Buffs roll by Logan in EPAC
Published: Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
MELROSE — Stifling man-to-man pressure over the length of the court gave the Melrose Buffaloes turnover after turnover. The Buffs capitalized repeatedly off the Logan miscues to build a 20-point lead early in the second quarter en route to a 70-46 victory Tuesday in a boys first-round game in the 51st annual EPAC basketball tournament. “It gave us fits early and we had trouble breaking it,” Logan coach Billy Burns said. “They’re going to put a lot of pressure on you. That’s how they play and we knew that coming in.” Melrose’s Ramon Arenivar scored off consecutive turnovers by Logan at the end of the first quarter for a 17-4 Buffs’ advantage. A baseline jumper from Taylor Smith, the Longhorns’ leading scorer with 21 points, kicked off the second period before the Buffaloes responded with eight straight points. Zach Pack led the Buffaloes (6-5) with 20 points to lead his team while Clint Barnard added 11. Melrose entered the tourney as the five seed in one of the two five-team divisions. “Our scheduling at first hurts us at times, because we play a tough schedule,” Melrose coach Casey Pack said. “We always seem to come in to this (EPAC) as either a fourth or fifth seed. This is nothing unusual for us. “I told my kids we had a chance to be 7-3 instead of 5-5, so this is the reward you get,” he added of being designated the visiting team at his own school’s second gym. Zach Pack, the coach’s son, burned Logan (0-8) for four 3-pointers from the corner. "I guess I can shoot better in this,” the younger Pack said. “I’ll play in this gym if I can shoot real good.” Dora girls 54, Logan 32 — When Dora’s Tearney O’Connor crashed into Logan’s Laken Humble while trying to get a loose ball, and frustratingly slammed the ball onto the floor to draw a technical foul, the Lady Coyotes seemed to have lost momentum to Logan in an opening-round EPAC game. With just over a minute left in the third period, Dora had scored only two points in the quarter and O’Connor had missed all four of her outside 3-point attempts. But after the Lady Longhorns hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two, Dora (6-5) suddenly regained its composure and went on to roll to the victory. With the score 30-28, a free throw from junior Kendra Merrick was followed by a putback bucket from younger sister Kelli Merrick as Dora pulled ahead by five heading into the fourth. O’Connor, who finished with 12 points, bounced back for consecutive goals to push the score to 39-28 and the Coyotes never looked back. Kelli Merrick finished with a game-high 20 points while her sister added a dozen more. “I knew we had it the whole game, but he just have a little bit of a hard time getting up,” Kendra Merrick said. “It takes us a while to get warmed up.” Most of the first two quarters was a nip-and-tuck affair, until Dora scored the last 12 points before intermission to turn a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead. Logan (3-6), led by Megan Frost’s 10 points, scored the first three buckets of the third quarter — all by Frost — to trim the lead to two. Dora roared back for a 24-4 run that lasted the remainder of the game.
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