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McAlester defeats MacArthur in dominant district win, secures playoff spot

Apr. 8—The Buffaloes earned much more than just another district win.

McAlester hosted MacArthur on Monday at Hook Eales Stadium, where the Buffaloes defeated the Highlanders 3-1 in another dominant, district game win.

"They played phenomenal," coach Rashaud Buie said after the game.

"This was a very good team. Their record doesn't show it, but MacArthur is a very good team. We wanted to come in and dominate and continue this run," said Buie.

The Buffaloes did not hesitate to get started. Cameron Giacomo immediately took the ball upfield, looking to shoot. Shortly after, he found Jaime Carranza, shooting him the pass for Carranza to send to the back of the net, giving McAlester an early 1-0 lead.

McAlester continued taking shots throughout the first half. Carranza, Caleb Judkins, and Ronaldo Martinez took shot opportunities, but were blocked or missed. On the other end of the field, Brandon McDaniel continued his dominant performance of blocking shots taken by MacArthur left and right. Both teams went back and forth, and the Buffaloes would hold the 1-0 lead at halftime.

MacArthur tried putting pressure on McAlester during the second half, but the Buffaloes wouldn't allow it. The Buffaloes continued getting past the Highlanders to take shots, including Giacomo, Martinez, Diego Espinoza, and Christopher Lopez, but were either blocked or missed.

The Buffaloes erupted into cheer when Luke Clark took an opportunity to launch the ball from the 40 yard line, and it slowly flew past MacArthur's goalie into the back of the net, adding the Buffaloes lead 2-0 with 30 minutes left in the half. MacArthur tried responding by taking more shots, but McDaniel and McAlester's defense line weren't allowing it.

McAlester continued fighting for goals. Gavin Sutmiller tried shooting from the 40 yard line as well, but was blocked by MacArthur's goalie. The goalies on both ends of the field were even launching kicks at this point. With 12 minutes left in the game, Martinez took aim and made a goal, taking McAlester's lead to 3-0.

MacArthur did manage to get a shot past McDaniel into the back of the net with 2 minutes left in the game, but it wasn't enough for the Highlanders to overtake the Buffaloe's win.

With this win, McAlester has officially secured their spot in the OSSAA Class 5A playoffs.

"We've clinched the playoffs early. Like I said, we wanted to. We wanted to accomplish that goal, 4-0 in district play, tied for first place. We're gonna try and keep it rolling on Friday against Choctaw," said Buie

Up next for McAlester, the Buffs host Choctaw on Friday at 8 p.m.