BUFORD, Ga. — It was a double-header that intrigued several around Northeast Georgia.
Could Habersham Central's girls, who came in winning the last 9 of 11 games, three in a row, and the boys, who were on the hottest start in years, roll into Buford Arena and pull the double upset? The Hab boys almost did. The fifth-ranked Buford girls rolled to a 60-17 win.
No. 2-ranked Buford (12-2, 3-0) held off the Raiders (9-5, 2-1) push to win the Region 8-6A battle, 72-70, and take sole possession of first place in the standings.
It took Alahn Sumler and Jaylon Taylor scoring a combined 21 points in the second half to erase Mekhi Mawdesley's 15 points in the final 16 minutes, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter surge that closed the gap to one possession late, to hold on.
Sumler finished with a game-high 19 points, while Taylor turned in 17 points.
Mawdesley finished with 18 points to lead the Raiders.
After the Wolves grabbed a 21-14 advantage after the first quarter, the Raiders found a rhythm in the second period to close the gap to just one point, 38-37, at the break.
Buford, behind an 11-point quarter from Sumler pushed ahead 55-49 in the third quarter.
Malachi Brown scored 11 points to complete the trio of Buford's double-digit scorers.
Osmar Garcia-Araujo scored 15 points, while Malachi Dooley added 12 and Bryce Pittman chipped in 10 points.
BUFORD GIRLS 60,
HABERSHAM CENTRAL 17
Ava Grace Watson scored 16 points and Jayla Gudz had 15 to lead the Lady Wolves (10-3, 3-0) past Habersham Central on Friday.
Buford was well in control after the first period, leading 24-9, and held the Lady Raiders to five second-quarter points to take total control by halftime, 40-14.
Hailey Wade led the Lady Raiders (9-4, 1-2) with five points.