FLOYD — The Melrose Buffaloes have taken a few lumps early in the basketball season, but coach Casey Pack hopes they’re about to hit their stride.
Junior Clint Barnard scored 19 points and junior Sammy Lawrence added 14 Tuesday as the Buffs overwhelmed San Jon 73-52 in a first-round boys EPAC tournament game.
Melrose (4-5) returns to Floyd today for a quarterfinal game against Elida (10-2).
“That was much better than the last couple of games,” Pack said. “Texico, Santa Rosa and Farwell were all tough on us, but that builds us up for district play.”
Melrose rode aggressive fullcourt defense to the victory. The Buffs led 6-0 after nearly five minutes, then fought off a San Jon run that cut a 12-point halftime deficit to six in the first two minutes of the third period.
Barnard, who helped the Buffs win the 8-man state football title in late November, said the team is starting to round into form.
“It was a little rough around the edges, but we got it done,” he said. “We’re just so much of a football community, but the success we had there kind of carries over.”
It was the second loss to Melrose this season for the Coyotes (5-8).
“We’re fast, but we’re young,” San Jon coach Jeremy Stover said. “It was hard for us to get started. The guys get to panicking a little against pressure.”
Senior forward Michael Booth led all scorers with 21 points for the Coyotes, while senior forward David Kneitz added 10.
Dora 69, Logan 65 — Sophomore forward Lathan Lieb and senior guard Jeremy Butler combined for 53 points as the Coyotes (7-3) outlasted the Longhorns.
Leib scored 29 points and Butler added 24, while Kyler Smith added 12 for Dora. Senior Taylor Smith scored 25 points and freshman Rylan Calbert added 13 for Logan (3-6).
Fort Sumner 78, Grady 35 — The Foxes (7-2) rolled to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and cruised to victory. Senior Berry Stinnett scored 18 points for Fort Sumner, while senior Zach Kenyon added 15, junior Rawley Stallard 12 and senior Laremy Simmons 10.
The Bronchos (5-6) were led by nine points from junior Jarod Allen.
Floyd 55, House 29 — Junior Chet Chenault scored 29 points for the Broncos (10-3), who broke the game open by outscoring the Cowboys 15-2 in the third quarter. Senior Chay Chenault added 11 for Floyd.
Junior guard Bobby Lee put in 20 points for the Cowboys (6-6).
Melrose 73, San Jon 52
Floyd 55, House 29
Fort Sumner 78, Grady 35
Dora 69, Logan 65
Texico vs. Dora, 4:45 p.m., old gym
Melrose vs. Elida, 6:30 p.m., new gym