BUFORD — Buford used its pressure defense and fast break points on offense to smother Johns Creek in a 73-29 win Saturday at the Blue Collar Basketball Buford Showcase.
“Our press wore them down,” Buford coach Gene Durden said. “(So did) our numbers, playing 10 kids and playing as hard as they did today.”
The Wolves used that full-court press to jump out to an early 10-4 lead. Tatum Ozment, who led all scorers with 12 points, scored the first couple of buckets for Buford, and Abbi Perkins (eight points) also put in a pair in the first quarter. Johns Creek (4-4) got a traditional three-point play from Kate Powers to cut into the lead and bring Johns Creek to within 14-7. But Ashyia Willis, Katelyn Klein and Ozment hit shots down the stretch to build the lead up to 21-7 at the end of the first.
The Wolves (8-0) put up another 21-point quarter in the second, led by six points on a pair of 3-pointers from Blair Wallis in the period. Johns Creek was able to improve its offense, getting seven points from Ahmia Childs (12 points) and a 3-pointer from Carson Tanguilig in the period. But the improvement wasn’t enough to keep up with Buford’s pace, and the deficit for the Gladiators at halftime was 24 points.
Buford didn’t let up much in the third quarter. Johns Creek’s two field goals in the quarter — by Powers and Kennedy McWilliams — were separated by 9-0 Buford run. Three buckets in a row to end the period helped the Wolves push their lead to 59-22 with a final quarter to play.
Both teams gave reserves some more time playing in the final period. Buford’s Sydney Harris capitalized by putting in five points, leading the team in the quarter. Andie Blake scored four points in the quarter, and Kirby Wallis scored three after making a basket while getting fouled and hitting the following free throw for the final score of the game.
Despite a large margin of victory, there are factors in Buford’s game that need polishing, its coach said.
“Right now we’re just still trying to work on getting things better and trying to improve our team,” Durden said. “There’s a lot of little things that we have to do a whole lot better.”
Tate Walters was the second-leading scorer for the Wolves with 10 points. Willis and Blair Wallis each scored 8 points.