FLORENCE — Granger just could not find an answer to shut down 6-foot, 4-inch Florence center Jacob Trussell as the Buffaloes ran away with a 41-13 win at home Wednesday night.
Following a deep run in the Class 2A football playoffs, the Lions were eliminated Friday. Granger requested the game be postponed an extra day in order for the Lions to have a chance to practice with a full roster.
“We’ve been going for two, three weeks now, so it’s not a big deal to them,” Buffaloes head coach Danny Wood said of his team’s reaction to playing a day later than scheduled.
The Buffaloes (4-4) found their rhythm quickly, finding shooting from the outside as Derrick LaBounty made a pair of 3-pointers, and Clayton Brown added another one in the first quarter to quickly gain an 18-3 lead.
“It really started happening in the last couple of games — those shots started dropping,” Wood said. “It’s slowly coming along.”
Trussell and Granger’s Cameron Clouse battled for rebounds, and each team held the other to single digits late in the second period.
“His height is a big plus,” said Wood of his sophomore center. “He’s just learning to play inside, because he’s always been a perimeter player for us in the past, and that part of the game is new to him.
“But he’s adjusting and doing well so far.”
Trussell found his way inside throughout the night as he led the Buffaloes with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
LaBounty continued to add more cushion to Florence’s lead with a 3-pointer after the halftime break to put the Buffs ahead 24-7.
Again, Granger held Florence to single digits in the third quarter, but the damage was already done, and the Buffaloes added another 13 points in the final eight minutes of play.
The victory comes on the eve of Florence’s annual home tournament.
The Buffaloes are set to open play at 5:45 p.m. against a familiar opponent in Rogers.
“We play Rogers first, right out of the box,” Wood said. “We played them over in Holland this last week, and they beat us by a handful, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
While Wednesday’s win will help boost the Buffaloes’ confidence before a stretch of stiff competition, there is still work to be done.
“We need to get better on defense,” Wood said, “and I’d like to continue to see our shooting improve.”