BUFFALO – The Torrington High School Lady Blazers commenced two challenging weeks of games with an away match against the defending 3A state runner-up, the Buffalo Lady Bison, on Saturday.
A scrappy Lady Blazers offense came within a single possession of overtaking Buffalo late in the first quarter and Torrington nearly matched the Lady Bison in scoring during a physical second quarter.
A powerful Buffalo offense outmaneuvered Torrington, 27-12, in the third quarter to establish a commanding lead, 60-32, as the fourth quarter began. Despite the Lady Blazers’ efforts to bridge the deficit in the final eight minutes of regulation, Buffalo prevailed, 72-39.
“We started off a rough three-game stretch in Buffalo on Saturday,” head coach Chris Strampe said. “We handled their pressure well, but couldn’t quite execute offensively and left too many points on the floor. Two sophomores – Kennedy Reinhardt and Natalie Long – paced us in scoring and did a nice job of playing with poise.”
The team’s goal is to “build on the positives” from Buffalo as the Lady Blazers prepare to take on two undefeated teams – Bridgeport, Nebraska, and Douglas – this weekend, Strampe added.
Buffalo established an early lead in the first quarter before Torrington answered back. Junior Jaycee Hurley netted an outside shot. Reinhardt broke through Buffalo’s perimeter to score and junior Olive Osmera tossed in a jumper.
Reinhardt converted an and-1, reducing Buffalo’s lead to a single possession, 13-10.
Junior Teryn Stokes went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line before Buffalo pulled ahead, 20-12, as the first quarter ended.
The Lady Blazers posted eight points in the second quarter to 13 by Buffalo. Hurley, Osmera, Stokes, Reinhardt and sophomore Brooklynn McCoy each netted points from the charity stripe. Long found an opening in Buffalo’s defense to toss in a jumper before halftime.
The halftime score favored Buffalo, 33-20.
The Lady Bison pulled out all the stops in the third quarter, holding Torrington to 12 points while netting 27. Stokes, Reinhardt, Long, Hurley and Osmera all found opportunities to score and Osmera rustled two steals during the third quarter.
Long, Reinhardt and junior Madix McIntosh kept Torrington on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, including four points by McIntosh.
Reinhardt led Torrington in scoring against Buffalo with 10 points. Long contributed seven points with six apiece by Hurley and Stokes. Osmera netted five points and McIntosh four. Stokes put in another strong performance on the boards with nine rebounds.