Tuesday March 19th, 2019 1:23PM

Basketball: Santana buzzer-beater lifts GHS boys past Dacula; Lady Red Elephants fall

By AccessWDUN

GAINESVILLE — Julio Santana hit a layup with just 0.5 seconds left to lift the Gainesville boys to a thrilling come-from-behind 69-67 win over Dacula Saturday night in a key early Region 8-6A battle at the Gainesville gym.

Santana's basket capped a big second half for the Red Elephants (10-7, 2-0 Region 8-6A) who outscored the Falcons (3-11, 1-1) 39-31 over the final two periods.

The win, the sixth straight for the Red Elephants, puts them atop the early region standings just ahead of Lanier (9-6, 1-0). Gainesville next will play host to Apalachee (6-7, 0-1) on Tuesday.

Dacula led an early back-and-forth affair 14-12 after the first quarter. The Faclons increased the lead to 36-30 by halftime as they held Gainesville guards Rafael Rubel, Brent Kelly, and Maurice Hector to just 2 combined points. But Datavian Buffington picked up the slack with 12 first half points to keep the Red Elephants close.

Gainesville exploded in the third quarter outscoring Dacula 24-11 in the frame as Rubel, Kelly, and Hector combined for 8 points and Buffington added 11 for a 54-47 Red Elephants lead. But the Falcons responded behind Mekhail Bethea and Camron Carithers, who combined for 16 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game late before Santana's buzzer-beater.

Gainesville also outrebounded Dacula 41-28 for the game.



The Lady Red Elephants had no answer for Dacula's Lazaria Spearman, who poured in 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Falcons (13-3, 2-0 Region 8-6A) to the region win on the road.

Dacula jumped out to a quick 16-7 lead and took a 39-17 advantage  into the intermission. The Lady Falcons increased heir lead to 57-30 heading into the final period.

Tia Shelton paced Gainesville (9-6, 1-1) with 17 points but leading scorer Tija Blackwell was held to just 11 points and only three field goals and no 3-pointers.

Kendall Bollmer had 17 points for Dacula.


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