Tuesday March 5th, 2024 8:19AM

Girls basketball scoreboard: Buford advances to title game; Branch beat Clarke Central; EaFo falls to NOconee

By AccessWDUN Staff

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The Buford girls' basketball team fought off a sluggish second half to get past Central Gwinnett, 56-50, Monday night in the semifinals of the Region 8-7A tournament at Central Gwinnett. 

Ava Grace Watson's 16 first-half points helped the Lady Wolves (23-3) take a 34-23 at the half, but she would be held scoreless in the second half, finishing with 16. 

However, the first-half performance kept the Lady Wolves afloat in the second half despite being outscored 27-20. 

E'mian Fields and Lydia Ledford scored 11 points each in the win. 

Malan Gainey led Central Gwinnett with a game-high 20 points — 11 in the second half. 

The Lady Wolves will play Mill Creek for the region title on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Central Gwinnett. Mill Creek knocked off Dacula on Monday, 45-39


(READ HERE: CHESTATEE, BLUFF ROLL TO SEMIFINALS)


FLOWERY BRANCH 47,
CLARKE CENTRAL 41

The Lady Falcons (11-13) rallied to the lead in the third quarter and held off the Lady Gladiators for the final quarter to advance in the Region 8-5A tournament at Jefferson on Monday. 

The win secures Flowery Branch a first-round playoff berth in next week's Class 5A tournament. 

Branch tied 13-9 after the first quarter but trailed at half, 22-20. After three quarters, the Lady Falcons rallied to a 33-30 lead and outpaced Clarke Central 14-11 in the final 8 minutes. 

Jayla Gudz led Flowery Branch with 19 points. Jess Tamplin added 13, and Amiya Scott chipped in 12. 

The Lady Falcons will play No. 1 seed Jefferson in the semifinals on Wednesday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Jefferson.


NORTH OCONEE 74,
EAST FORSYTH 62

The Lady Titans went on a 12-3 run in the final 2:30 minutes to get the win over East Forsyth Monday at home. 

East Forsyth cut the lead to 62-59 from a 3-pointer from Abby Smilnak, who scored 15 points late in the fourth quarter but couldn't push ahead.  

North Oconee jumped out to a 36-27 halftime lead, but the Lady Broncos fought back in it in the third period, cutting the lead 48-44 with 2:34 to go in the third. 

The Lady Tigers answered back with a 7-2 run to take a 55-46 lead at the end of the third. 

In the fourth, Kendall Parks nailed a 3-pointer with 6:36 left to close the gap to 57-52. 

EaFo cut the lead to three points twice in the final four minutes but never took the lead. 

Ava Brundidge led the Lady Broncos with 19 points, and Nora Swafford and Ayla Heard added 10 each. Kendell Wells led the Lady Titans with 22 points.

North Oconee will play Cherokee Bluff on Thursday at home. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

PREP BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD, Monday, Feb. 12

Region 8-7A
No. 2 Mill Creek 45, No. 3 Dacula 39
No. 1 Buford 56, No. 4 Central Gwinnett 50

Region 8-6A
No. 6 Jackson County 58,  No. 7 Apalachee 50 

Region 8-5A
No. 5 Flowery Branch 47, No. 4 Clarke Central 41
No. 3 Eastside vs. No. 7 Winder-Barrow, 7 p.m. 

Region 8-4A
No. 2N Cherokee Bluff 59, No. 3S Madison County 33
No. 2S Walnut Grove 68, No. 3N North Hall 46
No. 1N Chestatee 82, No. 4S Cedar Shoals 41
No. 1S North Oconee 74, No. 4N East Forsyth 62

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