The Logan Longhorns capitalize on free throw opportunities to beat the Melrose Buffaloes 54-40 Wednesday night at Logan.
The Longhorns made 17-of-21 free throws in the final period to advance to the boys District 3-1A tournament championship game.
“We are going to get back in the gym and get ready for Fort Sumner Friday night,” said Longhorns head coach Arnold Peralez.
The Buffaloes and Longhorns exchanged leads during the third period, however the Buffaloes outscored the Longhorns 15-9.
“Defensive rebounds, that hurt us in the first half and through the third period,” Peralez said.
Peralez said the control of the glass on defense and limiting the Longhorns ability to drive the ball helped keep the Buffaloes in the game.
“We wanted to take away their driving capability,” said Buffaloes head coach Jim Doherty.
Doherty said the team knows the Longhorns are a quick team and like to run the court. He said it was important to slow them down and keeping them out of synch.
“We also had to control the glass,” Doherty said. “They are a great team and can make some great shots. We just have to make sure not to give them another opportunity if they miss.”
Peralez said the team had come out with a hangover of sorts. He said Monday night’s loss to Fort Sumner in a tie-breaker for the No. 1 seed in the district tournament was still weighing heavily on the teams minds.
“You could see it in the first half,” Peralez said. “We were not playing the kind of basketball which has gotten us to this point.”
Peralez said after the team calmed down, they concentrated on doing what was necessary to win.
“We are going to get back to our normal routine,” Peralez said.
Doherty said the Buffaloes, like many other teams, will now have to wait till selection Sunday to see if they continue to play this post season.
“If we can get into the state tournament, I know we can play with the top teams,” Doherty said. “Playing a top ranked team like Logan helps us in the long run.”
Tanner Sorrels (5 3-4) 13 points
Rylan Calbert (4 3-3) 11 points
Hayes Frost (2 5-6) 9 points
Wyatt Strand (1 1 4-4) 9 points
Aaron Dearing (4 1-4) 9 points
Daniel Lyons (4) 8 points
Lance Widner (2 1-2) 7 points
The Longhorns will play at 6 p.m., Friday at Fort Sumner.