It was midway through the third quarter Wednesday night at Clovis High and Cougars junior guard Allston Moore did something wrong while attempting to guard Buchanan's Alex Fertig, who scored on a spectacular drive.
"Allston," Clovis coach John Jones said with a smile and more than a bit of sarcasm, "he's the best player on their team."
Maybe Jones should have taken it a step further.
Maybe he should have said: "Allston, he's the best player in the Central Section."
"He'd be my first pick, and I also think we have the best team," Bears coach Eric Swain said after Fertig delivered a complete package of numbers, but ones that also have merely mirrored his season -- 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks -- as second-ranked Buchanan took command of the Tri-River Athletic Conference with a 61-51 conquest of the No. 6 Cougars.
This followed a 63-62 win at Clovis West, meaning the 14-5 Bears are not only 3-0 and alone in first place in the TRAC but have registered consecutive road wins. And in the TRAC, with five of six teams ranked among the section's top eight, that's a significant achievement.
"We're trying to go undefeated [in the TRAC]," Fertig said. "It will be difficult, but so far we're off to a good start."
Never in the program's 19-year history have the Bears won an outright league title. They shared their first TRAC championship last year with Central and Clovis East, and also won a co-North Yosemite League title with Hoover and their first senior class in 1995.
The breakthrough could be led by Fertig, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior and author of 20-point scoring averages since he was 10 years old.
"He's a tough match," Swain said, "because he can bounce it, shoot it, move well without it, and he's got such an IQ. I wouldn't trade him for anybody."
That's a statement considering the section's elite -- Bakersfield's Tyrone Wallace, Central Valley Christian's Grant Verhoeven, Clovis East's Kevin Bailey, Tulare's William Stallworth and Bullard's Jajuan Hammond.
Also in the mix is the strongest inside force of them all -- Clovis' Korey Anderson, a 6-7 senior who punished Buchanan for 20 points and 17 rebounds.
But Fertig and the Bears' surplus of shooters proved too much for the Cougars (12-7, 2-1) on a night Dominique Hatter scored 10 points and Ryan Swain, the coach's son, added nine on three 3s.
"We're a tough match because we have five guys who can shoot 3s," Eric Swain said. "You can't keep one guy camped in the key because we can shoot very well."