AAA girls: St. Pius 56, Buford 43

Armed with a great game plan and a team loaded with girls willing to stick with it, No. 3 St. Pius knocked off No. 1 Buford on Tuesday and earned a spot in the Class AAA semifinals.

The Buford players towered over the Pius players in terms of size, but the Golden Lions used their quickness and a sensational effort from sophomore Asia Durr in a 56-43 win before a stunned crowd at the Wolves Den in Buford.

Durr, the Region 6-AAA player of the year, scored 32 points and had seven rebounds for St. Pius, which faces Chapel Hill in the semifinals in Savannah. She had 11 points in the fourth quarter, including 9-for-9 at the line.

“Our game plan was to limit her, but she hit jump shot after jump shot,” said Buford coach Gene Durden. “We ran our denial defense and a triangle-and-two, but she hit shot after shot. She’s a good player.”

St. Pius (28-3) had plenty of other strong contributors, too. MacKenzie Garrison had three 3-pointers and scored nine points. Jasmine Carter scored eight points, but had six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Laura Redmond came away with nine rebounds.

“We had so many unsung heroes,” said St. Pius coach Kyle Snipes.

But it was Durr who seemed to always be there whenever the Golden Lions needed to get a loose ball, come away with a turnover or score a basket to prevent Buford from seizing the momentum.

“I thought they would have trouble guarding both of them,” Snipes said, referring to Durr and Carter. “We were fortunate that we were able to get Asia going early.”

The game was tight until midway in the second period when Buford’s Camille Anderson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Wolves a 23-17 lead. That just seemed to motivate St. Pius, which ended the half with a 10-0 run and a 27-23 lead. Buford was never able to get closer than one point again.

“I was proud of the way our kids came back,” Snipes said. “We haven’t been tested like that since Christmas.”

St. Pius pushed its lead to 10 points on consecutive 3-pointers from Durr and Garrison, only to see Buford claw back to within 41-39 on a three-point play by Kristina Nelson. But the Golden Lions were able to protect the ball and force Buford to foul; Pius made 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“They showed a lot of poise,” Durden said. “You can’t leave a team like that open. And I said we needed to limit Durr and we didn’t do that.”

Buford (24-5) was led by Nelson, a Notre Dame commitment, with 19 points and nine rebounds. Bree Horrocks had 14 rebounds, but scored only four points.

42 comments Add your comment

Big Irish Mike

February 26th, 2013
9:53 pm

Congrats girls Golden Lion Nation is full of Pride. yes pun intended !

Winks

February 26th, 2013
10:33 pm

Nice job, SPX. Sweet win.

bballfan

February 26th, 2013
10:45 pm

I’ve heard folks say all year that St. Pius could beat Buford and now I’ve seen it for myself. With a player like Asia Durr, you always have a chance to win. I think as a sophomore, she’s better than Maya Moore was her senior year. She has to be one of the best players ever to play the game and the scary part is she’s just a sophomore. Unbelievable.

Reg

February 26th, 2013
11:03 pm

Just like I said following the win against Oconee, The Pi High coach can flat coach. I’ve been watching these games for decades. They are extremely sound, and are good at both ends of the floor, and they have a special player.

BullDawg Rick

February 26th, 2013
11:28 pm

Was at the game tonight.. Congratulations to the Catholics.. Solid – Very solid game.. Very quick off the dribble & sticky D..

Good luck in your quest for State.. Sincerely

Ms. Char

February 26th, 2013
11:29 pm

It’s great to be a Golden Lion!! Asia Durr is an awesome ball player and a sweetheart. One of the most humble and kind-hearted people I know. Congrats to all the Lady Lions, you got HEART!!

Jethro Bodean

February 27th, 2013
7:38 am

Very nice of you Bulldawg Rick. Congrats SPX and Coaches!

Hoopscoop

February 27th, 2013
8:18 am

Asia Durr is the most skilled girls player I have ever seen.But as much credit for this win goes to Coach Snipes for a solid game plan in defending Buford’s Tri-towers. I don’t think Pius has a girl taller than 5′10″ but held Buford to 43 points with swarming help defense. Great win girls. Speed kills!

north ga granny

February 27th, 2013
8:52 am

I see the recruiting public school got beat but now we have a recruiting private school.

PiusDad

February 27th, 2013
9:11 am

north ga granny, no recruiting, Asia Durr is a homegrown Catholic girl that came up through the CMLA ranks like all the other elementary school girls. No recruiting, just a simply amazing player but don’t let that detract that it was a great team effort executing a solid game plan from coach. Go, Lions!

north ga granny

February 27th, 2013
9:39 am

Just why do public schools play private schools?By homegrown do you mean that she could havegone to a public school just as well as St Pius?I am Methodist but that did not keep my kids from going to a public school and playing ball from with them.

Fan

February 27th, 2013
10:11 am

Granny. JUST STOP!!! Spew your negativty on some oither forum.

1stN10

February 27th, 2013
10:49 am

Go Lions!! Two more games!! Get some rest…..

hamilton

February 27th, 2013
11:17 am

@north ga granny
Like mom always said, if you can’t say something nice, just STF… no wait, that was dad… then don’t say anything at all!. Yeah, that’s it.

Unless you want to bash Marist. That’s OK.

Joe Fan

February 27th, 2013
11:19 am

Wow.. I wasn’t hearing all of the private school recruiting stuff when SPX was getting stomped on “post Kelly Cain” and even as late as last year (Asia’s freshman year) now they have probably the best back court in the country and hear it comes. Congrats SPX and good luck. Good coaching and good defense will most of the time produce great outcomes. btw… I have no allegiance to SPX, just a fan of basketball.

north ga granny

February 27th, 2013
11:37 am

Well maybe your coach should watch what she says about other teams that are left in the final fourand since this is America I can sat what I want to.Why do you not worry abou the child molesters and gay priests and less about basketball.

north ga granny

February 27th, 2013
11:40 am

I f they diveded A up into public and private why not do it with the rest of the classes or let them play up like Marist does.I respect Marist.

PiusDad

February 27th, 2013
11:46 am

Have a nice day and stay classy, granny.

I admire great talent

February 27th, 2013
11:49 am

Granny: You clearly do not have your facts straight on the recruiting private school comment. At St. Pius (and other private schools), you must “test in” with high SSAT scores to be offered an academic slot before you can be considered for an athletic team.

To the best of my knowledge, at Buford you must either move into the district or apply and pay tuition. In theory, city schools such as Buford could accept kids who live out of district and perhaps high profile athletes may get priority but ultimately they are abiding by the rules set by GHSA. Buford happens to have built an excellent athletic program (in a variety of sports) and clearly maintains high academic standards or Kristina Nelson would not have committed to Notre Dame.

If my child were as talented as Asia Durr, Jasmine Carter or Kristina Nelson, I would certainly find the best program for them.

Now.. go away Granny (we all know you are really man!).

Proud lady lions dad!

February 27th, 2013
12:47 pm

Glad we finally got away from being in the region and class with Columbia H.S… Now we can finally win a title!

north ga granny

February 27th, 2013
12:56 pm

How funny my 6 grandchildren call me granny.When I was in labor with 4 kids I probably wished I was a man.I am as classy as your coach.She might just as well said that the other 3 teams left should not be there so I suuggest that the 3 left forfeit and save their money on gas and a motel room.

I admire great talent

February 27th, 2013
12:58 pm

Who stays in motels?

Joe Friday

February 27th, 2013
1:26 pm

Granny-first, the coach is at St. Pius is a man, second where do you see that he said the other teams don’t belong in the final four.

SPX Fan

February 27th, 2013
2:01 pm

Granny, You were in labor with four kids at the same time. You are amazing!!

SPX Fan

February 27th, 2013
2:03 pm

Proud lady lions dad! Your a phony.

Reg

February 27th, 2013
2:10 pm

Granny is a guy.

bballfan

February 27th, 2013
3:05 pm

SPX Fan, I’m with you. That comment about winning a title since we don’t have to go through Columbia. Just year before last, we beat Columbia for the Region Championship. And last year, we should have beaten them on their home floor for the Region Championship if it wasn’t for them getting some good ole fashion cooking from the Refs

PiusDad

February 27th, 2013
3:29 pm

Let the haters hate, fellas. Time to exhibit class and win with dignity. There’s 4 top teams left, anyone of them can win it. Bball is a funny game and the title is going to go to whoever makes their shots and plays great d. Some good bounces will help as well. Let’s see the boys join the girls and make the Final 4 with a win tonight at North Hall!

Joe Fan

February 27th, 2013
3:49 pm

Granny must be talking about the other private school in AA who has a woman as a coach. On another SPX topic, hate that those semi finals are in Savannah. Would’ve love to watch SPX play. Oh well, guess its Georgia Tech or Kennesaw State for me this weekend.

hamilton

February 27th, 2013
5:42 pm

I expect the semi finals will all be on GHSA.TV. Hope so.

al

February 27th, 2013
7:12 pm

Gee, I hope Buford doesn’t recruit Durr

2-cents

February 27th, 2013
7:58 pm

The most exciting SPX hoops action since :
- Cain
- Marx-Booth
- Kulavic
- Tate
- Fleming
- Sasso
- Vari
- Finnerty
- Heyer
- and Corbett

Did I leave anybody out?

VChandler

February 28th, 2013
7:08 am

I have no dog in this fight, but I am sooooo tired of people getting on the blogs whining about recruiting when their teams lose. Our boys (N Cobb) just went down to Tift and beat a team accused of recruiting on their own floor. Once the whistle blows, blogs don’t matter. I have been watching Asia Durr for about 4 years on the AAU circuit, she and her family are nothing but class. Congrats to St Pius. Georgia girls basketball is the cream of the crop.

proud pius dad..

February 28th, 2013
8:06 am

Listen, SPX fan and all others, I am a proud parent and loyal supporter of the lady lions program make no mistake about that. But you would be a fool to not admit that while we could have won last year and even thou we did win the region the year before..Columbia has been a thorn in our side for a couple of years now,(as they have won the state title those two years) a hurdle we just didn’t get over. but hope to get over this year. Not that we couldn’t win those 2 years we just didn’t (no excuses, we just lost) I said I was glad we don’t have to jump that hurdle again this year, and I meant that.. We can let Marist enjoy that spur in the boot for now..as they did this year boys and girls.. lets enjoy the moment together!

north ga granny

February 28th, 2013
12:36 pm

What happened to your boys?They got beat a little old public school.

passing through

February 28th, 2013
12:54 pm

bballfan – you may want to catch a little more basketball. I figured the way no one bothered to respond to you that the general consensus is that you’re crazy. but yeah. your assessment of talent and scope of comparison leaves much to be desired.

piusdad – i don’t think the recruiting comment was aimed at Durr – Jasmine Carter started off at Mill Creek I believe?

I admire great talent

February 28th, 2013
1:21 pm

@passing through – In regards to J Carter, she played in the SPX feeder system for several years. She also applied to SPX her freshman and sophomore years of which both years she was accepted. I understand that they did not accept due to familial issues (perhaps financial as the economy was struggling and SPX does not offer scholarships). She applied her junior year, was accepted and was able to attend SPX.

@granny – Yes. They boys lost. No one on the SPX side is complaining of recruiting by their opponent. If you look at their record, each year the continue to improve. Last year it was the made it to the Sweet 16, this year to the Elite 8, I’m certain Aaron Parr, the parents and the players would call that a victory based on hard work and improvement.

SPX Fan

February 28th, 2013
2:00 pm

I would like to make a suggestion: From this point forward, just ignore Granny and stop giving him the satisfaction and attention he craves.

SPX Fan

February 28th, 2013
2:03 pm

By the way, my understanding is that education is a very important part of Jasmine Carters life. I understand she has a 4.0 GPA and is considering schools like Duke and Vanderbilt. Way to go Jasmine.

bballfan

February 28th, 2013
3:08 pm

passing through, that was my opinion and I have been all around and have seen all levels of basketball.. so do what your name says and just keep passing through

bballfan

February 28th, 2013
3:13 pm

I have a sister that plays in the WNBA and overseas and have seen talent of all kind.. so believe me, I know talent when I see it

passing through

March 2nd, 2013
11:56 am

and bballfan, i’ve coached 4 that are currently in the wnba and have coached about 80 more currently in college and overseas. if you’d like to compare experience and know how, then let’s. but, good luck with that.

spx, pius, admire – i was mentioning carter going to spx in reference to someone mentioning that durr may have been the subject of granny’s recruiting post, that’s all. i’m aware of carter and her background, as well as durr. i was correcting the rant of others thinking that durr was one who mentioned of being recruited.