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Wayzata hands Buffalo its first loss

By Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune, 01/07/11, 10:29PM CST


First-half hole too deep for Bison to climb out of

The neon dots on the scoreboard showed a decisive Wayzata home victory, but when the Trojans girls' basketball squad finished handling previously unbeaten Buffalo 70-49 on Friday, coach Mike Schumacher let out a sigh of relief.

"I certainly wouldn't say we pummeled them," he said of the team ranked No. 4 going into Friday, shaking his head. "I didn't feel like we had the game secured, even, until pretty much the very end."

Whether Schumacher acknowledged it or not, all signs pointed to a Trojans victory from the start, when they hopped out to a 15-2 lead while Buffalo looked sloppy, turning over the ball with poor passes, shooting air balls and missing easy layups.

By halftime, Wayzata had stretched the advantage to 38-24, first playing the post heavily and then going to the outside when Buffalo's defense collapsed on the Trojans.

"We knew it was a very, very strong team and we kind of looked to that as a test, and one that maybe had us a little nervous right away," Buffalo coach Scot Sorenson said. The Bison had fallen behind early a couple of other times this season but had never been so far in the hole by halftime.

In the second half, Buffalo went on a 12-2 run that brought it within nine, before much bigger Wayzata took control offensively again. The Trojans also had a meaningful advantage in getting to the free-throw line. They made 19 of their 23 opportunities while Buffalo went just 7-for-13.

"We really make it a point to do that," said Marissa Grossfeld, who finished with 22 points, including 15 in the first half. "We knew we had to step up and not let them beat us, and that's what we did."

Three other Trojans scored in double digits: Kayla Timmerman (17), Beth Paulson (14) and Cierra Byers (10).

Buffalo's Molly Muntifering (41) and Wayzata's Kayla Timmerman fought for control of a rebound. Marlin Levison, Star Tribune