ORDERVILLE — When Valley faced the Escalante on Thursday night, the Buffaloes approached it like it was just another game. No. 4 ranked Valley started out fast and never looked back, crusing to a lopsided 89-40 victory over the Moquis.
"The team did great tonight," senior guard Lance Maxwell said. "We started out a little slow, but by the end of the game we were executing well and hitting our shots."
The Buffaloes (10-2) weathered hot early shooting from Escalante center Tyler Hughes, who scored six of his team's first eight points. Valley, however, finished the first quarter with a 22-10 lead and made sure the Moquis did not carry any momentum into the second quarter. With the help of Maxwell and multiple Escalante turnovers, the Buffaloes quickly pulled away.
The second quarter turned out to be a flat-out a massacre for the Moquis as the three Buffalo seniors — Maxwell, Hayden Harris, and Shane Baird — erupted in a scoring rampage. The trio combined for 23 of their team's 30 second-quarter points and sent Valley into the locker room with a commanding 52-15 lead.
The second half didn't play out any better for the Moquis. Once Valley returned to the court, it quickly stretched out the lead even further to 65-23. At that point, Buffaloes coach, Dustin Shakespear, took out the starters and sent in his bench players. Led by a pack of sophomores, the second stringers wowed the crowd as they forced turnovers, made shots, and played strong defense. Riley Esplin led the bench with 10 points, and helped secure the win for Valley.
When asked about the production the bench delivered, Maxwell said he thought the bench led the team.
"Our bench carried us tonight.," he said. "They hit big shots and brought some energy to the game."
Maxwell led the way for the Buffaloes with 28 points. Harris and Baird scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. Escalante was led by Hughes, who laid in 18 points.
When asked about what the team needed to do to continue having success, Maxwell pointed to eliminating mistakes as the biggest task ahead of the team.
"We have to cut down our turnovers," Maxwell said. "We made a little bit too many errors tonight. We also have to box out more and get those rebounds."
Valley will play next against No. 5 Bryce Valley on Saturday night. The Buffaloes hope to avenge a 70-66 loss .
Lane Sorensen, a Senior at Valley High School, enjoys writing sports articles, especially about basketball. Lane plans to attend Utah State University in the fall where he wants to major in Journalism.