Buffs defeat Guymon in historic first playoff win

Apr. 29—Despite the heat, the Buffs played cool and collected — until it was time to light it up.

McAlester hosted Guymon Monday at Hook Eales Stadium in the opening round of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class 5A soccer playoffs, where the Buffs sparked 2-1 win over the Tigers — advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

"I'm extremely proud of them," head coach Ra'Shaud Buie said. "They work hard all season long. They've broken a lot of history — hosting a playoff game, finishing second in the district, made it into the quarterfinals — that's our first playoff win ever.

"Hopefully the journey's not over," he added.

The Buffs played patient in the first half, moving the ball and looking for their opportunities at the net. Ronaldo Martinez and Jaime Carranza attempted shots on the goal, but they'd be just deflected to keep McAlester off the board.

Both defenses held strong, leading to a scoreless tie at the halftime break. But on the other side, McAlester turned the heat up.

"We've just got to be consistent at all times," Buie said. "The heat played a role for us a little bit, we're dehydrated. But we've got to keep our energy up. We've got to fight for the full 80 minutes because you're fighting for your season. We've just got to push ourselves to the limit."

Carranza booted a pair of shots, but Guymon was able to hold off the attempt. The Tigers looked to answer on the other end, but Brandon McDaniel punched out any would-be goals. Guymon soon found a bit of luck on a corner kick, sneaking the ball into the net to take a 1-0 lead.

The Buffs stayed unfazed, and lit a newfound fire under their offensive efforts. As McAlester attacked the goal, a handball on the Tigers earned a Buffalo penalty kick — with Martinez sending the ball into the back of the net to even up the score.

Later, McAlester's aggression and light-touch ball movement sent the Tigers chasing the Buffs down the field. The ball ended up at the feet of Cameron Giacomo, who forced the ball beyond the keeper for another goal.

The Buffalo defense completed its end of the bargain for the final minutes, sealing away the historic win and sending the home fans into a roar of support.

"We've had a lot of fan support, more than we ever have. We appreciate it because it plays a role (in the game) depending on how many people are in the stands and cheering for us."

Next up, McAlester will advance to the quarterfinal round at 7 p.m. Thursday as the team travels to Tulsa to face Edison Prep. And Buie said the Buffs will get some quick rest before getting right back to work.

"Recovery tomorrow, and then try to focus on the little things that we were doing wrong tonight, and fix them at the next practice," he said. "Then get ready for a big game on Thursday."