Saturday March 2nd, 2024 5:51AM

Boys basketball scoreboard: Bluff, Buford clinch top seeds; Union, GHS, Dawson, Branch, Habersham, Lakeview, EaFo, Commerce win

By AccessWDUN Staff
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Cherokee Bluff clinched the top seed from Region 8-4A North with a tough 59-53 win at home on Tuesday.

The Bears (17-6, 8-1 Region 8-4A North) had to rally from an early 17-13 deficit as North Hall’s Luke Sanders hit a trio of 3-pointers as part of a 13-point outburst in the first quarter.

Bluff used a 16-10 second quarter, paced by 7 points from Cooper Glover, to grab a slim 29-27 halftime lead. The Bears extended their lead to 44-37 heading into the fourth quarter.

North Hall (10-13, 6-3 Region 8-4A North) could not close the gap as Bluff was able to hang down the stretch.

Boston Kersh paced the Bears with 23 points. Glover finished with 15 points for Bluff.

Sanders finished with 22 points to lead North Hall. Andrew Bales had 11 for the Trojans.


BUFORD 74,
CENTRAL GWINNETT 32

The Wolves clinched the top seed and an automatic berth in the state playoffs with a blowout win on the road on Tuesday.

Buford (20-3, 8-0 Region 8-7A) held the Black Knights (10-12, 3-5 Region 8-7A) to 9-points or less in three of the four quarters. The Wolves led 18-7 after the first quarter and 33-18 at halftime. But they blew the game open with a 25-5 third-quarter run.

Kyle Carpenter paced Buford with 14 points. Brennan Wansley added 13 points for the Wolves.

Central Gwinnett was led by Malik Rideout with eight points.


UNION COUNTY 84,
BANKS COUNTY 67

The Panthers swept the season series with the Leopards and took over first place in Region 8-2A with a huge region win at home.

Union County (18-4, 5-2 Region 8-2A) also got help from Providence Christian (13-9, 4-3 Region 8-2A), who knocked off Athens Academy (17-5, 5-3 Region 8-2A).

Banks County (14-9, 5-3 Region 8-2A) came into the game with a chance to win the region with a win over Union County and a win over Athens Academy on Friday. Now, the Leopards will be fighting for a top-two spot.

The Panthers led just 15-14 after the opening period but exploded for 30 points in the second quarter behind Jude Eliis, who poured in 20 points in the quarter, including four 3-pointers, as they jumped out to a 45-29 halftime lead.

Banks County never recovered.

Five players scored in double figures for Union County. Houston Henry and Hayden Hughes each had 14 points. Cade Dockery added 11, and Kaden Combs 10 for the Panthers.

Aaron Scott paced Banks County with 22 points. Kolby Watson had 15 and Luke Dale 13 for the Leopards.


TOWNS COUNTY 70,
LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY 36

The Indians stayed perfect in Region 8-A Division 2 with a big win at home on Tuesday. 

Towns County (16-4, 11-0 Region 8-A D2) dominated the game from start to finish. The Indians led 26-11 after the first quarter and continued the onslaught during the second quarter, growing the lead to 45-22 at the break.

Towns outscored LOA 19-4 in the third quarter to lead 64-24 at the end of the quarter.

Tanner Cunningham led the Indians with 23 points. Gage Rogers pitched in with 16 points, and Kade McConnell added 9 points for the Indians.

Towns will travel to Warren County on Friday to play last year's region winner.


EAST HALL 79,
CHESTATEE 76

The Vikings snapped a two-game losing streak with a big Region 8-4A North win on the road.

The win for East Hall (12-11, 7-3 Region 8-4A North), coupled with a North Hall loss to Cherokee Bluff, put the Vikings back in second place in the subregion standings.

Despite using a 30-18 second-quarter run to take a 46-36 lead into the break, East Hall (12-11, 7-3 Region 8-4A North) needed a 3-pointer from Chris Alford with 23 seconds left to give them the lead for good.

Chestatee (7-15, 3-6 Region 8-4A North) battled back in the fourth quarter to tie the game but could not complete the comeback.

Alford finished with 17 points to pace East Hall. Bray Langston added 15 points, Chasen Jones 14 points, and Jamarcus Harrison 13 for the Vikings.

Colton Wilbanks led Chestatee with 33 points.


EAST FORSYTH 98,
JOHNSON 56

The Broncos won their second straight game with a blowout win on the road in Region 8-4A North play.

East Forsyth (7-16, 4-5 Region 8-4A North) led from nearly the opening tip, jumping out to a 26-16 lead after the first quarter. The Broncos would lead 49-36 at halftime and took a 69-48 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Hunter Holbrook led East Forsyth with 22 points. Britain West and Tyler Lesch each had 14 points for the Broncos.

Will Mbota had a game-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Johnson, which is still looking for its first win of the season.

Jaiden Riley added 15 points for the Knights.


GAINESVILLE 61,
NORTH FORSYTH 40

The Red Elephants continued their quest for the region lead with a blowout win over North Forsyth (7-16, 4-6 Region 8-6A) at Raider Arena on Tuesday. 

The win keeps Gainesville (9-13, 7-2 Region 8-6A) in second place, one game behind leader Shiloh and one game ahead of Habersham Central. 

If the Red Elephants can win out with games left at Lanier, home against Jackson County, and a road trip to Shiloh, they would tie the Generals for the top spot in the region. 

Regardless, after a back-and-forth first quarter that ended in a 19-14 Red Elephant lead, Gainesville began to pull away in the second quarter. 

Brandon Nelson, who finished with 12 points, hit nine of those in the first half from 3-point range, and Ellis Pitts was key with 11 first-half points. He finished with a team-high 15 points. 

But it was a combination of Zekyle Amir, Pitts, and Nelson that helped Big Red build a 14-point lead with 3:36 left in the half.

However, North, behind Brogen Casey, who had 12 points in the first half, scored five straight points, and Michael Akinrinmade had two to cut the lead to 34-23 by halftime.

In the second half, North scored just two points in the first five minutes, while Gainesville sprinted out to a 42-24 advantage off a bucket from Amir with 4:16 to go in the third. 

North tried to rally back over the next four minutes but could only score eight points in the final 4 minutes, while Gainesville pushed ahead 46-32 at the end of the quarter. 

It didn’t get any better for the Raiders in the final period, with Gainesville, behind Amir, Pitts, Xavier Griffin, and Jay Walls, taking a 58-37 lead with under 2 minutes left. 

Griffin finished with 14 points, and Amir had 13

Casey led the Raiders with 16 points, while Akinrinmade added 11. 


DAWSON COUNTY 65,
HORIZON CHRISTIAN 45

The Tigers used an 11-1 opening quarter run to pace the blowout win over Horizon Christian at home on Tuesday. 

Dawson County extended its lead to 24 points in the final period. 

Caden Reed led the Tigers with 15 points, Trey Harvey and Ethan Parker added 12 each, and Joshua Priest chipped in 11. 


FLOWERY BRANCH 51, 
EASTSIDE 49

The Falcons rallied from nine points down in the third quarter to get the Region 8-5A win on the road Tuesday. 

After a five-point third quarter, the Falcons found themselves down 40-31. 

But a 20-point fourth quarter, 15 of which came from the 3-point line, shocked the Eagles and pushed the Falcons to the lead. 

The Branch held Eastside to nine fourth-quarter points. 

Landon Mealor, who scored seven points in the fourth-quarter comeback, six from 3, led the Falcons with 13 points. Ryan Comlin added 11. 

Trebor Edwards led Eastside with 17 points. 


HABERSHAM CENTRAL 63, 
APALACHEE 42

The Raiders kept their third-place spot in Region 8-6A with a dominant region win on the road.

Enzo Combs led Habersham Central (17-5, 6-3 Region 8-6A) with 18 points. Josiah McCurry added 14 points, and Justus Gober had 13 for the Raiders.


LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 87,
TRINITY CHRISTIAN 36

The Lions (19-4, 5-0 GIAA) held Trinity Christian to eight points in the first quarter to sprint out to a 36-8 lead in the blowout win at home on Tuesday. 

Lakeview led 60-13 at the half

Kyari Burch led the Lions with 15 points, Lewis Roberts had 14, Brock Graham with 13, Jr Thompson scored 12 points, and Justyce Sadler finished with 10. 


COMMERCE 53,
TALLULAH FALLS 48

Hudson Dudish scored 11 points each to lead the Tigers (8-14, 3-3 Region 8A Division 1) past Tallulah Falls on the road Tuesday. 

Maki Mitchell and Evan Peters added nine points each in the win. 

SCOREBOARD FOR Tuesday, Jan. 30
Union County 84, Banks County 67*
Buford 74, Central Gwinnett 32*
Cherokee Bluff 59, North Hall 53*
East Hall  79, Chestatee 76*
East Forsyth 98, Johnson 54*
Flowery Branch 51, Eastside 49*
Gainesville 61, North Forsyth 40*
Gilmer 87, White County 47*
Habersham Central 63, Apalachee 42*
Lakeview Academy 87, Trinity Classical School 36
Loganville 58, Jefferson 56*
Pickens 70, Lumpkin County 50*
Towns County 70, Lake Oconee Academy 36*
Wesleyan 64, West Hall 51*

(* -- denotes region contest)

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