By BRETT MARSHALL
CIMARRON — For the second time in three days, the Cimarron Bluejays boys had to take on the state-ranked Meade Buffaloes on their home floor.
And for the second time in that stretch, the Bluejays couldn't find enough ways to slow down the Buffs, this time falling to Meade, 55-41, on Tuesday night in their Hi-Plains League opener.
At the same time, Cimarron coach Dave Losey wasn't unhappy with the way his team played, only disappointed that his players couldn't hit the close-range shots that would have given them a chance for an upset.
"We've been doing that a lot so far this season," said Losey, whose team falls to 3-2 overall, while Meade improves to 5-0. "We've gotta get over that if we're gonna beat some of the better teams. If we do that tonight, we're right in the game at the end."
Meade had used a big second-quarter outburst in Saturday's Bluejay Invitational victory, but that didn't happen in this one.
After jumping out to a 16-7 lead late in the first, Meade watched Cimarron battle back, closing the gap to 27-21 when Stewart Fairbank hit a baseline drive with 21 seconds left before intermission.
"The kids were really excited to have another shot at them," Losey said of the quick re-match. "We made some adjustments and some of them worked, some of them didn't. You kinda pick your poison with them. They're so athletic, they pass the ball well and they've got the big kid (6-7 Randy Friesen) in the middle that causes problems."
Late in the third quarter, the Bluejays were still hanging tough, trailing only 35-32. But a couple of late buckets by Trevin Wiens and Chris Hardaway made it 39-32 heading to the fourth quarter.
Any hopes of the upset were dashed with a 10-0 Meade run that made it 49-36. Cimarron pulled within eight at 49-41 with just over two minutes to play, but that was all the Bluejays could do.
"We can't draw up things any better with the kind of shots we were getting," Losey said. "We're in much better shape right now than we were a year ago. We're playing a lot of kids, finding out who can do what."
Morgan Davis, who hurt the Bluejays early with 11 points in the first quarter, finished with a game-high 17, and was the only Meade player in double figures. Mark Finster and Jett Little had nine each while Friesen finished with eight, and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds to help the Buffs dominate the boards, 39-27.
Meade was 23-of-48 from the field for 47 percent while Cimarron finished 17-of-53 for 31 percent. Neither team hit well from behind the arc — Meade managing only 1-of-9 to Cimarron's 2-of-13.
For Cimarron, Caleb Fischer led 10 points, while Fairbank and Alex Neuschafer followed with nine and eight, respectively.
The Bluejays will close out their pre-holiday schedule with a Thursday road game at Elkhart.
Meade 16 11 12 16 -- 55
Cimarron 9 12 11 9 -- 41
Meade (55) — Little 2-9 5-8 9, Hardaway 3-7 0-0 6, Wiens 3-4 0-0 6, Finster 4-6 1-1 9, Davis 8-13 0-0 17, Friesen 3-9 2-6 8. Totals 23-48 8-15 55.
Cimarron (41) — Cal. Fischer 4-6 2-4 10, Toothaker 0-1 2-2 2, Clark 0-1 0-0 0, Chr. Fischer 2-12 0-0 5, Boersma 1-7 1-2 3, Meis 2-6 0-2 4, Pachner 0-3 0-0 0, Fairbank 4-9 0-0 9, A. Neuschafer 4-8 0-0 8. Totals 17-53 5-10 41.
3-point field goals--Meade 1-9 (Little 0-3, Hardaway 0-2, Finster 0-1, Davis 1-3), Cimarron 2-13 (Chr. Fischer 1-3, Boersma 0-3, Pachner 0-1, Fairbank 1-5, A. Neuschafer 0-1). Rebounds--Meade 39 (Friesen 17), Cimarron 27 (Fairbank 6). Turnovers--Meade 13, Cimarron 11. Fouls--Meade 10, Cimarron 16. Fouled out--none.