clear
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015 10:57AM

Girls playoffs: Lady Wolves dominate Woodward in opening round

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
BUFORD -- Despite what looked to be a dominating 56-38 win over Woodward Academy in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs Tuesday night at home, Buford girls coach Gene Durden said they are still growing as a team.


"Truthfully I didn't think we came out ready to play at the beginning," he said. "We had way too many turnovers and let them control the pace early on. But, the good thing is that we're able to struggle and still come out with a win."

Buford (23-4) next will take on the Elbert County at home on Friday in the second round.

Durden was right about the start. The much-taller Lady Wolves struggled against the quick Lady War Eagles. Woodward Academy forced seven first quarter Buford turnovers and hit two long 3-pointers as the lead exchanged hands four times before finishing in a 10-10 tie.

It appeared that Woodward's strategy was to beat Buford from long range. The Lady War Eagles shot 23 3-pointers but connected on just seven for the game. They would take a quick 13-10 lead on a 3-pointer by Madi Richardson to open the second quarter. But the Lady Wolves eventually used their tremendous height advantage to their favor.

"For us to advance in the playoffs we have to control the paint," Durden said. "I thought we did that after the first quarter."

Kristina Nelson had a field day underneath pouring in 13 of her game-high 27 points in the second quarter as McKenzie Darrah and Maya Dillard combined for six assists to Nelson, who was 6-for-6 from the field as she dropped in one layup after another.

"Kristina has tremendous touch around the basket and is a great shooter. We need to get her the ball as much as possible," Durden said.

The Lady Wolves defense did its part holding Woodward to just one free throw over a four minute stretch in the second quarter while using an 18-6 run to close out the first half for a 33-21 lead.

Buford would put the game out of reach with an 8-0 run to start the second half for a 41-21 lead. Woodward Academy would cut the lead to 50-36 midway through the fourth quarter on a Alex Williams 3-pointer but could get no closer.

Darrah finished with 12 points, three rebounds, and six assists for Buford. Dillard finished with 12 rebounds and six assists for the Lady Wolves. As a team Buford had 15 assists for the game

"Maya is one of the best rebounding guards in the state," Durden said. "She can score if we need her too but she does so many things for us. But really I like how we kept pounding it inside and finding the open person. These girls are very unselfish."

Tiana Grissom led Woodward with 11 points. Williams finished with nine for the Lady War Eagles.

Woodward Academy, which finished the season at 18-11, has lost four straight first round games. They have not advanced past the first round since 2007.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.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
Falcons head into region opener with unexpected QB battle
There was NO quarterback controversy for Flowery Branch coming into this season.
8:00PM ( 9 hours from now )
Softball: Buford fends off North Hall challenge, 9-8
Buford softball is still the gold standard in Region 8-AAAA -- and Class AAAA for that matter -- but the Lady Wolves could feel the collective breath of North Hall on their neck on Tuesday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:16AM ( 18 minutes from now )
No. 9 Georgia players not fazed by Lambert winning QB job
The big quarterback decision has been made. That clears the way for No. 9 Georgia to sharpen its focus on the season.
10:57AM ( 30 seconds ago )
Jake Matthews, Brooks Reed to miss Falcons' preseason finale
Coach Dan Quinn is hoping the Atlanta Falcons' list of injuries doesn't get any longer...
10:55AM ( 2 minutes ago )
David McCoy tops Limited Late Models for Toccoa win
David McCoy powered his way to the front of the Limited Late Model field Saturday night, and went on to score the victory at Toccoa Raceway in Toccoa, Ga.
8:00AM ( 2 hours ago )