Buffaloes Fall in District Opener To Jackson Co. by 61-50 Score

The Clarkrange Buffaloes saw their hopes of advancing to the Region 3-A Tournament vanish on Tuesday, February 13 as they came up short against Jackson County  by the score of 61-50.

The Buffaloes had entered the District 6-A Tournament as the number 5 seed, with a 15-14 overall record and a 6-8 District mark, while the Blue Devils came into the tournament as the number 4 seed with a 15-12 overall and a 7-7 District 6-A mark.

The teams had split during the regular season, with Clarkrange posting a 54-42 win over the Blue Devils at the Buffalo Den on January 5, but then coming up on the short end of an 84-57 win at Gainesboro on February 2.

Clarkrange was a little slow getting started, scoring only 7 points in the first period to find themselves on the short end of a 12-7 score.

In the second period, both teams picked up the pace a little, with Austin Monday connecting on two 3-pointers and Briley Stephens bagging another bonus basket, only to see Jackson County’s Jonah Smith match the two treys as the Blue Devils pulled out to a 27-18 halftime advantage.

In the third period, Jackson County’s Jalen Smith put on a shooting exhibition, scoring 14 of his team’s 16 points, to give the Blue Devils a 43-30 advantage going into the final frame, which saw the Buffaloes make a comeback effort, led by Nick Hall’s three 3-pointers, but were only able to cut the margin to 6 points before Jackson Co. was able to pull back out on the strength of 8 free throws in the final minutes to post the 11-point win.

Clarkrange’s Austin Monday led the Buffaloes and shared game-high honors with Jackson County’s Jalen Smith with 19 points, but was the only Buffalo in double figures, with Briley Stephens and Nick Hall each adding 9 points, Sean Michalski and Daderick Phillips with 4 each, and Joshua Bilbrey adding 3 points.

In addition to Jalen Smith’s 19 points, Jackson County got 15 from Jonah Smith and 12 from Jacob Hardy, with Ian Poteet adding 9 and Conner Brown with 6 points.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.