HOLLAND — The Florence Buffaloes have been waiting most of the month to plant the seed to a successful basketball season.
Despite 21 points from Alfredo Pena, the Florence Buffaloes (0-1) dropped their season opener 56-49 to the Waco Meyer Ravens on Thursday during the opening day of the Holland Tournament.
“We were a little nervous the first game of the season, but we’ll fix that,” Pena said. “We’re going to practice to fix that.”
Michael Hoisington, Mason Lansford and Luke McNeil combined to score 16 points for Florence.
Florence was originally scheduled to open the season Nov. 15 at Troy, but that game was canceled.
Florence looks to get into the win column when it plays the Belton JV at 1:30 p.m. today.
For Pena, the contest marked the transition from fall, where he was a kicker on the football team and qualified for the state cross country meet, to winter, where the speedy junior guard goes for transition baskets.
Florence’s offense struggled most of the game. The Buffaloes hit 34 percent (18 of 52) from the field and were held to a combined 15 points in the second and third quarters.
“We’re missing a bunch of easy shots right now that we’ll normally make,” Florence coach Danny Wood said. “It comes down to that.”
Florence led once in the contest at 8-6 with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter, but the lead only lasted 24 seconds.
“We made mistakes, we got tired and we lost our minds,” Pena said. “We got tired in the third quarter and that’s when they got their momentum.”
Meyer put Florence in a 42-27 hole seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Buffaloes didn’t go out without a couple of late charges.
A Wyatt Odom 3-pointer cut the Meyer lead to 46-38 with 3:57 remaining and a McNeil jumper got Florence back to within 10 points with 90 seconds left. But the Ravens beat the full-court press and used a couple of consecutive baskets to end the comeback threat in the final minute.
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