The Buffs refused to give in.
No. 15 McAlester (7-5) played host to Bishop Kelly (3-8) in Bob Brumley Gymnasium on Tuesday, with the Buffs falling in a physical game 87-77.
The Comets jumped out of the gate first, scoring four quick points to open the game. But the Buffs hit a stride of their own, as Adante Holiman drilled a long-range triple from near half court and later found his brother Adonis in transition — leading to a 9-9 tie halfway through the first.
Malachi Wrice later hit a jumper, followed by a block on the defensive end. But the Comets hit another scoring run, taking a 20-15 lead heading into the second quarter.
In the next period, Lewis Woodmore found Garrett Pickett on the baseline for a close-range score, and Adante Holiman drove through traffic on the next possession to score two more points — forcing a Comet timeout.
On the other side, Bishop Kelley rattled off seven quick points to push out ahead. But the Buffs battled right back, with Adonis Holiman later finding Pickett under the goal to make it a 40-29 deficit at the half.
In the start of the second half, Bryson Martin sank a long three to get the Buffs offensive moving in the second half. Wrice and Adonis Holiman would add points as well, cutting into the deficit.
Bishop Kelley responded with a pair of triples, but Adante Holiman answered with a swishing three of his own. Later, Wrice swatted another would-be shot attempt that lead to a layup from Adante in transition.
But as the Buffs crept closer, the Comets paced those shots with points of their own. Adante Holiman hit another three, with Bishop Kelley answering with one of their own.
Adante would later be fouled on a three-point attempt, sinking all three to trim the lead down to 13 after three quarters.
The Comets opened the fourth with a quick two points, but Jake Forehand sank one from beyond the arc in response. Martin followed that with one of his own from the left side, cutting even further into the deficit.
The two teams battled back and forth, with neither giving in. But a steal and score by Adonis Holiman brought the Buffs ever closer, and Adante Holiman added three more to cut the lead down to nine points.
The Buffs kept pushing on both ends of the floor as time wound down, but the Comets found a way to hold them off to take the win.
Adante Holiman led the way with 32 points, followed by Wrice and Adonis Holiman with 12 points each, Pickett with six points, and Forehand with five points.
Next up for the Buffs, they’ll hit the road to face off against Durant on Thursday, with tipoff set for 8 p.m.
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.