continued to roll in the fourth, however, as they outscored the Bearcats 19-6. Dahlberg finished off an offensive board for a basket and followed that with a drive and finish at the six-minute mark to put the Bison up 49-34. From there it was too much of the Buffalo starters for Douglas to handle.
Dawson Hatch led the way with 18 points and four assists. Glassock finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Thiele added 12 points and nine boards.
The Bison shot nearly 60 percent from the field.
“Dawson, Luke, Aaron and Tyce are starting to really show their abilities and get into the game,” Hepp said. “We have a long way to go, but it’s exciting to see.”
Saturday against Newcastle it was Glassock leading the way with 22 points. Dawson Hatch added 20 points. Dahlberg finished with nine points and six boards.
“Newcastle was missing their best guy with an injury and it was still difficult to get by them,” Hepp said.
Buffalo was forced to pull away late from the Dogies with a 26-14 run in the fourth quarter.
Thiele finished with eight points for Buffalo. Hunter Peterson and Rowan Ruby finished with four points apiece. Moon added a 3-pointer and Musselman added a bucket in the win.
The Bison again shot over 55 percent from the field.
Hyrum Hatch and Jacob Corden combined for four boards.
“It was a big weekend for us,” Hepp said. “When the competition is this close, every win is huge.”
The Bison will look to add another huge conference win at Thermopolis Friday night. The Bobcats have boasted one of the stingiest defenses in 3A this season.
Saturday the Bison host Cody in a rematch of last year’s 3A state title game. The Broncs, however, have since moved up to 4A.
“Thermopolis is the big game for us this weekend,” Hepp said. “A win there will put us at 3-0 in district play.”