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Friday September 4th, 2015 6:27AM

Basketball: Lubin leads Wolves over Tigers; Buford girls win big

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
DAWSONVILLE -- Buford didn't need require fancy adjustments or rah-rah speeches on Friday.

They just needed to feed the ball to the big man.

Trailing Dawson County at the start of the fourth quarter, the Wolves did just that, pounding the ball into the post where 6-foot-8 senior Rakim Lubin went to work.

By the time he was finished, Lubin had poured in 19 fourth quarter points to help Buford overtake the Tigers for 57-55 victory.

The dominating period -- Lubin scored all but one of the Wolves' points in the fourth -- was part of a game-high 29 for Lubin, to go along with 15 rebounds on the night.

"We finally got smart and just started getting him the ball," Buford coach Allen Whitehart said. "He was the biggest guy on the floor, and he had been working hard all night, but we hadn't been finding him."

Once the Wolves (16-5, 11-0 Region 7-AAA) drew a bead on the post it swung the momentum of a game in which Dawson County took an early lead on Lucas Pain's 3-pointer and refused to give way for nearly three quarters.

Slowing the ball and working for open shots, the Tigers (16-6, 7-4) frustrated Buford's fast-break opportunities, while also raining down 10 3-pointers on the night to spark their own offense.

Cameron Millholland, who finished with 18 points, hit three of the 3-pointers, including one at the start of the fourth quarter for a 39-37 Dawson County lead.

Then Lubin took command. The UConn-bound standout scored six straight points to establish a 43-39 advantage with 6:19 remaining. The Wolves would not trail again.

"It was just a mental thing for me," Lubin said. "I knew if I could start scoring it would lift my team and open things up for everybody else."

Whiteheart knew he would likely need a strong performance from Lubin against a Dawson County team that was 7-0 at home coming into Friday's showdown.

"Coach Burgess always has his kids prepared, and they always play so well and so hard here," Whitehart said. "A game like this is a builder, and good teams always take shots like this during the season. I was just glad to see our kids fight back."

Dawson County served notice that the Wolves were indeed in for a fight from the start, as Pain and Levi Whitmire (10 points) hit early 3-pointers for a 10-8 advantage after the first quarter.

Buford's Taylor Mills drilled two treys of his own in the second quarter to help the Wolves draw even at 16-16, but Pain fired right back with a 3-pointer before Millholland ended a 2:30 possession with a lay-up that helped the Tigers to a 21-16 halftime lead.

Sam Muenchen (11 points) continued Dawson County's hot outside shooting in the third quarter, staking Dawson County to a 26-20 lead with 4:26 left in the quarter. It proved the high-water mark for Dawson, however.

D'Marcus Simonds (13 points) and Montgomery VanGorder drained their own 3-pointers to lift the Wolves to their first lead at 37-34 with 34 seconds left in the period. Then Buford shifted its focus inside to seal the win.

"Games like this will help us when we get into tournament play, because tis was a state playoff situation," Lubin said. "The atmosphere, the crowd, the way the game went. This was a good win for us."

Buford will take on Morgan County on Saturday. Dawson County will look to bounce back against North Hall on Tuesday.


BUFORD GIRLS 59,
DAWSON COUNTY 23


The Lady Wolves turned up the defense from the start, holding the Lady Tigers without a first quarter field goal en route to a 17-2 lead before cruising to the win in Dawsonville.

Camille Anderson scored a game-high 24 points to lead Buford (19-2, 11-0 Region 7-AAA), including three 3-pointers -- Buford's only treys of the night -- while Caitlyn Dawkins added nine points. Ten different players scored during the contest for the Lady Wolves.

Dawson County (15-7, 6-5) was led by 10 points from Ashley Parker, as the Lady Tigers managed just seven field goals in the game.

The Lady Tigers looked set to fire back into the contest in the second quarter, scoring 11 points, but Buford kept pace to take a 33-13 advantage at the half.

Buford will take on Morgan County on Saturday. Dawson County will look to bounce back against North Hall on Tuesday.
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