clear
Wednesday May 6th, 2015 2:28AM

7-AAA championship: Lady Wolves inside game fends off Dawson's perimeter blitz

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
GAINESVILLE -- With the state playoffs steaming onto the horizon, Buford girls basketball coach Gene Durden says his team still has plenty of work to do.

The Lady Wolves will gladly do so as Region 7-AAA champions.

Buford fended off a primed Dawson County squad, 60-52 on Saturday in the region championship finale in Gainesville, overcoming 10 made 3-pointers from the Lady Tigers with strong post play, as Kristina Nelson poured in a game-high 20 points to help the Lady Wolves to the title.

"Kristina came up big tonight when we had to have it; she really finished and help us put the game on ice," Durden said. "We still need to improve in our rebounding, half-court execution and half-court defense, though. And to win a state championship you have to be able to do those three things."

Dawson County battled throughout inside, yielding the rebounding advantage by just two to the larger Lady Wolves -- 31-29 -- but it was from outside that the Lady Tigers did the majority of their offensive damage.

Led by Hannah Porter, who drilled five 3-pointers for a team-high 15 points, Dawson County (23-5) pushed Buford (22-4) to the finish line. Porter's final trey of the night -- a jaw-dropping 24-foot shot -- hauled the Lady Tigers within 52-51 with 2:25 remaining.

Yet the Lady Wolves refused to panic, point guard Maya Dillard and Nelson moving the ball inside and drawing fouls -- and hitting the resulting free throws -- to inch away for victory.

Dillard, who finished 6-of-8 from the free throw line, put up 10 points on the night, while Camille Anderson also scored 14, including some big 3-pointers of her own to answer Dawson's outside proficiency.

"They really crashed down on us inside and made us move around a lot," Durden said of Dawson County, which finished as Region 7-AAA's No. 2 seed. "Give them credit. They played a great game tonight. Any time you get into tournament play you have to go through tough games. We have certainly done that this week, and that will only make us better."

Buford looked set to pull away early, closing the first quarter on an 11-2 run, including a 3-pointer by Anderson, to grab a 22-13 advantage. But Dawson County fired right back, battling for every rebound and stepping up its outside shooting.

Allie Costley and Ashley Parker each buried 3-pointers, while the Lady Tigers out-rebounded Buford 17-13 in the first half to pull within 30-27 at halftime. Parker finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Carly Gilreath also put up 13 points.

Parker and Porter each hit baskets in the third quarter that tied the score, but Buford found the answer each time, including a 6-0 push from Nelson that yielded a 44-37 lead early in the fourth quarter. Gilreath and Porter fired right back with 3-pointers, however, setting up a sprint to the finish.

Both teams will play host to first round state playoff games next week, times to be determined. The Lady Tigers will take on Blessed Trinity in Dawsonville, while Buford will face Woodward Academy.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Girls soccer: Lady War Eagles make history, storm into first ever quarterfinals
Mark Dunn keeps watching his retirement drift further and further away. And the Chestatee girls soccer coach is just fine with that...
2:07PM ( 11 hours from now )
Girls soccer: Lady Wolves roll into 3rd round; St. Pius up next (VIDEO)
Buford girls soccer coach Crystal Fowler wanted to see some variety from her offense Tuesday in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs...
12:45PM ( 10 hours from now )
Baseball: Area teams head to 2nd round with momentum
Area teams caught some big breaks, others made their own, and one, Jackson County, made history in the first round of the state baseball playoffs...
12:31PM ( 10 hours from now )
Hawks fight back, knot up series with Wizards, 1-1
DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points, Kyle Korver bounced back from a miserable first half and the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks held off the Washington Wizards 106-90 on Tuesday night, taking advantage of John Wall's absence to even the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
10:40AM ( 8 hours from now )
Miller, Braves spoil Billingsley's return, beat Phillies 9-0
Shelby Miller has thrown other shutouts, but never one as efficient...
11:39PM ( 2 hours ago )