BUFORD — Winning a game in the first quarter doesn't happen much, but losing a game in the opening period can occur more often than not.
The Buford boys (22-6, Region 8-5A No. 1 seed) outscored Statesboro 16-1 in the first quarter to set the tone and prove the theory true en route to a 54-34 win to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament on Wednesday. Statesboro had won the last 21 of their 22 games coming into the second round.
"I think that's what ended up happening tonight," Buford coach Eddie Martin said. "We got off to that good start and got out to a 15-point lead and the next three quarters were a pretty solid three quarters."
The defending Class 5A champs had three players score in double digits with Sebastian Augustave leading the way again to help the Wolves extend their lead to as much as 28 points in the first half.
Augustave scored all of his 19 points, 15 from the 3-point arc, in the first half. Caleb Williams followed Augustave with 14 points, and Jaylon Taylor added 10.
"Sebastian has played well offensively all year long. In the first half, he did a little bit of everything in the first half. We're going to play through him and our other people are stepping up which makes it a whole lot better. I didn't realize he didn't score in the second half, so for us to withstand that is pretty good."
The Wolves went into the second round game with controlling the paint, eliminating Stateboro's second-chance points and keeping Zarion Griffin from beating them as the big-three keys to the game.
The Wolves executed Martin's game plan to almost perfection, pulling down 30 defensive rebounds and holding Griffin to just 10 points. They also held the Blue Devils (22-7, Region 2-5A No. 2 seed) to single digits in two of the four quarters.
"We wanted to make sure that we didn't let them hurt us on offensive rebounds -- second-chance points," Martin said. "I thought we did an outstanding job right there."
"The other thing was to just try to contain 3 (Griffin) and not let their other guys beat us. I knew we weren't going to stop 3 completely, but sometimes you can focus on one kid so much that the others do a good job. So we didn't want the others to hurt us out there tonight."
Statesboro had one other player, Leslie Black, in double figures with 11 points.
BUFORD GIRLS 76,
WAYNE COUNTY 49
The Buford girls' defense was too much to handle for Wayne County on Wednesday night in the second round of the Class 5A tournament.
The Lady Wolves (28-1, Region 8-5A No. 1 seed) full-court pressure was relentless, as usual, which led to a lot of easy transition buckets in the big win over the Yellow Jackets (24-3 Region 3-5A No. 2 seed).
"I was really really proud of our kids," Buford coach Gene Durden said. "We really pushed in the transition to get some easy points. Hopefully, we can keep going in the right direction and keep this thing going."
Buford out scored the Yellow Jackets 20-8 in the first quarter and led 47-21 by halftime.
Tatum Ozment and Blair Wallis scored 14 points each to lead 11 scorers. Ashyia Willis added 12 points.
The Lady Wolves will host Carrollton in the quarterfinals next week.