Buford takes it out of state

Now that the Buford boys and girls have established themselves as the dominant teams in Region 7, they’ll try their luck outside the league.

The Buford boys take the weekend off from Region 7-AAA competition and travel to Dayton, Ohio, for the Good Samaritan Flyin’ to the Hoop Tournament. The Buford girls will stay closer to home and compete in the Girls Night Out Showcase on Saturday at Starr’s Mill.

The Buford boys have won seven straight games, all of them in the league, since the holiday break. Two weeks ago they trounced then-No. 1 Dawson County 53-36 and on Tuesday Buford turned back No. 6 North Hall 52-45.

Buford has not shied away from difficult competition all year. The No. 4-ranked Wolves played a non-region schedule loaded with upper division teams. They lost to some (Westlake, Eagle’s Landing, Tift County), but beat Class AAAAAA North Cobb.

This trip to Ohio includes a Saturday morning game against Xenia and a Monday morning game against Kettering Fairmount. The Wolves are part of the showcase and festivities that are built around the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and is held in the 4,000-seat Trent Arena. Five of the nation’s top 25 teams and an estimated 75 future college players, including Buford’s A.J. Davis (a Tennessee commitment) will participate in the event.

The No. 1-ranked Buford girls meet Class A power Holy Innocents’ on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Starr’s Mill, the first of six games being played at the Fayetteville school. The proceeds from the two-day event go to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

The Wolves travel again on Tuesday night in Georgia, making a much shorter trip to Homer to play Banks County.

Dodge County tests Washington County

The two best girls teams in Region 3 play tonight Sandersville, as Dodge County visits No. 2 Washington County. Dodge (14-3) has won 10 straight games, with center Rachel Selph and forward Keyria Gordan leading the way. Gordan recently had 25 points in a win over Warner Robins. Washington County (15-1) has won 14 straight, but struggled to beat Thomson 33-32 on Tuesday night. The Hawks played big in the fourth period, limiting the Bulldogs to only four points, to secure the win. Nia Johnson scored 15 and Shon Kitchens has 12 in the win and the two combined for 10 points in the final quarter.

Thomson boys on a roll

The No. 10 Thomson boys surged to the top spot in Region 3 after it knocked off No. 7 Washington County 69-68 on Tuesday. Sherrod Hart scored 16 points, including the two game-winning free throws. The win improved Thomson to 10-3 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Bulldogs also got 14 points from Stevon Hart and 10 from Malique Gibbons. Washington County (12-4) lost despite 20 points from A.J. Gray. The teams meet again on Feb. 1 in Sandersville.

Central Carroll girls on a roll

The unranked Central Carroll girls just keep winning. The Lions are now 13-4 and 6-0 in Region 4, including an eight game winning streak that includes a two-point victory against No. 7 Chapel Hill. Coach Jimmy LeBlanc’s team turned back third-place Callaway on Tuesday as a 13-2 spurt to open the final quarter led to a 54-48 win. Central continues to get strong play from Sherae Bonner, Wesli Simmons and Brianna Cousins. Central travels to Jackson, which is tied for fourth in Region 4, tonight for another league game. The Lions have a big rematch with Chapel Hill on Feb. 1.

Etc.

Two of the top girls teams in Region 2 meet tonight in Fort Valley, when Pike County visits Peach County. Pike County has only one region loss (to Southwest Macon) and leads the league. The Pirates beat Peach by 13 points earlier this season. The region has no ranked teams. . . . Other interesting games tonight: Beach at Tattnall County, Ringgold at Cartersville, Woodward Academy at Decatur, and Sonoraville at Coahulla Creek.

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