For a while near Danville Wednesday night, the regional tournament match of Floyd County’s Buffaloes against the heavily-favored Dan River Wildcats looked like an upset in the making.
Floyd County led several times in the opening quarter and ended the first tied at 13 all. The Buffaloes’ Caleb Tanner nailed a trio of three-pointers in a roll and it seemed possible that the team could give the Wildcats their first defeat of the season.
At halftime, the game remained in reach as Floyd trailed by just nine points — 29-20.
But, with one exception, Floyd shooting went cold in the second half as pressure mounted from the taller, physical Wildcats. Tanner managed just two scores from the floor in the second and finished the night with 25 on the scoreboard, ending his record-setting high school career with 2,770 points.
Justin Conduff came alive in the second half, scoring all of his 17 points, including five three-point shots, and while the Wildcats extended their lead to 20 points at one point in the half, the Buffaloes fought back and cut that lead to single digits more than once before ended the night 17 points down with a final score of 70-53 for Dan River’s win.
Besides Tanner and Conduff, Preston Neukirch added 5 points and Bill Cook five. By contrast, the Wildcats have five players in double figures for the night.
The Buffaloes end their season at 17-7 but the Lady Buffs remain alive with a regional semi-final game at home tonight at 8 p.m. against Gate City. Ironically, regional playoff games for the boys return to Floyd this week even after the Buffaloes loss to Dan River.