Buffaloes lose 15-point lead and chance for state basketball championship

AJ Cantell of the Buffaloes scores at an earlier game this season. (All photos by Doug Thompson)
It took overtime for the Radford Bobcats to beat the Buffs by just one point.

In the Virginia High School League section 2C state championship semi-final match Monday night at Radford University, the Floyd County Buffaloes went into halftime leading the Radford Bobcats 27-12 with tough defense and a string of three-point goals but lost momentum as the ‘Cats came back strong, outscoring the Buffs 37–22 and forcing overtimes and knocking the Floyd out of the tournament by a single point, 58-57.

The hard-fought game brought a familiar outcome against a rival who beat them in the regional final and has brought an end to too many championship hopes over the year.

The Buffaloes scored eight three-pointers, mostly in the first half, and matched the Bobcats point for point before the final score left the tally at 9-8 at the end of the deciding fifth quarter.

AJ Cantrell led Buffalo scoring with 15 points, Rylan Swortzel had 14, Kaiden Swortzel 12, Aiden Cox 8, Matt Slusher 6 and Gavin Herrington 2. In 3-point goals, the Buffs hit eight, with Cantrell, Slusher, Cox, and Rylan Swortzel scoring two each.

After losing the regional final, the Buffaloes regrouped and the Floyd boys reached the state final f9ur for the first time since 1997. with a team that included the fathers of the Swortzel brothers (Byron Swortzel) and Cantrel (Travis Cantrell). It was a magical year that ended one game and one point short.

It was still a great year for a fantastic team. Congratulations.

Kaiden Swortzel goes for a score in game win over Lord Botetourt. this season.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse