Girls 5A: Buford 60, Flowery Branch 49

Buford head coach Gene Durden won his sixth state title at the school.

MACON — Buford successfully defended it’s AAAAA title after moving past Flowery Branch 60-49 on Thursday in Macon. It might have been just an 11-point victory, but the Lady Wolves were in full control when it mattered most to secure coach Gene Durden’s sixth title at Buford.

“I’ll just say that we always rely on their defense,” said Durden following the game. “I’m just so proud of these kids, they did an absolute great job. They have had a lot of experience of being in these big moments like this. They have done a great job coming out and finishing the drill. I put a lot of pressure on them to finish and they did it and I’m just so happy for them.”

Buford took a 14-11 lead following the first quarter and, by the half, Buford was up 30-23 fueled by senior Tory Ozment. The Michigan State-bound guard was good for 15 points in the first half and finished with 28 points with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

“We have so many seniors and this is how we wanted to go out and it is just amazing,” Ozment said while clutching the state championship trophy, nearly blinded by the television camera in her face. “This game was the only one that mattered,” she said of the recent region championship in which Buford squeaked by Flowery Branch. “This is what you play for at the end of the season and I’m just so proud of my teammates. We have had a lot of adversity this year, we have 10 seniors and 16 freshmen and so for us to lead the freshmen and end our season like this means a lot.”

Buford held the lead for 26:02, its largest lead a 16-point spread. Flowery Branch led for just 3:49 by as much as four points. The game was tied for just over two minutes.

Buford faced full-court pressure in the entire fourth quarter, but it kept at least a 10-point lead intact with solid free-throw shooting in the forced-to-foul situation that Flowery Branch was in.  Buford was 13-of-18 as a team from the charity stripe.

Buford was led by Ozment (28 points, 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line) and Ebony Grant (12 points, three rebounds, three steals).

“This is just the cherry on top for these seniors,” Durden said. “Three titles in four years, four final fours, I mean, what more could you ask for?”

Taniyah Worth led Flowery Branch with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Caroline Wysocki added 10 points, two assists and three steals.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply