By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
FLORENCE - Danny Wood probably would not have been happy even if his team won both games.
His Florence Buffaloes just did not play well enough for that - especially for a home game.
The Buffaloes split with Georgetown Gateway and Trinity Christian Academy during pool play of its host tournament Thursday at Florence.
While winning against Gateway, 43-40, Florence gave up 21 fourth-quarter points. The worst part was that it carried over to the Buffaloes' second game of the day, where the Warriors took an early 14-5 lead and cruised to a 62-53 win.
"We played like a tired basketball team," Wood said. "I don't think conditioning had anything to do with it. They just did not respond."
The game was not as close as the final score indicated. Trinity was up by as many as 18 points in the second quarter and 25 in the third.
While both teams hit eight three-pointers, Trinity's weren't when they were playing catch up. Ben Holden drained two in the second quarter as the Warriors stretched their lead out and Sam Gutierrez hit two in the third as Trinity went up by more than 20.
However, Florence had momentary spurts of solid play.
Down by 25, Daniel Taylor, who led the Buffaloes with 21 points, scored nine straight and Trey Jett hit a last-second three-pointer to cut the Warrior lead to 15 at end of the third.
But two three-pointers by Reid Dedear pushed the Warrior lead back to 20.
Florence finished with a flourish, though.
In the game's final two minutes, the Buffaloes went on a 11-0 run, including seven straight points from Michael Ramirez, who finished with 18.
However, it wasn't even close to enough. All it did was cut the final margin to single digits.
"I told the kids that they played with more effort in the fourth quarter than the first three combined, but we can't play basketball that way," Wood said. "We aren't big enough or shoot well enough.
"If we don't play with effort we aren't giving ourselves a chance."
Against Gateway, Florence did not have anyone score more than seven points (Lupe Acevedo and Balentin Carranco). Yet, it used a 9-2 second-quarter run to take a 17-10 lead at the half. The Buffaloes were ahead 30-19 going into the fourth, but that is where there problems started.
They allowed the Gators to put up 21 in the final frame.
"We were fortunate to win that game," Wood said. "We played better (against Trinity) than we did in the first game."
Florence plays Holland at 11 a.m. and Round Rock Cedar Ridge at 2:30 p.m.